The Changes in Iran in the Past 200 Years

Topics: Iran, Iraq, Islam Pages: 2 (696 words) Published: February 9, 2015
The country of Iran/Persia has gone through many changes in the past 200 years (1800-present), mainly the rapid change in leadership, the intrusion of foreign powers, Pan-Arabism movement, revolution, and the Iran-Iraq war. Although much has changed, a few factors have stayed relatively consistent: religion, religious extremism, oil, and the opposing forces of old and new ideals.

Continuities within the period of 1800-present in Iran/Persia include religion, religious extremism, the importance and abundance of oil, and the opposition of liberal and conservative ways. Religion has always played an important role in Iranian society. Even dating back to the period where they were controlled by the Ottoman Empire, Islam was a major part of society. Islam dictated much of people’s lives, how they viewed women as well as how they carried about their lives. Shia Islam was the major sect in Iran. Iran is now a theocracy, with Shia Islam as the country’s religion. Religious extremism has also been a part of Iranian society. The idea of Jihad, or holy war, had been a part of Islamic society for hundreds of years. It made those who followed the “struggle” the idea that they were combating evil. This carried over to their hatred of Western society and inspiring terrorism. The discovery of oil in Iran in 19081 brought them back on the world stage in terms of economic importance. This has continued until the present, with them being a part of Oil and Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC allowed them to participate in the bloc on oil on the US, and increased tensions between the West and Islamic countries. This has allowed more economic prosperity, compared to early on in the 1800s when they were struggling because the Ottomans (Old man of Europe) were falling. Women’s roles in Iran have stayed relatively continuous, as women are still viewed as inferior to their male counterparts. The rift between old and new, conservative and...
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