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|Persian Constitutional Revolution|
|Part of Attempts at Constitutionalization in Iran|
The royal proclamation of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah that agree the Constitutional monarchy on August 5, 1906.
|Part of a series on|
The Persian Constitutional Revolution (Persian : مشروطیتMashrūtiyyat, or انقلاب مشروطه Enghelāb-e Mashrūteh), also known as the Constitutional Revolution of Iran, took place between 1905 and 1911. The revolution led to the establishment of a parliament in Persia (Iran) during the Qajar dynasty.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.
The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal dynasty of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, ruling over Iran from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Revolution opened the way for cataclysmic change in Persia, heralding the modern era. It saw a period of unprecedented debate in a burgeoning press, and new economic opportunities. Many different groups fought to shape the course of the Revolution, and all sections of society were ultimately to be in some way changed by it. The old order, which King Nassereddin Shah Qajar had struggled for so long to sustain, finally died, to be replaced by new institutions, new forms of expression, and a new social and political order.
The monarch Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar signed the constitution in 1906, but he died shortly after and was replaced by Mohammad Ali Shah. The latter abolished the constitution and bombarded the parliament with Russian and British support in 1908. This led to another pro-constitutional movement. The constitutionalist forces marched to Tehran, forced Muhammad Ali Shah's abdication in favor of his young son Ahmad Shah Qajar and then re-established the constitution in 1909. The "1921 Persian Coup" (Persian: کودتای ۳ اسفند ۱۲۹۹) refers to several major events in Iran (Persia) in 1921, which eventually led to the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty as the ruling house of the country in 1925. On December 12, 1925, Iran's parliament amended Iran's constitution of 1906–1907 to replace the Qajar dynasty (1797–1925) with the Pahlavi dynasty as the legitimate sovereigns of Iran.
Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar,, was the fifth Qajar king of Persia (Iran), reigning from 1896 until his death in 1907. He is often credited with the creation of the Persian constitution, which he approved of as one of his final actions of Shah.
The Persian Constitution of 1906, was the first constitution of Persia (Iran) that resulted from the Persian Constitutional Revolution and it was written by Hassan Pirnia, Hossein Pirnia, and Ismail Mumtaz, among others. It divides into five chapters with many articles that developed over several years. The Belgian constitution, like the constitutions of other European states, served as a partial model for the Iranian constitution.
The 1908 bombardment of the Majlis of Iran took place on 23 June 1908 in Tehran, during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, when the Persian Cossack forces, commanded by Vladimir Liakhov and the other Russian officers, bombarded and by that suppressed the Iranian parliament, the Majles.
The movement did not end with the Revolution being put down in 1911 by the Russians, but was followed by the Jungle Movement of Gilan (1914-1921).
The Jangal (Jungle) Movement, in Gilan, was a rebellion against the monarchist rule of the Qajar central government of Iran. It lasted from 1915 to 1921.
With the first provision (the fundamental law) signed by Muzzafir al-Din just days before his death, Iran saw legislative reform vital to their goal of independence from British and Russian imperialism. The three main groups of the coalition seeking a constitution were the bazaar merchants, ulama, and a small faction of radical reformers. These groups shared the goal of ending royal corruption and stopping the dominance of foreign powers. Revolutionaries argued that role of the shah was once again being used to keep the Shah, Qajar, and the other aristocrats wealthy at the expense of surrendering the country's resources and economy. They argued that whilst Iran's oil industry was sold to the British, tax advantages on import/export and manufactured textiles destroyed Iran's economy formerly supported by bazaar merchants. Muzzafir al-Din accumulated a fortune in foreign debt while selling off assets to repay the interest, instead of investing in Iran. This rift founded Iran's constitutional revolt. The fundamental law gave the elected legislature a final approval over all loans, concession, and budget. Further power was diverted from the shah with the supplementary fundamental law passed a few days later giving power over appointing ministers, and later a committee of mujtahids was introduced to confirm new laws abide by the shari'ah. Despite the ulama's best efforts towards independence from external dominance, in 1907 Britain and Russia capitalized on Iran's weak government and signed the entente which divided Iran among the two, leaving a neutral zone in the center of the country. The end of this constitutional period came when members of the Majlis in the remaining neutral zone of Tehran dissolved under the issue of equal rights for non-Muslims, Russia then invaded Tehran and captured the city. While Iran did gain a constitution, the goal of Iranian independence was not achieved by the revolts.
Weakness and extravagance continued during the brief reign of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar (1896–1907). He often relied on his chancellor to manage his decentralized state. His dire financial situation caused him to sign many concessions to foreign powers, on an expanding list of trade items ranging from weapons to tobacco. The established noble classes, religious authorities, and educated elite began to demand a curb on royal authority and the establishment of the rule of law as their concern over foreign, and especially Russian, influence grew.
