Sublime State of Persia
دولت علیّه ایران
Dolate Eliyye Iran
Anthem: Salâm-e Shâh
Map of Iran under the Qajar dynasty in the 19th century.
|Religion|| Shia Islam |
minority religions: Sunni Islam, Sufism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Bahá'í Faith, Mandaeism
|Mohammad Khan Qajar (first)|
|Ahmad Shah Qajar (last)|
|Mirza Nasrullah Khan (first)|
|Reza Pahlavi (last)|
• Qajar dynasty begins
|24 October 1813|
|10 February 1828|
|4 March 1857|
|21 September 1881|
|5 August 1906|
• Pahlavi dynasty begins
|Currency|| toman (1789–1825)|
Part of a series on the
|History of Iran|
| Timeline |
The Qajar Empire, : دولت علیّه ایرانDowlat-e Aliyye Iran), was the state ruled by the Qajar dynasty (
In the Western world, Persia was historically the common name for Iran. On the Nowruz of 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the endonym of the country, in formal correspondence. Since then, in the Western World, the use of the word "Iran" has become more common. This also changed the usage of the terms for Iranian nationality, and the common adjective for citizens of Iran changed from "Persian" to "Iranian". In 1959, the government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Reza Shah Pahlavi's son, announced that both "Persia" and "Iran" could officially be used interchangeably. However the issue is still debated today.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.
The Qajar Empire, also referred to as Qajar Iran, officially the Sublime State of Persia, was the state ruled by the Qajar dynasty, an Iranian royal dynasty 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.
The Qajar rulers were members of the Karagöz or "Black-Eye" sect of the Qajars, who themselves were members of the Qajars (tribe) or "Black Hats" lineage of the Oghuz Turks.Qajars first settled during the Mongol period in the vicinity of Armenia and were among the seven Qizilbash tribes that supported the Safavids. The Safavids "left Arran (present-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to local Turkic khans", and, "in 1554 Ganja was governed by Shahverdi Soltan Ziyadoglu Qajar, whose family came to govern Karabakh in southern Arran".
The Qajars ; also spelled Kadjars, Kajars, Kadzhars, Cadzhars, Cadjars, Ghajars and so on) are a Turkic Oghuz tribe who lived variously, with other tribes, in the area that is now Armenia, Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. With the advent of the Safavid era, they had split into several factions. These included the Ziyādoghlu (Ziādlu), associated with the area of Ganja and Yerevan, as well as the Qoyunlu (Qāvānlu), and Davālu (Devehlu) the latter two associated with the northern areas of contemporary Iran. The Qajars were one of the original Turkoman Qizilbash tribes that had supplied power to the Safavids since its earliest days. Numerous members of the Qajar tribe held prominent ranks in the Safavid state. In 1794, a Qajar chieftain, Agha Mohammed, member of the Qoyunlu branch of the Qajars, founded the Qajar dynasty which replaced the Zand dynasty in Iran. In the 1980s the Qajar population exceeded 15,000 people, most of whom lived in Iran. According to Olson et al., the Qajars are nowadays considered as a branch of the Azerbaijanis.
The Oghuz, Oguz or Ghuzz Turks were western Turkic people who spoke the Oghuz languages from the Common branch of Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in central Asia. The name Oghuz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". Byzantine sources call the Oghuz the Uzes. By the 10th century, Islamic sources were calling them Muslim Turkmens, as opposed to shamanist or Buddhist. By the 12th century this term had passed into Byzantine usage and the Oghuzes were overwhelmingly Muslim.
Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
Qajars filled a number of diplomatic missions and governorships in the 16–17th centuries for the Safavids. The Qajars were resettled by Shah Abbas I throughout Iran. The great number of them also settled in Astarabad (present-day Gorgan, Iran) near the south-eastern corner of the Caspian Sea,and it would be this branch of Qajars that would rise to power. The immediate ancestor of the Qajar dynasty, Shah Qoli Khan of the Quvanlu of Ganja (also spelled Ghovanloo or Ghovanlou), married into the Quvanlu Qajars of Astarabad. His son, Fath Ali Khan (born c. 1685–1693) was a renowned military commander during the rule of the Safavid shahs Sultan Husayn and Tahmasp II. He was killed on the orders of Shah Nader Shah in 1726. Fath Ali Khan's son Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar (1722–1758) was the father of Mohammad Khan Qajar and Hossein Qoli Khan (Jahansouz Shah), father of "Baba Khan," the future Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. Mohammad Hasan Khan was killed on the orders of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty.
Gorgan is the capital city of Golestan Province, Iran. It lies approximately 400 km (250 mi) to the north east of Tehran, some 30 km (19 mi) away from the Caspian Sea. In the 2006 census; its population was 269,226, in 73,702 families.
Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.
The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin located between Europe and Asia, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the broad steppe of Central Asia. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third of the salinity of most seawater. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast. The Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species and may be best known for its caviar and oil industries. Pollution from the oil industry and dams on rivers draining into the Caspian Sea have had negative effects on the organisms living in the sea.
