Durrani Empire

The Durrani Empire called the Sadozai Kingdom, Afghan Empire, was founded and built by Ahmad Shah Durrani. At its maximum extent, the empire ruled over what are now the modern-day countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as some parts of northeastern Iran, eastern Turkmenistan, northwestern India. After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, the region of Kandahar was claimed by Ahmad Shah Durrani. From there he began conquering Ghazni followed by Kabul. In 1749 the Mughal ruler had ceded sovereignty over much of north-west India to the Afghans. Ahmad Shah set out westward to take possession of Herat, ruled by Shahrokh Shah, he next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush and in short order all the different tribes began joining his cause. Ahmad Shah and his forces invaded India four times, taking control of the Punjab region. Early in 1757, he sacked Delhi, but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shah's suzerainty over the Punjab and Kashmir.

After the death of Ahmad Shah in about 1772, his son Timur Shah became the next ruler of the Durrani dynasty who decided to make Kabul the new capital of the empire, used Peshawar as the winter capital. The Durrani Empire is considered the foundation of the modern state of Afghanistan, with Ahmad Shah Durrani being credited as "Father of the Nation". In 1709 Mir Wais Hotak, chief of the Ghilji tribe of Kandahar Province, gained independence from the Safavid Persians. From 1722 to 1725, his son Mahmud Hotak ruled large parts of Iran and declared himself as Shah of Persia. However, the Hotak dynasty came to a complete end in 1738 after being toppled and banished by the Afsharids who were led by Nader Shah Afshar of Persia; the year 1747 marks the definitive appearance of an Afghan political entity independent of both the Persian and Mughal empires. In October 1747 a loya jirga concluded near the city of Kandahar with Ahmad Shah Durrani being selected as the new leader of the Afghans, thus the Durrani dynasty was founded.

Despite being younger than the other contenders, Ahmad Shah had several overriding factors in his favor. He belonged to a respectable family of political background since his father served as Governor of Herat who died in a battle defending the Afghans. One of Ahmad Shah's first military actions was to capture Ghazni from the Ghiljis, wrest Kabul from the local ruler. In 1749, the Mughal ruler was induced to cede Sindh, the Punjab region and the important trans Indus River to Ahmad Shah in order to save his capital from Afghan attack. Having thus gained substantial territories to the east without a fight, Ahmad Shah turned westward to take possession of Herat, ruled by Nader Shah Afshar's grandson, Shahrukh Afshar. Ahmad Shah next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush mountains. In short order, the powerful army brought under its control the Tajik, Uzbek and other tribes of northern Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah invaded the remnants of the Mughal Empire a third time, a fourth, consolidating control over the Kashmir and Punjab regions, with Lahore being governed by Afghans.

He sacked Delhi in 1757 but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control of the city as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shah's suzerainty over Punjab and Kashmir. Leaving his second son Timur Shah to safeguard his interests, Ahmad Shah left India to return to Afghanistan. Alarmed by the expansion of China's Qing Dynasty up to the eastern border of Kazakhstan, Ahmad Shah attempted to rally neighboring Muslim khanates and the Kazakhs to unite and attack China, ostensibly to liberate its western Muslim subjects. Ahmad Shah dispatched troops to Kokand. However, with his campaigns in India exhausting the state treasury, with his troops stretched thin throughout Central Asia, Ahmad Shah lacked sufficient resources to do anything except to send envoys to Beijing for unsuccessful talks; the Mughal power in northern India had been declining after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb, who died in 1707. In 1751-52, Ahamdiya treaty was signed between the Marathas and Mughals, when Balaji Bajirao was the Peshwa.

Through this treaty, the Marathas controlled the whole of India from their capital at Pune and the Mughal rule was restricted only to Delhi. Marathas were now straining to expand their area of control towards the Northwest of India. Ahmad Shah withdrew with the booty he coveted. To counter the Afghans, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao sent Raghunathrao, he defeated the Rohillas and Afghan garrisons in Punjab and succeeded in ousting Timur Shah and his court from India and brought Lahore, Multan and other subahs on the Indian side of Attock under Maratha rule. Thus, upon his return to Kandahar in 1757, Ahmad was forced to return to India and face the formidable attacks of the Maratha Confederacy. Ahmad Shah declared a jihad against the Marathas, warriors from various Afghan tribes joined his army, including the Baloch people under the command of Khan of Kalat Mir Nasir I of Kalat. Suba Khan Tanoli was selected as army chief of all military forces. Early skirmishes were followed by victory for the Afghans against the much larger Maratha garrisons in Northwest India and by 1759 Ahmad Shah and his army had reached Lahore and were poised to confront the Marathas.

