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State And Political Power

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Chapter Summary

The establishment of the Portuguese Estado da India introduced some changes in the nature and structure of Indian Ocean commerce. The expansion and consolidation of the Mughal Empire under Akbar (15561605) in the second half of the sixteenth century led to the formation of some fundamental political and administrative institutions that helped the emperor establish his political authority and control the surplus economic resources of the empire. The annexation of Gujarat to the Mughal Empire in 1573 and the almost simultaneous rise of Surat as the principal port of the empire contributed to the regions economic growth and its prominent position in the commerce of the Indian Ocean. The unstable political condition in Gujarat encouraged the Marathas to participate in political contests. The English political ascendancy in Gujarat began from Surat where the Company wrested some political authority in 1759.

Keywords: English political ascendancy; Gujarat; Indian Ocean; Marathas; Mughal Empire; Surat



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