Within 126 years between the demise of the Safavid state and the rise of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the Qajars had evolved from a shepherd-warrior tribe with strongholds in northern Persia into a Persian dynasty with all the trappings of a Perso-Islamic monarchy.
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, also Nassereddin Shah Qajar, was the King of Persia from 5 September 1848 to 1 May 1896 when he was assassinated. He was the son of Mohammad Shah Qajar and Malek Jahān Khānom and the third longest reigning monarch in Iranian history after Shapur II of the Sassanid dynasty and Tahmasp I of the Safavid Dynasty. Nasser al-Din Shah had sovereign power for close to 50 years and was also the first modern Iranian monarch to formally visit Europe.
"Like virtually every dynasty that ruled Persia since the 11th century, the Qajars came to power with the backing of Turkic tribal forces, while using educated Persians in their bureaucracy".In 1779 following the death of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty, Mohammad Khan Qajar, the leader of the Qajars, set out to reunify Iran. Mohammad Khan was known as one of the cruelest kings, even by the standards of 18th-century Iran. In his quest for power, he razed cities, massacred entire populations, and blinded some 20,000 men in the city of Kerman because the local populace had chosen to defend the city against his siege.
The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, intermixing, adoption and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, therefore, most Turkic groups differ significantly in origins from one group to the next.
The Zand dynasty was an Iranian dynasty of Lak a branch of Lurs origin founded by Karim Khan Zand that initially ruled southern and central Iran in the 18th century. It later quickly came to expand to include much of the rest of contemporary Iran, as well as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and parts of Iraq and Armenia.
Kerman is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,394, in 221,389 households, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.
The Qajar armies at that time were mostly composed of Turkomans and Georgian slaves.By 1794, Mohammad Khan had eliminated all his rivals, including Lotf Ali Khan, the last of the Zand dynasty. He reestablished Persian control over the territories in the entire Caucasus. Agha Mohammad established his capital at Tehran, a village near the ruins of the ancient city of Rayy. In 1796, he was formally crowned as shah. In 1797, Mohammad Khan Qajar was assassinated in Shusha, the capital of Karabakh Khanate, and was succeeded by his nephew, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.
The Georgians or Kartvelians are a nation and indigenous Caucasian ethnic group native to Georgia. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, United States, and throughout the European Union.
Lotf Ali Khan was the last Shah of Persia of the Zand dynasty.
The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
In 1744, Nader Shah had granted the kingship of Kartli and Kakheti to Teimuraz II and his son Erekle II (Heraclius II) respectively, as a reward for their loyalty.When Nader Shah died in 1747, they capitalized on the chaos that had erupted in mainland Iran, and declared de facto independence. After Teimuraz II died in 1762, Erekle II assumed control over Kartli, and united the two kingdoms in a personal union as the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, becoming the first Georgian ruler to preside over a politically unified eastern Georgia in three centuries. At about the same time, Karim Khan Zand had ascended the Iranian throne; Erekle II quickly tendered his de jure submission to the new Iranian ruler, however, de facto, he remained autonomous. In 1783, Erekle II placed his kingdom under the protection of the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Georgievsk. In the last few decades of the 18th century, Georgia had become a more important element in Russo-Iranian relations than some provinces in northern mainland Persia, such as Mazandaran or even Gilan. Unlike Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, the then-ruling monarch of Russia, viewed Georgia as a pivot for her Caucasian policy, as Russia's new aspirations were to use it as a base of operations against both Iran and the Ottoman Empire, both immediate bordering geopolitical rivals of Russia. On top of that, having another port on the Georgian coast of the Black Sea would be ideal. A limited Russian contingent of two infantry battalions with four artillery pieces arrived in Tbilisi in 1784, but was withdrawn, despite the frantic protests of the Georgians, in 1787 as a new war against Ottoman Turkey had started on a different front.
The consequences of these events came a few years later, when a strong new Iranian dynasty under the Qajars emerged victorious in the protracted power struggle in Persia. Their head, Agha Mohammad Khan, as his first objective,resolved to bring the Caucasus again fully under the Persian orbit. For Agha Mohammah Khan, the resubjugation and reintegration of Georgia into the Iranian Empire was part of the same process that had brought Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz under his rule. He viewed, like the Safavids and Nader Shah before him, the territories no different than the territories in mainland Iran. Georgia was a province of Iran the same way Khorasan was. As the Cambridge History of Iran states, its permanent secession was inconceivable and had to be resisted in the same way as one would resist an attempt at the separation of Fars or Gilan. It was therefore natural for Agha Mohammad Khan to perform whatever necessary means in the Caucasus in order to subdue and reincorporate the recently lost regions following Nader Shah's death and the demise of the Zands, including putting down what in Iranian eyes was seen as treason on the part of the vali of Georgia.
