The Mughals Strike Twice

The two 16th-century battles of Panipat, which took place 30 years apart, are little known in the West. But they were pivotal events in the making of the Mughal Empire as the dominant power of northern India, as Jeremy Black explains.

Detail from the first Battle of Panipat, 1526, fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi. AKG Images/National Museum of India, New Delhi.The creation of the Mughal Empire was arguably the crucial event of the early 16th century. The Spanish overthrow of the Aztec and Inca empires in Mexico and Peru, respectively, was of enormous importance, but the percentage of the world’s population in the New World was small, while more than half of it lived in East and South Asia. The Mughal Empire was a major force from its creation until the start of the 18th century and was still something of its former glory into the 1850s.

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