The Taj Mahal, Copyright 2007 Gerald Brimacombe

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TIMELINE : 1670 TO 1699

The Taj Mahal, Copyright 2007 Gerald Brimacombe

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The Marathas sue for peace with the Mughal Empire. After some negotiation, the Mughal-Maratha War ends with the Treaty of Kolhapur. This establishes the formal border between the Mughal Empire and the Maratha Kingdom. The latter loses significant territory to the former.

Many of those who took part in the Mughal-Maratha War are honoured by Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal [Dara Shikoh], including a number of Europeans, such as Archibald Hamilton.

Catherine of Braganza, the queen consort of King Charles II of England, gives birth to a son, but dies in childbirth. The child survives and like his father is named Charles. [This is unlike the case in the real world where Catherine never gave birth to a live heir, though she had several pregnancies, the last being in 1669. Also, in the real world she lived until 1705.]

A Cossack rebellion led by Stenka Razin spreads across Russia.

King Charles II of England grants the British East India Company the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops and form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the areas they acquire.

The Mughal Empire begins actively, if covertly, recruiting Europeans into their service [much as they did in the real world].

The Ottoman Empire takes possession of Crete from Venice.

Charles II of England signs the secret Treaty of Dover with France [much as in the real world]. It requires France to assist England in her aim to rejoin the Roman Catholic Church and England to assist France in her war of conquest against the Dutch Republic.

Portugal officially leases the territory of Macau from the Chinese government, though they have been permitted a permanent settlement and trading post there since 1557. There is no transfer of sovereignty, however.

The Hudson's Bay Company is founded. [Much as in the real world.]

With the new effectiveness of the Mughal armies in the retaking of the south-western Mughal Empire from the Marathas, the various South Indian states look to their own armies and begin modernising them too, seeing this as the only way to survive.

Without the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Indian subcontinent is more peaceful and stable than in the real world at the same time, so the European companies trading there, and the British East India Company in particular, do not raise such large armed forces as they did in the real world, although the armed forces they do raise are of significant size. They also do not have the opportunity to take over such large areas of India as they were able to do in the real world.

Like his predecessors, Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal works to encourage trade within the Mughal Empire, maintaining and expanding the existing efficient system of roads.

In England, Charles, Prince of Wales, is raised as a Protestant. However, he is not inculcated with anti-Catholicism, and becomes a fairly tolerant individual, at least in religious terms. Like his father, he grows up to be a great womaniser who enjoys the high life.


The rebellion of Stenka Razin is crushed by the Russian army. Stenka Razin is captured and tortured to death in Moscow.


In return for preferential trading agreements, the Mughal Empire agrees to assist the Kandyans in removing the Dutch from Sinhale. [As the Mughal Empire is not under Aurangzeb, and so is not attempting to conquer all of India, it is free to intervene elsewhere.]

France invades the Netherlands, beginning the Dutch War [or the Third Anglo-Dutch War], and is joined by England and the German states of Münster and Cologne. French troops occupy large parts of the country, until they are stopped by the Dutch Water Line, a deliberate flooding to protect most vital parts of the Netherlands. In Dutch history this year becomes known as the 'Year of Disaster'.

The Dutch government collapses. Dutch leader Johan De Witt is murdered by a carefully organised lynch 'mob' and William III of Orange becomes Stadtholder of the Netherlands.

Dutch ships defeat a combined Anglo-French fleet in the North Sea.

Vijaya Raghava Nayak, the Nayak King of Thanjavur in southern India, gives his daughter in marriage to Chokkanatha Nayak, the ruler of Maduri. [Because of this Chokkanatha Nayak does not storm Thanjavur in 1673 to take her by force, as happened in the real world.]


The Poles defeat the Ottoman Empire, ending this part of the Great Turkish War, although without regaining Kamieniec Podolski.

Jan Sobieski is elected king of Poland.

With a diversionary attack from and the help of the Kandyans, a large force of Mughal troops land on the island of Sinhale and begin attempting to force out the Dutch who are holding large sections of it.

In Dai Ngu [Vietnam] the Trinh-Nguyen War, which has been being waged since 1627, ends with the help of mediation supplied by the government of the Kangxi Emperor of China. The Nguyen Lords nominally accept the Trinh as the rulers of Dai Ngu, in reality the Nguyen rule the south and the Trinh rule the north.

The Deccani Sultanates in south India begin, like the Mughal Empire, actively, if covertly, recruiting Europeans into their service. [They do this much more than in the real world, as here they are much less distracted with or under occupation by the invasions of the Mughal Empire.]

