AP World History
Meeting of the Minds: Akbar The Great
What was it about Akbar that made him so great? Was it his expansive conquests, the creation of a centralized administrative structure, or acceptance of different religions? Maybe it was all three.
After taking the Mughal Empire from his grandfather, Babur, Akbar expanded the empire with a series of conquests. He spent his whole life engaged in wars and adding new territories. Not only was Akbar able to conquer many areas, he also was able to earn the loyalty of the ones he conquered. His empire extended to Afghanistan in the north, Sindh in the west, Bengal in the east, and the Godavari River in the south. After defeating the Rajput, he allied with their rulers and let them become a part of his administration. As Akbar conquered more and more regions he began to improve military techniques and acquire new weapons. The use of war elephants and Sowars became popular, along with Kitars. Akbar ordered the best armor for his men and the finest matchlocks that he used in various conflicts. Mansabdari, Akbar’s extremely organized military, helped him become a great conqueror. He designed it so that the most loyal and merited persons were higher in rank.
The Mughal Empire had a centralized government with various departments, carefully organized with detailed rules: an income department, military department, and judicial department. Each governor was in charge of keeping order in his own region, while a tax collector was sent out to get property taxes and return them to the capital. This created checks and balances in each region. The central government gave out fixed salaries to both military and civilian personnel according to rank. By using governors Akbar was able to have a direct contact with each region and fuse the individual territories of India into one.
Akbar was a reflective and thoughtful man. He was very interested in religion and toleration. He did not...