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ZAMINDAR, or ZEMINDAR (from Persian z...

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 954 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ZAMINDAR, or ZEMINDAR (from Persian zamin = " land "), an Indian landholder. In official usage the term is applied to any person, whether owner of a large estate or cultivating member of a village community, who is recognized as possessing some property in the soil, as opposed to the ryot (q.v.), who is regarded as having only a right of occupancy, subject in both cases to payment of the land revenue assessed on his holding. The zamindari system obtains throughout northern and central India, and also in the permanently settled estates of Madras. The raja of Benares had certain special rights as zamindar, and in 1910 it was arranged to make part of his " family domain" a new native state with an area of 887 sq. m. (pop. 362,000). ZAMINDAWAR; a district of Afghanistan, situated on the right bank of the Helmund river to the N.W. of Kandahar, bordering the road which leads from Kandahar to Herat via Farah. Zamindawar is a district of hills, and of wide, well populated, and fertile valleys watered by important affluents of the Helmund. The principal town is Musa Kala, which stands on the banks of a river of the same name, about 6o m. N. of Girishk. The whole of this region is a well-known hot-bed of fanaticism, the headquarters of the Achakzais, the most aggressive of all Durani tribes. It was from Zamindawar that much of the strength of the force which besieged Kandahar under Ayub Khan in 188o was derived; and it was the Zamin- Valois. After the flight of that prince Zamoyski seems to have aimed at the throne himself, but quickly changed his mind and threw all his abilities into the scale in favour of Stephen Bathory and against the Austrian influence. By his advice, at the beginning of January 1576 a diet was summoned to Jedrzejow to confirm the election of Bathory, and from the time of that monarch's arrival in Poland till his death ten years later Zamoyski was his foremost counsellor. Immediately after the coronation, on the 1st of May 1576, Zamoyski was appointed chancellor, and in 158o wielki hetman, or commander-in-chief, so that he was now the second highest dignitary in the kingdom. He strenuously supported Stephen during his long struggle with Ivan the Terrible, despite the obstruction and parsimony of the diet. He also enabled the king in 1585 to bring the traitorous Samuel Zborowski to the scaffold in the face of a determined resistance from the nobility. On the death of Stephen, the Zborowski recovered their influence and did their utmost to keep Zamoyski in the background. Their violence prevented " the pasha," as they called him, from attending the convention summoned to Warsaw on the death of Bathory; but at the subsequent election diet, which met at Warsaw on the 9th of July 1587, he appeared at the head of 6000 veterans and intrenched himself with his partisans in what was called " the Black Camp " in contradistinction to " the General Camp " of the Zborowski. Zamoyski was at first in favour of a member of the Bathory family, with which he was united by ties of amity and mutual interest; but on becoming convinced of the impossibility of any such candidature, he pronounced for a native Pole, or for whichever foreign prince might be found most profitable to Poland. The Habsburgs, already sure of the Zborowski, bid very high for the support of Zamoyski. But though he was offered the title of prince, with the Golden Fleece and 200,000 ducats, he steadily opposed the Austrian faction, even at the imminent risk of a civil war; and on the 19th of August procured the election of Sigismund of Sweden, whose mother was Catherine Jagiellonica. The opposite party immediately elected the Austrian Archduke Maximilian, who there-upon made an attempt upon Cracow. But Zamoyski traversed all the plans of the Austrian faction by routing the archduke at the battle of Byczyna (January 24, 1588) and taking him prisoner. From the first there was a certain coldness between the new king and the chancellor. Each had his own plan for coping with the difficulties of the situation; but while Zamoyski regarded the Habsburgs with suspicion, Sigismund III. was disposed to act in concert with them as being the natural and strongest possible allies for a Catholic power like Poland. Zamoyski feared their influence upon Poland, which he would have made the head of the Slavonic powers by its own endeavours. Zamoyski was undoubtedly most jealous of his dignity; his patriotism was seldom proof against private pique; and he was not always particular in his choice of means. Thus at the diet of 1589 he prevailed over the king by threatening to leave the country defenceless against the Turks, if the Austrians were not excluded from the succession. In general, however, his Turkish policy was sound, as he consistently adopted the Jagiellonic policy of being friendly with so dangerous a neighbour as the Porte. His views on this head are set out with great force in his pamphlet, La deffaicte des Tartares et Turns (Lyons, 1590). The ill-will between the king and the chancellor reached an acute stage when Sigismund appointed an opponent of Zamoyski vice-chancellor, and made other ministerial changes which limited his authority; though ultimately, with the aid of his partisans and the adoption of such desperate expedients as the summoning of a confederation to annul the royal decrees in 1592, Zamoyski recovered his full authority. In 1595 Zamoyski, in his capacity of commanderin-chief, at the head of 8000 veterans dethroned the anti-Polish hospodar of Moldavia and installed in his stead a Catholic convert, George Mohila. On his return he successfully sustained in his camp at Cecora a siege by the Tatar khan. Five years later (October 20, 1600) he won his greatest victory at Tergoviste, when with a small well-disciplined army he routed 954 dawar contingent of tribesmen who so nearly defeated Sir Donald Stewart's force at Ahmad Khel previously. The control of Zamindawar may be regarded as the key to the position for safeguarding the route between Herat and Kandahar.
End of Article: ZAMINDAR, or ZEMINDAR (from Persian zamin = " land ")
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