Ahmad Shah Durrani was famous for winning wars much larger than his army. By 1760, the Maratha groups had coalesced into a big enough army under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau. Once again, Panipat was the scene of a confrontation betwee


Amylopectin is a water-insoluble polysaccharide and branched polymer of α-glucose units found in plants. It is one of the two components of the other being amylose. Glucose units are linked in a linear way with α glycosidic bonds. Branching takes place with α bonds occurring every 24 to 30 glucose units, resulting in a soluble molecule that can be degraded as it has many end points onto which enzymes can attach. In contrast, amylose contains few α bonds, or none at all; this causes amylose to be hydrolyzed more but have higher density and be insoluble. Its counterpart in animals is glycogen, which has the same composition and structure, but with more extensive branching that occurs every eight to 12 glucose units. Plants store starch within specialized organelles called amyloplasts; when energy is needed for cell work, the plant hydrolyzes the starch, releasing the glucose subunits. Humans and other animals that eat plant foods use amylase, an enzyme that assists in breaking down amylopectin. Starch is made of about 80-85 % amylopectin by weight.

Amylopectin is branched, being formed of 2,000 to 200,000 glucose units. Its inner chains are formed of 20-24 glucose subunits. Dissolved amylopectin starch has a lower tendency of retrogradation during cooling. For this main reason, the waxy starches are used in different applications as a thickening agent or stabilizer. Glycogenosis type IV Amflora, a genetically modified potato high in amylopectin with a high glycemic index Waxy corn, a Chinese maize with all amylopectin and trace amounts of amylose, different from normal corn whose endosperm contains 25% amylose International Starch Institute

Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter

Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four children born to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, he and his siblings were legitimated on two separate occasions, in 1390 and again in 1397, he married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Hornby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young. After the accession of his half-brother Henry IV, Beaufort was made a Knight of the Garter. In the following years he held various military posts: constable of Ludlow, appointed Admiral of the North, appointed captain of Calais, Admiral of the North and West he retained the title for life, his most notable action during this decade was commanding the forces against the northern rebellion of 1405. He became Chancellor of England on 31 January 1410, an office he held until 5 January 1412 during a time when King Henry was having trouble with the clergy, returned to military matters.

In 1412 he was created Earl of Dorset. On the accession of Henry V, Beaufort was appointed Lieutenant of Aquitaine and captain of Harfleur, he spent the next years in Normandy as Lieutenant of Normandy. He was created Duke of Exeter for life in 1416. Beaufort was back in England in 1417, while the king was in Normandy, but had to deal with problems in Scotland. In 1418 he went back to Normandy with a large force, taking part in the sieges of Évreux and Rouen. After the fall of Rouen in 1419, he was captain of the city and conquered more of the smaller Norman cities. In 1419, he took the great fortress of Château Gaillard, midway between Rouen and Paris, after a six-month siege. During this time, Henry V had a policy of creating Norman titles for his aristocrats, thus Beaufort was created Count of Harcourt in 1418. In 1420, Beaufort helped negotiate the treaty of Troyes; the next year he was captured at the Battle of Baugé, where his nephew Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence, was killed. Beaufort was one of the executors of Henry V's will, so returned to England in 1422.

He served on the governing council for the infant king Henry VI, though it is he spent some time in France as well. The character of Exeter in Shakespeare's play Henry V is based on Beaufort, although Beaufort was not created Duke of Exeter until after the Battle of Agincourt. In 1415 he was Earl of Dorset, he died on 31 December 1426. 27 December 1426 or 1 January 1427 have been suggested as alternative dates. As a legitimated grandson of the sovereign, Beaufort bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a bordure gobony azure and ermine. List of Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers