Changing Iran: the Qajar Dynasty

Topics: Iran, Qajar dynasty, History of Iran Pages: 4 (1365 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Between the rise of the Qajar Dynasty and the end of the Constitutional Revolution, Iran went through drastic political, social, and economic changes. Brought on by several diverse forces, most specifically, internal turmoil and western influences contributed to Iran's drastic changes throughout the Qajar Dynasty. Foundations of Qajar Iran

In 1797, Fat’h Ali Qajar founded the Qajar Dynasty when he became the Shah of now day Iran. With the start of his new Dynasty, he reunified Iran after a long civil war. However, the start of the Qajar Dynasty brought with it the invasion of Western forces that would carry throughout the Qajar’s era. Thus, during the Napoleonic Wars, Russia invaded Iran's Georgia area igniting the 1st Russo-Persian War in 1804. Iran loss the war and signed the Treaty of Gulestan in 1813. The treaty forced Iran to recognize Russia's annexation of Georgia and most of the north Caucasus region. Incidentally, unclear territorial provisions under the Treaty of Gulestan lead to disputes between Iran and Russia in 1826. Negotiations failed to settle the issues. Therefore, Iranians demanded revenge and retaking of the territories they felt the Russians had occupied without treaty rights; starting the 2nd Russo-Persian War which ended with the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828. The treaty called for more territorial loss, loss of rights to the Caspian Sea, burden of the cost of the war, and extraterritorial rights for Russia. Furthermore, by the 1850’s Iran divided into four cardinal sociological classes. The first, the upper class, consisted of the elites, such as the Qajar dynasty and regional notables. The second, the middle class, included urban merchants, landowners, bazaar shopkeepers. While, the third class consisted of urban wage-earners, such as laborers and household servants. Lastly, the fourth class consisted of the majority of the rural population and peasantry. Consequently, Naser al-Din Shah’s government lacked access to a...
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