Finding an interval of peace amid their own quarrels and with northern, western, and central Persia secure, the Persians demanded Erekle II to renounce the treaty with Russia and to reaccept Persian suzerainty,in return for peace and the security of his kingdom. The Ottomans, Iran's neighboring rival, recognized the latter's rights over Kartli and Kakheti for the first time in four centuries. Erekle appealed then to his theoretical protector, Empress Catherine II of Russia, asking for at least 3,000 Russian troops, but he was ignored, leaving Georgia to fend off the Persian threat alone. Nevertheless, Erekle II still rejected Agha Mohammad Khan's ultimatum.
In August 1795, Agha Mohammad Khan crossed the Aras River, and after a turn of events by which he gathered more support from his subordinate khans of Erivan and Ganja, and having re-secured the territories up to including parts of Dagestan in the north and up to the western-most border of modern-day Armenia in the west, he sent Erekle the last ultimatum, which he also declined, but, sent couriers to St.Petersburg. Gudovich, who sat in Georgievsk at the time, instructed Erekle to avoid "expense and fuss",while Erekle, together with Solomon II and some Imeretians headed southwards of Tbilisi to fend off the Iranians.
With half of the troops Agha Mohammad Khan crossed the Aras river with, he now marched directly upon Tbilisi, where it commenced into a huge battle between the Iranian and Georgian armies. Erekle had managed to mobilize some 5,000 troops, including some 2,000 from neighboring Imereti under its King Solomon II. The Georgians, hopelessly outnumbered, were eventually defeated despite stiff resistance. In a few hours, the Iranian king Agha Mohammad Khan was in full control of the Georgian capital. The Persian army marched back laden with spoil and carrying off many thousands of captives.
By this, after the conquest of Tbilisi and being in effective control of eastern Georgia,Agha Mohammad was formally crowned Shah in 1796 in the Mughan plain. As the Cambridge History of Iran notes; "Russia's client, Georgia, had been punished, and Russia's prestige, damaged." Erekle II returned to Tbilisi to rebuild the city, but the destruction of his capital was a death blow to his hopes and projects. Upon learning of the fall of Tbilisi General Gudovich put the blame on the Georgians themselves. To restore Russian prestige, Catherine II declared war on Persia, upon the proposal of Gudovich, and sent an army under Valerian Zubov to the Qajar possessions on April of that year, but the new Tsar Paul I, who succeeded Catherine in November, shortly recalled it.
Agha Mohammad Shah was later assassinated while preparing a second expedition against Georgia in 1797 in Shusha.Reassessment of Iranian hegemony over Georgia did not last long; in 1799 the Russians marched into Tbilisi, two years after Agha Mohammad Khan's death. The next two years were a time of muddle and confusion, and the weakened and devastated Georgian kingdom, with its capital half in ruins, was easily absorbed by Russia in 1801. As Iran could not permit or allow the cession of Transcaucasia and Dagestan, which had formed part of the concept of Iran for centuries, it would also directly lead up to the wars of even several years later, namely the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), which would eventually prove for the irrevocable forced cession of aforementioned regions to Imperial Russia per the treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828), as the ancient ties could only be severed by a superior force from outside. It was therefore also inevitable that Agha Mohammad Khan's successor, Fath Ali Shah (under whom Iran would lead the two above-mentioned wars) would follow the same policy of restoring Iranian central authority north of the Aras and Kura rivers.
On 12 September 1801, four years after Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar's death, the Russians capitalized on the moment, and annexed Kartli-Kakheti (eastern Georgia).In 1804, the Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of Ganja, massacring and expelling thousands of its inhabitants, thereby beginning the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813. Under Fath Ali Shah (r. 1797-1834), the Qajars set out to fight against the invading Russian Empire, who were keen to take the Iranian territories in the region. This period marked the first major economic and military encroachments on Iranian interests during the colonial era. The Qajar army suffered a major military defeat in the war, and under the terms of the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, Iran was forced to cede most of its Caucasian territories comprising modern day Georgia, Dagestan, and most of Azerbaijan.
About a decade later, in violation of the Gulistan Treaty, the Russians invaded Iran's Erivan Khanate.This sparked the final bout of hostilities between the two; the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828. It ended even more disastrously for Qajar Iran with temporary occupation of Tabriz and the signing of the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire South Caucasus and Dagestan, as well as therefore the ceding of what is nowadays Armenia and the remaining part of Republic of Azerbaijan; the new border between neighboring Russia and Iran were set at the Aras River. Iran had by these two treaties, in the course of the 19th century, irrevocably lost the territories which had formed part of the concept of Iran for centuries. The area to the North of the river Aras, among which the territory of the contemporary republic of Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Armenia were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.
As a further direct result and consequence of the Gulistan and Turkmenchay treaties of 1813 and 1828 respectively, the formerly Iranian territories became now part of Russia for around the next 180 years, except Dagestan, which remained a Russian possession ever since. Out of the greater part of the territory, three separate nations would be formed through the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, namely Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Lastly and equally important, as a result of Russia's imposing of the two treaties, It also decisively parted the Azerbaijanisand Talysh ever since between two nations.
Following the official losing of the aforementioned vast territories in the Caucasus, major demographic shifts were bound to take place. Solidly Persian-speaking territories of Iran were lost, with all its inhabitants in it. Following the 1804-1814 War, but also per the 1826-1828 war which ceded the last territories, large migrations, so-called Caucasian Muhajirs, set off to migrate to mainland Iran. Some of these groups included the Ayrums, Qarapapaqs, Circassians, Shia Lezgins, and other Transcaucasian Muslims.
Through the Battle of Ganja of 1804 during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), many thousands of Ayrums and Qarapapaqs were settled in Tabriz. During the remaining part of the 1804-1813 war, as well as through the 1826-1828 war, the absolute bulk of the Ayrums and Qarapapaqs that were still remaining in newly conquered Russian territories were settled in and migrated to Solduz (in modern-day Iran's West Azerbaijan province).As the Cambridge History of Iran states; "The steady encroachment of Russian troops along the frontier in the Caucasus, General Yermolov's brutal punitive expeditions and misgovernment, drove large numbers of Muslims, and even some Georgian Christians, into exile in Iran."
In 1864 until the early 20th century, another mass expulsion took place of Caucasian Muslims as a result of the Russian victory in the Caucasian War. Others simply voluntarily refused to live under Christian Russian rule, and thus disembarked for Turkey or Iran. These migrations once again, towards Iran, included masses of Caucasian Azerbaijanis, other Transcaucasian Muslims, as well as many North Caucasian Muslims, such as Circassians, Shia Lezgins and Laks.Many of these migrants would prove to play a pivotal role in further Iranian history, as they formed most of the ranks of the Persian Cossack Brigade, which was also to be established in the late 19th century. The initial ranks of the brigade would be entirely composed of Circassians and other Caucasian Muhajirs. This brigade would prove decisive in the following decades to come in Qajar history.
Furthermore, the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay included the official rights for the Russian Empire to encourage settling of Armenians from Iran in the newly conquered Russian territories.Until the mid-fourteenth century, Armenians had constituted a majority in Eastern Armenia. At the close of the fourteenth century, after Timur's campaigns, Islam had become the dominant faith, and Armenians became a minority in Eastern Armenia. After centuries of constant warfare on the Armenian Plateau, many Armenians chose to emigrate and settle elsewhere. Following Shah Abbas I's massive relocation of Armenians and Muslims in 1604-05, their numbers dwindled even further.
At the time of the Russian invasion of Iran, some 80% of the population of Iranian Armenia were Muslims (Persians, Turkics, and Kurds) whereas Christian Armenians constituted a minority of about 20%.As a result of the Treaty of Gulistan (1813) and the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828), Iran was forced to cede Iranian Armenia (which also constituted the present-day Armenia), to the Russians. After the Russian administration took hold of Iranian Armenia, the ethnic make-up shifted, and thus for the first time in more than four centuries, ethnic Armenians started to form a majority once again in one part of historic Armenia. The new Russian administration encouraged the settling of ethnic Armenians from Iran proper and Ottoman Turkey. As a result, by 1832, the number of ethnic Armenians had matched that of the Muslims. It would be only after the Crimean War and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, which brought another influx of Turkish Armenians, that ethnic Armenians once again established a solid majority in Eastern Armenia. Nevertheless, the city of Erivan retained a Muslim majority up to the twentieth century. According to the traveller H. F. B. Lynch, the city was about 50% Armenian and 50% Muslim (Azerbaijanis and Persians) in the early 1890s.
Fath Ali Shah's reign saw increased diplomatic contacts with the West and the beginning of intense European diplomatic rivalries over Iran. His grandson Mohammad Shah, who fell under the Russian influence and made two unsuccessful attempts to capture Herat, succeeded him in 1834. When Mohammad Shah died in 1848 the succession passed to his son Nasser-e-Din, who proved to be the ablest and most successful of the Qajar sovereigns. He founded the first modern hospital in Iran.
During Nasser-e-Din Shah's reign, Western science, technology, and educational methods were introduced into Persia and the country's modernization was begun. Nasser ed-Din Shah tried to exploit the mutual distrust between Great Britain and Russia to preserve Persia's independence, but foreign interference and territorial encroachment increased under his rule. He was not able to prevent Britain and Russia from encroaching into regions of traditional Persian influence. In 1856, during the Anglo-Persian War, Britain prevented Persia from reasserting control over Herat. The city had been part of Persia in Safavid times, but Herat had been under non-Persian rule since the mid-18th century. Britain also extended its control to other areas of the Persian Gulf during the 19th century. Meanwhile, by 1881, Russia had completed its conquest of present-day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, bringing Russia's frontier to Persia's northeastern borders and severing historic Persian ties to the cities of Bukhara and Samarqand. Several trade concessions by the Persian government put economic affairs largely under British control. By the late 19th century, many Persians believed that their rulers were beholden to foreign interests.
Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, was the young prince Nasser-e-Din's advisor and constable. With the death of Mohammad Shah in 1848, Mirza Taqi was largely responsible for ensuring the crown prince's succession to the throne. When Nasser ed-Din succeeded to the throne, Amir Nezam was awarded the position of prime minister and the title of Amir Kabir, the Great Ruler.
At that time, Persia was nearly bankrupt. During the next two and a half years Amir Kabir initiated important reforms in virtually all sectors of society. Government expenditure was slashed, and a distinction was made between the private and public purses. The instruments of central administration were overhauled, and Amir Kabir assumed responsibility for all areas of the bureaucracy. Foreign interference in Persia's domestic affairs was curtailed, and foreign trade was encouraged. Public works such as the bazaar in Tehran were undertaken. Amir Kabir issued an edict banning ornate and excessively formal writing in government documents; the beginning of a modern Persian prose style dates from this time.
One of the greatest achievements of Amir Kabir was the building of Dar ol Fonoon in 1851, the first modern university in Persia and the Middle East. Dar-ol-Fonoon was established for training a new cadre of administrators and acquainting them with Western techniques. It marked the beginning of modern education in Persia.Amir Kabir ordered the school to be built on the edge of the city so it could be expanded as needed. He hired French and Russian instructors as well as Persians to teach subjects as different as Language, Medicine, Law, Geography, History, Economics, and Engineering, amongst numerous others. Unfortunately, Amir Kabir did not live long enough to see his greatest monument completed, but it still stands in Tehran as a sign of a great man's ideas for the future of his country.
These reforms antagonized various notables who had been excluded from the government. They regarded the Amir Kabir as a social upstart and a threat to their interests, and they formed a coalition against him, in which the queen mother was active. She convinced the young shah that Amir Kabir wanted to usurp the throne. In October 1851, the shah dismissed him and exiled him to Kashan, where he was murdered on the shah's orders. Through his marriage to Ezzat od-Doleh, Amir Kabir had been the brother-in-law of the shah.
When Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar was assassinated by Mirza Reza Kermani in 1896,the crown passed to his son Mozaffar-e-din. Mozaffar-e-din Shah was a moderate, but relatively ineffective ruler. Royal extravagances coincided with an inadequate ability to secure state revenue which further exacerbated the financial woes of the Qajar. In response, the Shah procured two large loans from Russia (in part to fund personal trips to Europe). Public anger mounted as the Shah sold off concessions – such as road building monopolies, authority to collect duties on imports, etc. – to European interests in return for generous payments to the Shah and his officials. Popular demand to curb arbitrary royal authority in favor of rule of law increased as concern regarding growing foreign penetration and influence heightened.
The shah's failure to respond to protests by the religious establishment, the merchants, and other classes led the merchants and clerical leaders in January 1906 to take sanctuary from probable arrest in mosques in Tehran and outside the capital. When the shah reneged on a promise to permit the establishment of a "house of justice", or consultative assembly, 10,000 people, led by the merchants, took sanctuary in June in the compound of the British legation in Tehran. In August, the shah, through the issue of a decree promised a constitution. In October, an elected assembly convened and drew up a constitution that provided for strict limitations on royal power, an elected parliament, or Majles, with wide powers to represent the people, and a government with a cabinet subject to confirmation by the Majles. The shah signed the constitution on December 30, 1906, but refusing to forfeit all of his power to the Majles, attached a caveat that made his signature on all laws required for their enactment. He died five days later. The Supplementary Fundamental Laws approved in 1907 provided, within limits, for freedom of press, speech, and association, and for security of life and property. The hopes for constitutional rule were not realized, however.
Mozaffar-e-din Shah's son Mohammad Ali Shah (reigned 1907–1909), who, through his mother, was also the grandson of Prime-Minister Amir Kabir (see before), with the aid of Russia, attempted to rescind the constitution and abolish parliamentary government. After several disputes with the members of the Majles, in June 1908 he used his Russian-officered Persian Cossack Brigade (almost solely composed of Caucasian Muhajirs), to bomb the Majlis building, arrest many of the deputies (December 1907), and close down the assembly (June 1908).Resistance to the shah, however, coalesced in Tabriz, Isfahan, Rasht, and elsewhere. In July 1909, constitutional forces marched from Rasht to Tehran led by Mohammad Vali Khan Sepahsalar Khalatbari Tonekaboni, deposed the Shah, and re-established the constitution. The ex-shah went into exile in Russia. Shah died in San Remo, Italy, in April 1925. Every future Shah of Iran would also die in exile.
