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EILEEN POWER, Professor of Economic History in the University of London
The military conqueror does not always make a good administrator. This afternoon's dramatic interlude deals with Akbar, the Mogul Emperor who successfully played both parts-so well, indeed, that he earned the title of ' Guardian of Mankind '. The grand-son of Babur, he succeeded to the throne in 1556, but it was not until 1560 that he was able to break loose from the control of the regency of Bairam Khan , a Turkoman noble.
The first seven years of his reign were devoted almost continually to warfare. And in 1594 Akbar had established his sovereignty over Oudh, Gwalior, Kabul, Kashmir, Sind, and Kandahar. Despite the fact that these conquests made him by far the most powerful monarch ever known in India, he showed his dissatisfaction with his achievements by seizing Berar. His efforts to create a workable social system in his territories were admirable. He stamped out extortion, instituted religious freedom, took a great interest in commerce, and was an intelligent patron of the arts.
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Feedback about World History-9 'Akbar', National Programme Daventry, 14.30, 21 November 1935
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