As part of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch recapture New York from the English and ally themselves with Spain.

France withdraws from the Netherlands.

The English Parliament refuses to allow more money to be spent on the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

Dutch raids on English shipping have, by now, captured more English ships than vice versa.

As time goes by the South Indian states and the Mughal Empire compete for European talent of all kinds. There are enough rivalries between the different European nations that the Mughals and South Indians can always find someone willing to work for them against the people of some other European nation.

As European advisors become more numerous in India and stay there longer, they rise up in government and become more influential, until some have the ears of Kings and Emperors.


Betrayed by a monk named Feoktist, the Streltsy are able to gain entry to the Solovetsky Monastery in Russia, and brutally end the uprising and siege there. Only a small number of the rebels survive, and most of these are later executed.

The last Dutch enclave in Sinhale [Sri Lanka] falls to Mughal troops. A large detachment of Mughal troops remain to prevent the Dutch from re-taking the island.

The Third Anglo-Dutch War ends with the Treaty of Westminster. This returns New York to the English, but officially cedes Suriname, captured by the Dutch in 1667, to the Dutch.

The French colony of France Équinoxiale, in South America, comes under the direct control of the French crown.

[The Kingdom of Thanjavur (Tanjore) is not conquered by the Maratha Kingdom in this year; thus it remains ruled by the Thanjavur Nayak dynasty.]


Wishing to achieve what his father could not, Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal orders the conquest of the Uzbek city of Samarkand, from which the first Mughal Emperor Babur had been driven by the Uzbeks in 1501. A major expedition moves north out of Mughal Afghanistan towards this goal. It is led by Englishman Archibald Hamilton, who has won the post through his service in the Mughal-Maratha War.

The Taj Banu is finally completed after problems with the Mughal finances delay the project and mean that when it is finally completed, although it is a masterpiece, it is on nowhere near the scale of the Taj Mahal.

Sultan Sipir Shikoh, the son of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, marries the Hindu Rajput noblewoman Mirabai Banu Begum, a niece of Mumtaz Mahal. [In this world Sultan Sipir Shikoh does not marry a daughter of his uncle Aurangzeb at an early age as he did in the real world, because Aurangzeb's early death means that that daughter does not exist in this world.]

A Dutch fleet attempts to re-take the island of Sinhale, but is repulsed by the Mughal troops there.

[Without Aurangzeb, the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur is not tortured and executed in defence of a group of (Hindu) Kashmiri Brahmins. This helps prevent the Sikhs from becoming as militarised as they did in the real world.]

The Nguyen Lords of southern Dai Ngu [Vietnam] annex sizable areas of Cambodian territory in the region of the Mekong Delta; the weak Cambodian state can do nothing to stop this. Nguyen settlers begin to colonise these new territories.

For the next hundred years or so the Nguyen Lords use the alleged mistreatment of their colonists in the Mekong Delta as a pretext for their continued expansion.

With new European ideas being introduced, the Mughal army has by now improved the lot and the training of the ordinary soldiers, turning them from glorified night watchmen into real troops. The Mughal practice of taking along a great number of camp followers, including occasionally the families of the soldiers and the royal harem, has also been discontinued, making the military more capable of moving quickly and flexibly.

A religious revival among Hindus leads to the building of numerous temples in Bengal and the rise of a new regional literature in Bengal and Maharashtra. At the same time the city of Navadip [Navadwip] becomes a great centre of Sanskritic learning and the philosophy of Navya-Nyaya (New Logic) gains an increasing following.

Despite attempts to find a new wife, Charles II fails to remarry. However, he does take many mistresses, as he did while he was married.


Knowing of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal's interest in all faiths, English merchant Joshua Crosfield sponsors a translation of the Bible into Farsi [Persian] which he gives to the Emperor as a gift.

Tsar Aleksey I of Russia dies and is succeeded by his son, who becomes Tsar Feodor III.

Jahanara Begum, the oldest sister of Mughal Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal and one of his greatest supporters before and throughout his reign, dies of old age. [In the real world she died in 1681 at the age of 67. Because of the different events of this world she has lived a busier and more stressful life than she did in the real world, causing her to die somewhat earlier.]

Ottoman attempts to take control of the western Ukraine triggers a Russo-Turkish War over the region.

On the orders of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, construction begins on a magnificent tomb for Jahanara Begum in the city of Agra.