On 16 July 1909, the Majles voted to place Mohammad Ali Shah's 11-year-old son, Ahmad Shah on the throne.Although the constitutional forces had triumphed, they faced serious difficulties. The upheavals of the Constitutional Revolution and civil war had undermined stability and trade. In addition, the ex-shah, with Russian support, attempted to regain his throne, landing troops in July 1910. Most serious of all, the hope that the Constitutional Revolution would inaugurate a new era of independence from the great powers ended when, under the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, Britain and Russia agreed to divide Persia into spheres of influence. The Russians were to enjoy exclusive right to pursue their interests in the northern sphere, the British in the south and east; both powers would be free to compete for economic and political advantage in a neutral sphere in the center. Matters came to a head when Morgan Shuster, a United States administrator hired as treasurer general by the Persian government to reform its finances, sought to collect taxes from powerful officials who were Russian protégés and to send members of the treasury gendarmerie, a tax department police force, into the Russian zone. When in December 1911 the Majlis unanimously refused a Russian ultimatum demanding Shuster's dismissal, Russian troops, already in the country, moved to occupy the capital. To prevent this, on 20 December, Bakhtiari chiefs, and their troops surrounded the Majles building, forced acceptance of the Russian ultimatum, and shut down the assembly, once again suspending the constitution.
Though Qajar Iran had announced strict neutrality on the first day of November 1914 (which was reiterated by each successive government thereafter),the neighboring Ottoman Empire invaded it relatively shortly after, in the same year. At that time, large parts of Iran were under tight Russian influence and control, and since 1910 Russian forces were present inside the country, while many of its cities possessed Russian garrisons. Due to the latter reason, as Prof. Dr. Touraj Atabaki states, declaring neutrality was useless, especially as Iran had no force to implement this policy.
At the beginning of the war, the Ottomans invaded Iranian Azerbaijan. [ citation needed ] However, with the advent of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent withdrawal of most of the Russian troops, the Ottomans gained the clear upper hand in Iran, and annexed large parts of it for some time[ citation needed ]. Between 1914-1918, the Ottoman troops massacred many thousands of Iran's Assyrian and Armenian population, as part of the Assyrian and Armenian Genocides, respectively.Numerous clashes would take place there between the Russians, who were further aided by the Assyrians under Agha Petros as well as Armenian volunteer units and battalions, and the Ottomans on the other side.
The front in Iran would last up to the Armistice of Mudros in 1918.
Ahmad Shah Qajar was born 21 January 1898 in Tabriz, and succeeded to the throne at age 11. However, the occupation of Persia during World War I by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was a blow from which Ahmad Shah never effectively recovered.
In February 1921, Reza Khan, commander of the Persian Cossack Brigade, staged a coup d'état, becoming the effective ruler of Iran. In 1923, Ahmad Shah went into exile in Europe. Reza Khan induced the Majles to depose Ahmad Shah in October 1925, and to exclude the Qajar dynasty permanently. Reza Khan was subsequently proclaimed monarch as Reza Shah Pahlavi , reigning from 1925 to 1941.
Ahmad Shah died on 21 February 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
The Empire was divided in 5 large provinces and a large number of smaller ones at the beginning of Fath Ali Shah's reign, about 20 provinces in 1847, 39 in 1886, but 18 in 1906. In 1868, most province governors were Qajar princes .
In 1921, the Persian Cossack Brigade was merged with the gendarmerie and other forces.
|Name||Portrait||Title||Born-Died||Entered office||Left office|
|1||Mohammad Khan Qajar||Khan |
|1742–1797||1789||17 June 1797|
|2||Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar||Shahanshah |
|1772–1834||17 June 1797||23 October 1834|
|3||Mohammad Shah Qajar||Khaqan son of Khaqan||1808–1848||23 October 1834||5 September 1848|
|4||Naser al-Din Shah Qajar||Zell'ollah (Shadow of God [on earth]) |
Qebleh-ye 'ālam (Pivot of the Universe)
Islampanah (Refuge of Islam)
|1831–1896||5 September 1848||1 May 1896|
|5||Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar||1853–1907||1 May 1896||3 January 1907|
|6||Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar||1872–1925||3 January 1907||16 July 1909|
|7||Ahmad Shah Qajar||Sultan||1898–1930||16 July 1909||15 December 1925|
The Qajar Imperial Family in exile is currently headed by the eldest descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah, Soltan Mohammad Ali Mirza Qajar, while the Heir Presumptive to the Qajar throne is Mohammad Hassan Mirza II, the grandson of Mohammad Hassan Mirza, Soltan Ahmad Shah's brother and heir. Mohammad Hassan Mirza died in England in 1943, having proclaimed himself shah in exile in 1930 after the death of his brother in France.
Today, the descendants of the Qajars often identify themselves as such and hold reunions to stay socially acquainted through the Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association,often coinciding with the annual conferences and meetings of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA). The Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association was founded for a third time in 2000. Two earlier family associations were stopped because of political pressure. The offices and archives of IQSA are housed at the International Museum for Family History in Eijsden.
