Intro to History Seminar: Mughals, Merchants, and Warriors: South Asia in the 18th Century

  • Quarters: Spring
  • General Education Requirements: I&S

Historians writing during the colonial period described the eighteenth century in South Asia as a dark age of political chaos and cultural decay. More recent historical studies have represented it as a period of extraordinary economic opportunity, social mobility, and cultural productivity. We will focus on a critical reading of several primary and secondary sources in order to understand why so many divergent historical accounts of the eighteenth century emerged in later periods. Was this period a time of colonization and violence or an exciting period of social mobility and economic growth? Our class will focus on understanding how history is produced through the gathering and analysis of evidence and why interpretations of that evidence can produce such different accounts.