Following completion of the Mosque of Suleiman (or the Mosque of Lost Sons as it is more commonly known), the body of Sultan Suleiman Shikoh, oldest son of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal who died in the succession war which put him on the throne, is exhumed and reinterred in the mosque.

More and more merchants and explorers return from India telling tales of the glory of the Mughal Empire.

Books and reports telling of the great culture and tolerance of the Mughal Empire begin to circulate in Europe, as well as the first translations of Mughal works in European languages.

As he ages, Charles II slips into ruling more and more as an absolute, if fairly enlightened, monarch.

The Mosque of Suleiman soon becomes frequented by family members wishing to pray for the safety of their children, particularly in times of war.


Mughal forces defeat those of the Uzbek Khans of Bokhara and Khiva at the battle of Karshi, aided by the treachery of several of the lesser Uzbek Khans.

The Kingdom of Golconda attacks the Mughal Empire in the south-east, hoping to gain land from them while the empire is distracted by events in the north.

What becomes known as the Great Comet appears in the skies over Europe.

Taking advantage of the wars it is fighting elsewhere, the Kingdom of Kandy requests the removal of the Mughal troops who remain on Sinhale. This is refused, citing the continuing Dutch threat.


With the Uzbeks largely defeated, the Mughal army lays siege to Samarkand while expanding the areas of Mughal control around it.

The city of Samarkand falls to the Mughals.

Mughal forces push back those of Golconda.

The first electrostatic generator (based on that built by Otto von Guericke in 1650) arrives in India, given as a gift to the Mughal Emperor by a Dutch merchant, Salomon van Ostade. It becomes a curiosity at the court.

The Sinhalese begin withholding the preferential trade they had promised to the Mughals until the Mughals withdraw from Sinhale.

The commander of the Mughal troops in Sinhale uses his troops to begin enforcing the preferential trade agreement with the Kingdom of Kandy.

After the taking of Samarkand from the Janid rulers of the Khanate of Bukhara, the Mughals undertake a prolonged programme of pacification of the city and the surrounding regions. As part of this the power of the Khanate of Bukhara is permanently broken.


The war between the Mughal Empire and the Kingdom of Golconda ends with the Treaty of Rajaconda, which also establishes the border between the two countries as much the same as before, with some minor adjustments.

Fighting breaks out between the forces of the Mughal Empire and those of the Kingdom of Kandy.


Archibald Hamilton returns to Delhi to personally inform Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal of his success in taking Samarkand. In gratitude for his success the Emperor heaps him with honours and titles.

Seeking to secure their new northern border, the Mughal Empire defeats the forces of the Khanate of Khiva, permanently breaking its power.

The extremely bright comet Kirch is seen.

The dodo, a flightless bird found only on the island of Mauritius, is rendered extinct due to hunting by humans and the introduction of predators into its environment. [This is slightly earlier than in the real world.]

With the influx of Europeans and European ideas into the Mughal Empire and Indian generally, Indian thinkers of all stripes begin to learn, assimilate and investigate them within the framework of existing Islamic Science.

Europeans such as Archibald Hamilton also do much to modernise the Mughal armies, and those of the South Indian states. In particular they help to popularise European ideas of the importance of infantry in warfare, giving them equal standing with cavalry and artillery [unlike the case in the real world, where the infantry was normally neglected].

Other Europeans bring new ideas to the Mughal Karkhanas (state-run industries), helping them advance technologically and economically. Similar ideas are also adopted elsewhere in India.

India at this time is very, very wealthy. It has access to technology from all of the Islamic west, China, and Europe, and a vast market for its products that grows larger by the day as Europeans buy cotton cloth, silks, and saltpetre. The upper classes love gadgets such as European clocks and watches, clockwork automata and so on, which local craftsmen have learned to build on their own. The Indian mining industry digs deeper than any other in the world, and India has the fourth largest coal reserves in the world (such as the Jharia coal fields in northern India).

There is continual harassment of and low-level skirmishing in the northern fringes of the Mughal Empire by the forces of the various Khanates bordering the Empire.

Some of the weaker Khanates send emissaries to try and obtain help from the Russian Empire, but to no avail. The Russian government considers these matters too insignificant and too far away for them to be concerned with.


The Russian government notes an increase in numbers of the 'enemies of the church', especially in Siberia, and with the active support of the Russian Orthodox Church begins to persecute the members of the Raskol movement, the Raskolniki.

After defeats by the Ottoman Empire, the Russians and the Ottomans sign the Bakhchisaray Peace Treaty, establishing the Russo-Ottoman border.