He had also taken out several major loans from Russia and Britain to pay for his extravagant lifestyle and the costs of the central government. In 1900 the Shah financed a royal tour of Europe by borrowing 22 million rubles from Russia. Iranian customs receipts served as collateral.
In 1905 protests broke out over the collection of Persia tariffs to pay back the Russian loan for Mozaffar ad-Din Shah's royal tour.In December 1905, two Persian merchants were punished in Tehran for charging exorbitant prices. They were bastinadoed (a humiliating and very painful punishment where the soles of one's feet are caned) in public. An uprising of the merchant class in Tehran ensued, with merchants closing the bazaar. The clergy following suit as a result of the alliance formed in the 1892 Tobacco Rebellion.
The two protesting groups sought sanctuary in a mosque in Tehran, but the government violated this sanctuary and entered the mosque and dispersed the group. This violation of the sanctity of the mosque created an even larger movement which sought refuge in a shrine outside Tehran. On January 12, 1906 the Shah capitulated to the demonstrators agreeing to dismiss his prime minister and to surrender power to a new "house of justice," (the forerunner to the parliament). The Basti (protesters who take sanctuary in mosques) returned from the mosque in triumph, riding royal carriages and being hailed by a jubilant crowd.
In a scuffle in early 1906 the Government killed a seyyed (descendant of the prophet Muhhamed). A more deadly skirmish followed a short time later when Cossacks killed 22 protesters and injured 100.Bazaar again closed and the Ulama went on strike, a large number of them taking sanctuary in the holy city Qom. Many merchants went to the British embassy which agreed to offer protection to Basti in the grounds of their legation.
In the summer of 1906 approximately 12,000 men camped out in the gardens of the British Embassy. Many gave speeches, many more listened, in what has been called a `vast open-air school of political science` studying constitutionalism.It is here that the demand for a majles (parliament; also means gathering in Persian; pronounced "Madj-less") was born, the goal of which was to limit the power of the Shah. In August 1906, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah agreed to allow a parliament, and in the fall, the first elections were held. In all, 156 members were elected, with an overwhelming majority coming from Tehran and the merchant class.
October 1906 marked the first meeting of the majles, who immediately gave themselves the right to make a constitution, thereby becoming a Constitutional Assembly. The Shah was getting old and sick, and attending the inauguration of the parliament was one of his last acts as king.Mozaffar ad-Din Shah's son Muhammad Ali, however, was not privy to constitutionalism. Therefore, they had to work fast, and by December 31, 1906 the Shah signed the constitution, modeled primarily from the Belgian Constitution. The Shah was from there on "under the rule of law, and the crown became a divine gift given to the Shah by the people." Mozaffar ad-Din Shah died five days later.
Within the decade following the establishment of the new Majles a number of critical events took place. Many of these events can be viewed as a continuation of the struggle between the constitutionalists and the Shahs of Persia, many of whom were backed by foreign powers against the Majles.
The following January Shah Muhammad Ali, the 6th Qajar Shah, came to power. In August 1907, an Anglo-Russian agreement divided Iran into a Russian zone in the North and a British zone in the South, with a neutral band in-between. The British switched their support to the Shah, abandoning the Constitutionalists.In 1908, the Shah moved to "exploit the divisions within the ranks of the reformers" and eliminate the Majles.
ای٬ محترم مدافع حریت عباد- وی قائد شجیع و هوادارعدل و داد- کردی پی سعادت ایران فدای جان- پاینده باد نام تو٬ روح توباد شاد- Translation: You, the respected advocate of liberty sun- The brave chief of righteousness- You, who gave your life for Iran's bliss- Long live your name, may your soul rests in eternal peace-
Later Mr. Mahdavi had this poem inscribed on a tabular tombstone which was placed on Baskerville’s resting place in Tabriz. Howard Baskerville was and still remains a beloved hero in Iran. There is a photo of Mr. Mohammad Ali Mahdavi with the inscribed tabular tombstone for Mr. Baskerville in a book written in Persian entitled, “Baskerville and the Iranian Constitution” authored by Mr. Ali Kamalvand, 1957.
Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar, was the sixth king of the Qajar Dynasty and Shah of Persia (Iran) from 8 January 1907 to 16 July 1909.
Sattar Khan, honorarily titled Sardār-e Melli was a pivotal figure in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and is considered a national hero.
Prince Iraj Mirza, son of prince Gholam-Hossein Mirza, was a famous Iranian poet. He was a modern poet and his works are associated with the criticism of traditions. He also made translation of literary works from French into Persian.