The shah and his consort were styled Imperial Majesty . Their children were addressed as Imperial Highness , while male-line grandchildren were entitled to the lower style of Highness ; all of them bore the title of Shahzadeh or Shahzadeh Khanoum.
The headship of the Imperial Family is inherited by the eldest male descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah.
The Heir Presumptive is the Qajar heir to the Persian throne.
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Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, also known by his regnal name of Agha Mohammad Shah, was the founder of the Qajar dynasty of Iran, ruling from 1789 to 1797 as king (shah). Originally chieftain of the Qoyunlu branch of the Qajar tribe, Agha Mohammad Khan was enthroned as the king of Iran in 1789, but was not officially crowned until March 1796, having deposed Lotf Ali Khan of the Zand dynasty in 1794. Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar was famously the eunuch Monarch, being castrated as a young adult upon his capture by Adel Shah Afshar, and hence was childless. He was assassinated on 17 June 1797, and was succeeded by his nephew, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.
Fath-Ali Shah Qajar was the second Shah of Iran. He reigned from 17 June 1797 until his death. His reign saw the irrevocable ceding of Iran's northern territories in the Caucasus, comprising what is nowadays Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, to the Russian Empire following the Russo-Persian Wars of 1804–13 and 1826–28 and the resulting treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay. Historian Joseph M. Upton says that he "is famous among Persians for three things: his exceptionally long beard, his wasp-like waist, and his progeny."
The Treaty of Gulistan was a peace treaty concluded between Imperial Russia and Persia on 24 October 1813 in the village of Gulistan as a result of the first full-scale Russo-Persian War, lasting from 1804 to 1813. The peace negotiations were precipitated by Lankaran's fall to Gen. Pyotr Kotlyarevsky on 1 January 1813.
The Battle of Krtsanisi was fought between the Qajars of Iran and the Georgian armies of the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti and Kingdom of Imereti at the place of Krtsanisi near Tbilisi, Georgia, from September 8 to September 11, 1795, as part of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar's war in response to King Heraclius II of Georgia’s alliance with the Russian Empire. The battle resulted in the decisive defeat of the Georgians, capture, and complete destruction of their capital Tbilisi, as well as the temporary absorption of eastern parts of Georgia into the Iranian Empire.
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was an agreement between Persia (Iran) and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was signed on 10 February 1828 in Torkamanchay, Iran. By the treaty, Persia ceded to Russia control of several areas in the South Caucasus: the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Khanate. The boundary between Russian and Persia was set at the Aras River. These territories comprise modern-day Armenia, the southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan, as well as Iğdır Province.
Shusha, or Shushi, is a city in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus. It has been under the control of the self-proclaimed Artsakh Republic since its capture in 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. However, it is a de jure part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with the status of an administrative division of the surrounding Shusha Rayon. According to the Resolution No.884 of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly by the Resolution No.62/243, the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan was partially recognized and they include a demand of withdrawal of the Armenian forces. Situated at an altitude of 1,400–1,800 metres (4,600–5,900 ft) in the Karabakh mountains, Shusha was a mountain recreation resort in the Soviet era.
The Karabakh Khanate was a semi-independent Turkic khanate on the territories of modern-day Armenia and Azerbaijan established in about 1748 under Iranian suzerainty in Karabakh and adjacent areas. The Karabakh khanate existed until 1806, when the Russian Empire gained control over it from Iran. The Russian annexation of Karabakh was not formalized until the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, when, as a result of Russo-Persian War (1804–13), Fath-Ali Shah of Iran officially ceded Karabakh to Tsar Alexander I of Russia. The khanate was abolished in 1822, after a few years of Russian tolerance towards its Muslim rulers, and a province, with a military administration, was formed.
The Afsharid dynasty were members of an Iranian dynasty that originated from the Turkic Afshar tribe in Iran's north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Persia in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself Shah of Iran.
Baku Khanate, was an autonomous Muslim principality under Iranian suzerainty, which existed between 1747 and 1806. Originally a province of Safavid empire, it became practically independent after the assassination of Nadir shah and weakening of central authority in Iran due to the struggle for power. Its territory now lies within present-day Azerbaijan,
The Talysh Khanate, also known as the Lenkaran Khanate, was a khanate of Iranian origin that was established in Persia and existed from the middle of the 18th century till the beginning of the 19th century, located in the south-west coast of the Caspian Sea.
The Nakhchivan Khanate was a khanate that was established in Afsharid Persia in 1747. The territory of the khanate corresponded to most of the present-day Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Vayots Dzor Province of present-day Armenia. It was named after its chief settlement, the town of Nakhchivan.
The Erivan Khanate, also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd, was a khanate that was established in Afsharid Iran in the eighteenth century. It covered an area of roughly 19,500 km2, and corresponded to most of present-day central Armenia, of the Iğdır Province, Kağızman district of the Kars Province of present-day Turkey and the Sharur and Sadarak districts of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of the present-day Azerbaijan Republic.