The black Taj Jahan is finally completed in Agra as a tomb for the Emperor Shah Jehan. As with the Taj Banu problems with the Mughal finances have delayed the project and mean that when it is finally completed, although it is a masterpiece, it is not as much so as the Taj Mahal.

Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal sponsors the translation of the Bible into Hindi.

Following the victory in Samarkand, he also orders a memorial garden containing a mosque built in the city near the site of the Registan to commemorate the Mughal victory in the city. The gardens are named the Bagh-e Buland Iqbal [Buland Iqbal Gardens], while the mosque soon becomes known as the Buland Iqbal Mosque.

The Maratha Kingdom invades and takes over the Portuguese enclave of Goa on the west coast of India. [As they attempted to do in 1683 in the real world, only being prevented from doing so by the Mughal Empire.]

Mughal troops crush those of the Kingdom of Kandy at the Battle of Peradeniya. The city of Kandy falls to the Mughal army. The Temple of the Tooth is taken before it can be evacuated and the Sacred Tooth Relic there captured. The Mughal commander announces that this now gives the Mughal Empire the divine right to rule Sinhale. This claim is not generally accepted by the population of the island.

The Mughal victory in Sinhale leads to a slight increase in the military contingents of the various European companies in India, as they realise that they are vulnerable to local forces if sufficient effort if made by them.


Tsar Feodor III of Russia dies.

Upon the death of Feodor III of Russia the Streltsy rise up and force the issue of the succession. The Streltsy are joined by mobs of poor people who loot the streets of Moscow for several days. After they kill various leading boyars and military commanders whom they suspect of corruption, Feodor's sons Ivan and Peter are proclaimed co-Tsars under the regency of their older sister Sophia.

Avvakum Petrov, one of the strongest opponents of the reforms of the Patriarch Nikon, is burned at the stake in Pustozyorsk, where he had been exiled by the government. Several others of the most active Old Believers are also arrested and executed during this time.

The first European in the Mughal Empire is inoculated against smallpox using a technique practised in India for centuries.

Representatives from the island of Sinhale travel to the Indian mainland seeking help against the Mughals holding their country.

What later becomes known as Halley's Comet appears.


The Ottoman Empire attacks the Holy Roman Empire, seeking to expand its territory in Europe and sparking what becomes known as the War of the Holy League. To fight the Ottomans, Pope Innocent XI forms a new Holy League composed of the Holy Roman Empire (headed by the Habsburg Austria) and the Venetian Republic.

Besieging Vienna, the Ottomans are only prevented from taking the city by a Christian alliance led by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland-Lithuania.

Archibald Hamilton is appointed to the Durbar, the executive council of the Mughal Empire, from where he becomes deeply involved in the political and administrative affairs of the Empire.

The Danish Royal Law is supplemented with a Statute Book applying to the entire country. Denmark begins transforming into a well-organised bureaucratic state under the paternal leadership of the absolute monarch Christian V.

As time passes Archibald Hamilton, while he appreciates and enjoys everything with which he has been honoured by Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, becomes more and more aware of both the corruption amongst the Mansabdars (the appointed nobility of the Mughal Empire) and how the lack of hereditary titles is leading them to fritter away vast quantities of the Empire's income as they cannot pass anything down to their offspring. He particularly feels the latter as it means that he cannot pass any of his gains on to his children. He begins attempting to influence the Mughal system to take a more European shape, in which inheritance is allowed.


Sultan Sipir Shikoh, the only surviving son of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, leaves the Mughal Empire on an ambassadorial visit to Europe, travelling through Persia and the Ottoman Empire on the way, as well as performing Hajj in Mecca.

After a long blockade of Tangier by Sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco, the British destroy the town and its port facilities before departing and returning the city to Morocco.

Poland joins the Holy League.

Work begins on extending the Grand Trunk Road from Kabul northwards to Samarkand.

Sinhalese emissaries make a pact with the rulers of Golconda, who are seeking revenge for their defeat in 1679, to remove the Mughals from Sinhale.

In response to the success of the Mughal Empire and the Deccani Sultanates in recruiting employees of the British East India Company into their service, King Charles II of England calls home all Englishmen in service in India. This call is largely ignored. [This is much as in the real world.]


In Europe, Sultan Sipir Shikoh meets many of the politicians and thinkers of the time, learning a great deal from them and also impressing them, both in himself and with his descriptions of the Mughal Empire.

Charles II of England dies of old age. Unlike the real world he does not convert to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed. [This is as a result of his wife dying in 1670, and also of the influence of greater knowledge of the Mughal Empire on his thinking.] His son becomes King Charles III at the age of fifteen with his uncle James, the Duke of York [who in the real world became King James II of England], as regent, despite objections to the regent being a Roman Catholic.