Mirza Hasan Ashtiani, commonly known by the bestowed title Mostowfi ol-Mamalek was an Iranian politician who served as Prime Minister on six occasions from 1910 to 1927.
Yeprem Khan, born Yeprem Davidian, was an Iranian-Armenian revolutionary leader and a leading figure in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran. He is considered a national hero in Iran.
Sayyed Hasan Taqizādeh was an influential Iranian politician and diplomat, of Azeri origin, during the Qajar dynasty under the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah, as well as the Pahlavi dynasty under the reign of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah. Although in the modern political history Taqizadeh is known as a secular politician, who believed that "outwardly and inwardly, in body and in spirit, Iran must become Europeanized", he came from a traditional Islamic Sayyed-family. His father, Sayyed Taqi, was a clergyman and when Sayyed Hasan became a mullah, it seemed likely that he would follow in his father's footsteps. From an early age Taqizadeh showed interest in enlightened ideas and the Western concept of constitutionalism. This interest can be traced back to the socio-political sphere in which Taqizadeh became an adult. He grew up in Tabriz, the capital city of East Azerbaijan province, which was the gateway to the modern and progressive ideas coming from Russia and especially Western Europe. In the time of World War I, World War II and after, Taqizadeh was the most influential person in Iran who supported the interests of German Empire against Russia and Britain.
Mirzā Jahāngir Khān, also known as Mirzā Jahāngir Khān Shirāzi and Jahāngir-Khān-e Sūr-e-Esrāfil, was an Iranian writer and intellectual, and a revolutionary during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905–1911). He is best known for his bold editorship of the progressive weekly newspaper Sur-e Esrāfil, of which he was also the founder. He was executed, at the age of 38, or 32, for his revolutionary zeal, following the successful coup d'état of Mohammad-Ali Shah Qajar in June 1908. His execution took place in Bāgh-e Shāh in Tehran, and was attended by Mohammad-Ali Shah himself. He shared this fate simultaneously with his fellow revolutionary Mirzā Nasro'llah Beheshti, better known as Malek al-Motakallemin. It has been reported that immediately before his execution he had said "Long live the constitutional government" and pointed to the ground and uttered the words "O Land, we are [being] killed for the sake of your preservation [/protection]".
Sayyid Jamal al-Din "Va'iz" Esfahani was a popular pro-constitutional preacher and writer in Iran. He was one of the founders of a constitutional movement in Isfahan in 1890s. He wrote for the reformist newspapers - especially for Al Jamal. He wrote mostly about the economy and the financial autonomy of Persia, which he compared it to jihad.
The Persian Constitutional Revolution was a short-lived push for democratic rule in the form of a constitutional monarchy within a highly elitist yet decentralized society under the Qajars. The mounting disgust amidst the clergy, bazaaris, farmers, intellectuals, and other segments of the populace with respect to the Shah(s)’ policies during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century illustrates a classic example of an environment ripe for protest, as a wide array of people in society felt an increasing need to express their grievances with an oppressive and largely autocratic government.
Mohammad Tabatabai was one of the leaders of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution who played an important role in the establishment of democracy and rule of law in Iran. He was the son of Sayyed Sādegh Tabātabā'i, one of the influential clerics during the reign of Naser ad-Din Shah Qajar. His paternal grandfather, Sayyed Mehdi Tabātabā'i, was a reputed clergy in Hamedan. He is the father of Sayyed Sādegh Tabātabā'i editor of Ruznāmeh-ye Majles, the Majles newspaper.
Revival Party or Modernity Party was a secular progressive political party in Persia/Iran during 1920s. The party had also liberal and nationalist tendencies and supported Reza Khan and helped him become the new Shah of Iran while holding majority in the parliament.
The first Iranian legislative election held in July 1906 after Iranian Constitutional Revolution by a sentence from Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar.
1921 Persian coup d'état, known in Iran as 3 Esfand coup d'état, refers to several major events in Persia in 1921, which eventually led to the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty as the ruling house of the country in 1925.
The 1st Iranian Majlis was a legislative assembly from October 7,1906, to June 23, 1908. Its session was formally opened by Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar.
Amanollah Khan Zia' os-Soltan was an Iranian aristocrat and politician at Qajar court during the time of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah, Mohammad Ali Shah and Ahmad Shah Qajar and hero of the Persian Constitutional Revolution.
Qajar Iran, also referred to as the Qajar Empire, officially the Sublime State of Persia and also known then as the Guarded Domains of Persia, was an Iranian empire ruled by the Qajar dynasty, which was of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
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