Donboli are a Turkic-speaking sub-ethnic group of Kurds originality in the Khoy khanate and Tabriz khanate regions of West Azarbaijan Province of Iran.
Ibrahim Khalil khan Javanshir (1732–1806) was the Azeri Turkic khan of Karabakh from the Javanshir family, who succeeded his father Panah-Ali khan Javanshir as the ruler of Karabakh khanate.
Jafar al-Javad Khan Ziyad oghlu Qajar was a member of the Qajar dynasty, and the last khan of the Ganja khanate from 1786 to 1804.
The Javanshirs were a Turkic clan in Karabakh, who belonged to the Afshar tribe and were in turn a branch of the Oghuz Turks. Between 1748 and 1822, members of the Javanshir clan functioned as the head of the Karabakh Khanate.
Nader Shah Afshar was one of the most powerful Iranian rulers in the history of the nation, ruling as Shah of Iran (Persia) from 1736 to 1747 when he was assassinated during a rebellion. Because of his military genius as evidenced in his numerous campaigns throughout Middle East, Caucasus, Central and South Asia, such as the battles of Herat, Mihmandust, Murche-Khort, Kirkuk, Yeghevard, Khyber Pass, Karnal and Kars, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia, Sword of Persia, or the Second Alexander. Nader Shah was an Iranian who belonged to the Turkmen Afshar tribe of Khorasan in northeastern Iran, which had supplied military power to the Safavid dynasty since the time of Shah Ismail I.
Mirza Kadym Irevani was an Azerbaijani ornamentalist artist and portraitist, who mostly created "typical Persian miniatures and lacquers".
Khoy Khanate was an Iranian khanate in the province of Azerbaijan. The city of Khoy was inhabited and ruled by the Donboli clan, a Kurdish tribe originally from Anatolia, since the 14th century B.C. In 1530 Hajji Beg Donboli, son of Sheikh Ahmad Beg, received the rule over Khoy and Sokmanabad on behalf of the Safavid Shah Tahmasp II and could establish his family's rule over the whole area and finally also over the city of Tabriz, where another branch ruled the Tabriz Khanate.
The Bahmani family, also Bahmani-Qajar is an aristocratic Persian family belonging to one of the princely families of the Qajar dynasty, the ruling house that reigned Iran 1785–1925. The founder is Bahman Mirza Qajar (1810–1884), younger brother of Mohammad Shah Qajar and formerly prince regent and governor of Azerbaijan 1841–1848.
The Qajar were a Turkmen tribe who first settled during the Mongol period in the vicinity of Armenia and were among the seven Qezelbāš tribes that supported the Safavids.
(...) Agha Muhammad Khan remained nine days in the vicinity of Tiflis. His victory proclaimed the restoration of Iranian military power in the region formerly under Safavid domination.
January 1804. (...) Russo-Persian War. Russian invasion of Persia. (...) In January 1804 Russian forces under General Paul Tsitsianov (Sisianoff) invade Persia and storm the citadel of Ganjeh, beginning the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813).
Even when rulers on the plateau lacked the means to effect suzerainty beyond the Aras, the neighboring Khanates were still regarded as Iranian dependencies. Naturally, it was those Khanates located closes to the province of Azarbaijan which most frequently experienced attempts to re-impose Iranian suzerainty: the Khanates of Erivan, Nakhchivan and Qarabagh across the Aras, and the cis-Aras Khanate of Talish, with its administrative headquarters located at Lankaran and therefore very vulnerable to pressure, either from the direction of Tabriz or Rasht. Beyond the Khanate of Qarabagh, the Khan of Ganja and the Vali of Gurjistan (ruler of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom of south-east Georgia), although less accessible for purposes of coercion, were also regarded as the Shah's vassals, as were the Khans of Shakki and Shirvan, north of the Kura river. The contacts between Iran and the Khanates of Baku and Qubba, however, were more tenuous and consisted mainly of maritime commercial links with Anzali and Rasht. The effectiveness of these somewhat haphazard assertions of suzerainty depended on the ability of a particular Shah to make his will felt, and the determination of the local khans to evade obligations they regarded as onerous.
Perhaps the most important legacy of Yermolov was his intention from early on to prepare the ground for the conquest of the remaining khanates under Iranian rule and to make the River Aras the new border. (...) Another provocative action by Yermolov was the Russian occupation of the northern shore of Lake Gokcha (Sivan) in the Khanate of Iravan in 1825. A clear violation of Golestan, this action was the most significant provocation by the Russian side. The Lake Gokcha occupation clearly showed that it was Russia and not Iran which initiated hostilities and breached Golestan, and that Iran was left with no choice but to come up with a proper response.
In May 1826, Russia therefore occupied Mirak, in the Erivan khanate, in violation of the Treaty of Gulistan.
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