Exploring patrols from the Mughal Empire encounter Russian forces far north of Samarkand. Although the initial encounter is tense, the meeting ends peacefully.

A period of persecutions of the Russian Raskolniki begins. Many of them are tortured and executed.

While Sultan Sipir Shikoh is a guest at the court of French King Louis XIV, a conversation with Madame de Maintenon (the Widow Scarron), the zealous Catholic mistress of King Louis, degenerates into a religious argument in which Madame de Maintenon rather disgraces herself and in the process embarrasses the King. Madame de Maintenon falls out of favour at the French court. [With Madame de Maintenon out of favour she and her allies at court are not able to persuade the King that there were nearly no protestants left in France and thus to sign the Edict of Fontainebleau which in the real world revoked the Edict of Nantes and took away the rights of protestants in France, causing many of them to flee the country.]

Golcondan troops land on Sinhale, but are repulsed by the Mughal defenders.

Intermittent border skirmishes in the Amur River area between China and Russia result in a number of Russians being taken prisoner, including a Russian Orthodox priest named Maxim Leontiev. [This is more than a century earlier than the first Protestant missionaries in the real world.]

[With the Edict of Nantes still in place France is not deprived of many of its most skilled and industrious individuals, who do not go to aid France's rivals as they did in the real world. France is also viewed in a less hostile light by its protestant neighbours.]

With increasing suppression of the Raskol movement, many of its members migrate west, seeking refuge in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which allows them to freely practice their faith.

As time goes by the Raskol movement splits into two factions, the Popovtsy ('priest-ist') element who continue to use the old hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, ordaining priests and other officials in secret, and the Bespopovtsy who claim that the true church of Christ has ceased to exist on Earth and so reject priests and a number of church rites, such as the Eucharist.

As time goes on the Popovtsy branch of the Raskol movement comes to dominate it. The Bespopovtsy come to either convert to the Popovtsy way of thinking or flee elsewhere.

Following on from the precedent set by his father, Charles III rules as an absolute but enlightened monarch. Although this causes conflicts with Parliament, his proven Protestant beliefs mean that Charles, aided by his uncle James, manages to navigate a course that largely satisfies Parliament without stripping himself of too much power. Thus a moderate form of absolutist rule persists in Britain, though not to the extent of triggering civil unrest or a new Civil War. [Thus there is no Glorious Revolution in this world and the Stuarts remain in power in England.]


At the persuasion of his Durbar, Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal attempts to do something about the corruption in the Mughal Empire. The initial plan is to change the Mughal Mansabdari system so that all the money raised by them goes to the state first, and then a stipend is doled out to the Mansabdars as a salary, preventing them from frittering away too much. However, despite the best efforts of the Durbar to prevent it, it quickly becomes clear that this system only produces corruption and tax fraud, and it is abandoned.

The Eternal Peace Treaty is signed between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This defines the Russian-Polish border in the Ukraine. Both parties agree not to sign a separate treaty with the Ottoman Sultan. By signing this treaty, Russia becomes a member of the anti-Ottoman Holy League and pledges to organize a military campaign against the Crimean Khanate. Russian involvement in the war marks the beginning of the Russo-Turkish War.

Mughal forces attack into Golconda in retaliation for their attack on Sinhale, taking control of more than a quarter of Golcondan territory along the Mughal-Golcondan border before they force the Golcondans to the negotiating table to end this war.


Sultan Sipir Shikoh, the son of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, returns from Europe, with a large group of Europeans - mainly thinkers, philosophers and scientists - who he has convinced to join him.

The Ottoman Empire is defeated at the second Battle of Mohács.

The 'Principia Mathematica' of Isaac Newton is published at the expense of Edmund Halley, who has convinced Newton to put his ideas into a form suitable for publication. It describes Newton's laws of motion as well as his law of universal gravitation.

The Parthenon in Athens is partially destroyed by an explosion of the gunpowder stored in it during an armed conflict between Venetian and Ottoman forces as part of the War of the Holy League.

More hard-line Muslim members of the Mughal government, unhappy at the attitudes of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, and perhaps at his attempt to root out corruption in the Empire, attempt a coup to install a more strongly Islamic Emperor. The plot is discovered at an early stage, and the ringleaders exiled to Persia.

King Charles III of England, concerned about the increasingly independent ways of the English colonies in North America and advised by his uncle the Duke of York, establishes the Dominion of New England, an administrative union comprising all of the New England colonies.

The ideas of the Enlightenment begin to circulate on the Indian sub-continent, take root there, and begin to grow, rekindling the ideas of an age of reason that originated with the Emperor Akbar. This is often in combination with the ideas of Sufism, and also becoming entwined with the ideas of Hinduism. [Without constant wars, these ideas take root much more than in the real world.] From India these ideas also begin to spread through the whole of the Muslim world, and also into the Hindu world.

As time passes the Mughal Empire and the other Indian states come to see immigration as essential to their development [in much the same way as Britain did in the real world]. Immigrating industrialists and craftsmen of all kinds begin to be tempted to India, where many of them make their fortunes. Similar immigration occurs to Britain [much as in the real world, though given the different history of this world, with different people involved].

Because of the great rewards good service can bring, the India begins to become a 'land of opportunity' for ambitious Europeans of all stripes.


Wishing to avoid a repeat of the succession wars in which he rose to power when he himself dies, Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal attempts to clearly define a Mughal order of succession. The small number of eligible individuals helps in this.

King Charles III reaches his majority and becomes King in his own right. He retains his uncle James as a valued advisor. [Unlike in the real world, with the accession of Charles III to the throne of England rather than James II as was the case in the real world, there is no Glorious Revolution and the Dominion of New England is not dissolved and continues to exist to the present day.]

Seeing that if they stand alone they may become part of the Mughal Empire piecemeal, the South Indian states meet in the holy city of Kanyakumari on the very southern tip of India to discuss what to do. Representatives of the European trading companies also attend this conference.

The magnificent tomb for Jahanara Begum, the oldest sister of Mughal Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, is completed in the city of Agra.

Fleeing Uzbek refugees establish their own independent state in the west of the Fergana Valley in Central Asia, centred on the ancient settlement of Kokand. This quickly becomes known as the Khanate of Kokand. [This is some twenty years earlier than in the real world, due to Mughal defeat of the Uzbeks in 1678, so that although it has the same name, this Khanate of Kokand is very different to that of the real world.]

[Without a Glorious Revolution, some people who in the real world were involved in it here, without it, go elsewhere and do other things. Some of them go to India.]


The Mughal Durbar, definitely influenced by its European members, who have convinced some of the others of the goodness of the idea, suggests to Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal that the best way to reform the Mansabdari system is to introduce European-style inheritance to it. However, Shah Buland Iqbal rejects this radical change. However, he does implement a number of reforms and rationalisations of the convoluted Mughal tax system, returning it to a form similar to that under the Emperor Akbar and increasing the amount of money flowing to the Imperial coffers while decreasing corruption and the dependence on land revenue.

The first printing press is established in Delhi, the Mughal capital. Although initially only printing items for the Europeans there, the technology soon begins to spread to and be used by the local people too.

While Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal's tax reforms cause some unrest among the nobility, the common people are happy with anything that reduces their taxes. [With Europeans and non-Muslims more tolerated at the Mughal court, the Empire is open to more influences which allow these new ideas to be introduced and implemented.]


The first printed books in Farsi are produced in Delhi by European printers. These are purely secular works, as the Emperor forbids the printing of religious works, preferring them to remain transcribed by hand. As printing spreads across India, knowledge and learning spread with it, much as happened in Europe in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries. Despite occasional burning and smashing of the printing presses by those siding with the scribes, printing continues to spread.

King Charles III of Britain marries the staunchly Protestant nineteen year old Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. [Who thus does not marry August II the Strong, the Elector of Saxony and later King of Poland.]

The first copy of the Principia Mathematica of Isaac Newton arrives in India.

The first translations of Indian texts of all kinds, including writings from all Indian religions, are published in Europe. They attract wide interest.

The Russo-Chinese accord of Nerchinsk in settles the border disputes between the Russian and Chinese Empires, and secures the release of the Russian prisoners taken in 1685. However, some of the released prisoners decide to stay in China as naturalized citizens. The Chinese Emperor gives these new Russian Orthodox Christian citizens a temple in Beijing as a temporary place of worship, which they name the Hagia Sophia Church.

English captain John Strong, sailing for Port Desire, discovers the Falkland Islands after being driven off course by the weather. He claims them for England.

With the advent of printing presses in the Mughal Empire, the already extensive libraries of the highly cultured Mughal Nobles (in 1641 the library of the Royal Palace in Agra contained twenty four thousand volumes, valued at six and a half million rupees) produced by the efforts of the katibs (calligraphists) become even more extensive, and even those of the lower classes begin to acquire books and libraries of their own.


Paulus van Ruysdael, a Dutch trader, makes Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal a gift of the Chinese classics, suitably translated into Farsi [Persian]. He finds these most interesting, adding their contents to his already wide knowledge of religions and cultures.

Copies of the Chinese classics begin to spread across India, made newly fashionable by the interest of the Mughal Emperor. In particular copies of the 'Art of War', a Chinese military treatise written in the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu, find many interested readers.


The first newspaper in the Mughal Empire, the Khabar Doulat (News of the Empire) begins printing in Delhi.

The first ambassadorial party sent from the Mughal Empire by Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal arrives in Moscow.

Port Royal, Jamaica, is destroyed and submerged in an earthquake that kills several thousand people.

Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts result in the deaths of twenty people and the imprisonment of scores more. [Much as in the real world.]

Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal sends ambassadorial parties to many European and other nations.


As the finances of the Mughal Empire become somewhat precarious, Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal attempts to impose a culture of greater austerity on the Mughal Empire, and the nobles in particular. This fails.

Unrest begins among the Mughal Mansabdars. This is generally suppressed.

The first translations of the Principia Mathematica of Isaac Newton into Farsi and Hindi are published in Delhi.

An earthquake strikes Catania, Italy, killing sixty thousand people.

As ambassadors from the nations of India begin to be appointed to the Courts of Europe, preachers in some of the nations where they come to live rail against their rulers, telling the people that they have turned from God and are consorting with Heathens and Pagans. In some places this is cracked down upon, with martyrdom and increased support for the protests. In others the rulers go to great lengths to prove that this is not the case, normally by an excess of public religiosity.


Augustus II the Strong marries Elenore Magdalene of Brandenburg-Bayreuth [rather than her older sister Christiane Eberhardine, who is married to Charles III of England].

[Elenore Magdalene of Brandenburg-Bayreuth proves to be not as strong a character as her older sister, and she and Augustus have a closer and more loving relationship than he did with his wife in the real world.]

The Bank of England is founded by Royal Charter. [Much as in the real world.]

King Surinyavongsa of the Kingdom of Lan Xang [real-world Laos] dies without an heir. A succession war breaks out as different factions struggle to take possession of the throne.

The Buland Iqbal Mosque whose construction began after the Mughal conquest of Samarkand is finally completed and opened with great ceremony.

Ayutthaya and Dai Ngu [Vietnam] both become involved in the Lan Xang succession war. With European and Indian advisors and weapons, both nations forces greatly outmatch those of Lan Xang, whose internal political divisions also work against them.


Mughal philosopher Nosrat Farmanfarma attempts to fit European ideas into an Islamic framework. In doing so he formulates the ideas of what he names the Jadid Mu'tazili (New Mu'tazili) movement, after the long-unfashionable Mu'tazili school of thought. Although unpopular among Muslim thinkers of the more widespread and much more conservative Asharite school, its successes and achievements allow it to slowly spread through the Mughal Empire. As a side-effect of this, interest in and focus on the concepts of Ijtihad [see also here] spreads across the Islamic world.

Comet Polke [Jacob] makes a bright appearance that lasts for several weeks.


The first British citizens are inoculated against smallpox using a technique practised in India for centuries and imported from the Mughal Empire by returning merchants and travellers.

Members of the Mughal Durbar attempt to convince Sultan Sipir Shikoh of the goodness of their ideas for the future of the Empire once Emperor Shah Buland dies, but even so the Emperor is un-swayed.

Co-Tsar Ivan V of Russia dies. His brother and co-Tsar Peter I begins to rule exclusively.

The government of Scotland, despite opposition from English merchants and in particular the English East India Company, sends an expedition to found a Scottish trading colony at Darién on the Isthmus of Panama. [Due to the English Stuart monarchy, this is not as opposed as it was in the real world, but still faces opposition from English traders.]

Seeking assistance to defend themselves against the Persians in the south and the Kalmyks and Kazakhs in the north, the Turkmen people approach the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire eventually agrees to provide some assistance to the Turkmens, as much as their limited resources will allow.

As time passes, Turkmenistan and the Mughal Empire become close allies, although the Turkmens insist on maintaining their independence.

European doctors in many countries experiment with inoculation against diseases other than smallpox, with varying degrees of success.

The practise of inoculation gradually spreads across Europe and the European-influenced world.

The use of opium, cannabis and other herbal anaesthetics spreads from Asia into Europe.


After long and difficult negotiations, the South Indian states sign the Kanyakumari Pact, a treaty that formally allies all of the states of South India, as well as the government-in-exile of Kandy and all of the European trading companies apart from the Dutch, who the conference reject as allies, against the Mughal Empire.

Polish King Jan III Sobieski dies.

Jesuit missionaries found a mission at Loreto, the first of twenty-three in Baja California.

Tayassal, the capital of the Peten Itza Maya, the last independent Central American state, is conquered by Spain.

The Manchu Empire conquers western Mongolia.

Protests against the autocratic nature of the Presidential rule of the Dominion of New England lead to the replacement of the current President by another appointed from London. Taking account of the protests of the citizens of the Dominion, he appoints an advisory council made up of representatives from all of the colonies and provinces making up the Dominion.

Over time this Advisory Council comes to act as a parliament for New England and helps to ensure that the voices of the people there are heard by those governing them.

The Kanyakumari Pact is very much intended for defence alone, and then only against the Mughals. Pact members may war among themselves if they wish to, but must also allow other Pact forces to move through their territory in the event of war with the Mughals. Each Pact member remains entirely responsible for their own laws and so on, though they must also tolerate the religious beliefs of visitors from other Pact nations; this is considered essential if people from all of the Pact nations are to be able to work together.

Because of its origin in South India, the Kanyakumari Pact soon becomes known and referred to as the Dakshina Nad [South Land].


The first trade caravans from the Mughal Empire go up through Afghanistan and Uzbekistan into Russia. These are the first of many.

Englishman Thomas Savery introduces the first a steam-powered water pump for use in mines. However, it cannot lift water more than thirty-two feet at a time. [This is basically the same as in the real world.]

A number of Mughal Hindu philosophers make links between the Jadid Mu'tazili and the Hindu Navya-Nyaya school of logic.

Mughal ambassador Maziyar Kuchek Khan travels to Beijing to open diplomatic relations between the Mughal and Chinese empires. However, the Kangxi Emperor rejects the opening of relations between the two empires, considering that China needs nothing beyond tribute from those outside its borders. [This is similar to the results of the McCartney Mission of 1793 in the real world, when a British embassy, and its gifts, were rejected.]

The Imamate of Oman takes control of the islands of Zanzibar from the Portuguese, who have held it since 1505.

The English Muscovy Company loses its privileges and its monopoly on the English Russia trade due to political opposition at the Russian court.

The government yielding to pressure from other English merchants, the English Royal African Company loses its monopoly on the slave trade. The number of slaves transported on English ships increases dramatically.

As time passes the Omanis use their control of Zanzibar to take control of more and more of eastern Africa, both up and down the coast and into the interior of the continent. In time this region controlled by Oman becomes known by the ancient name of Zanj.


Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal beings to introduce a new system of Imperial Examinations for certain posts among the Mansabdars based on the Chinese Imperial Examinations (the Chinese Civil Service examinations). This is done in an attempt to ensure that the best people are selected for these posts.

The War of the Holy League ends with the Holy League forcing the Ottoman Empire to sign the Treaty of Karlowitz. As part of this the Ottoman Empire returns the city of Kamieniec Podolski to Poland.

Augustus II attempts to reform Polish politics and strengthen Polish royal power, using his resources as Elector of Saxony to impose some order on the chaotic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Eastern Europe suffers a particularly bad harvest.

Mahmud Shah II, the irrational and despotic Sultan of Johor [in real world Malaysia] is assassinated by his nobles. He leaves no heir. Viceroy Bendahara Abdul Jalil declares himself the new Sultan, calling himself Sultan Abdul Jalil IV.

As time passes the Mughal Imperial Examinations become more and more widely used, and inculcate a common ethos and skills into those who serve the Mughal Empire.

By this time desertion of their employees into the service of the Mughal Empire or the states of South India has become a serious problem for all of the European companies trading in India. [This is much as in the real world.]

With the spread of Indian influence around the world, the Indian criminals known as Dakaethee [Dacoits] go with them, expanding their power and influence worldwide.

1640 to 1669 | 1670 to 1699 | 1700 to 1729 | 1730 to 1759 | 1760 to 1789 | 1790 to 1819
1820 to 1849 | 1850 to 1879 | 1880 to 1909 | 1910 to 1939 | 1940 to 1969 | 1970 to 2000

The World in 2000 | Africa | Central America And The Caribbean | North America | South America | Antarctica
Central Asia | Eastern And South-Eastern Asia | South Asia | Europe | The Middle East | Oceania

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