Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi INTRODUCTION Iran also known as Persia has had a very complex and long history of Monarchial dynasties which have spanned for almost over 2500 years. It included the time of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.), to Alexander the great then the invasion, the Sassanids (224-642 A.D.). Then there was there was the Islamic Conquest who toppled the Sassanid Empire, then the invasion of the Mongols and the Tamelane. Then come the Safavids (1501-1722) who were leaders of a militant Sufi order who were the n replaced by The Qajars (1795-1925) who revived the concept of Shah as the shadow of God on earth and exercised absolute powers over the servants and state. In the early 19 th century the Qajars began to face pressure from two great worlds’ imperialistic powers that Russia and Britain. Britain wanted to protect her trade routes to India while Russia had a desire to expand its own territories into Iran. The two super powers started to interfere with Irans internal affairs from then. Then after World War 1 Russia being occupied with its own countries affairs Britain was the only remaining country to have influence in Iran. Foreign minister of Britain Lord Curzon proposed an agreement to loan Iran money and advisers to military and every government department. Even if the Iran Prime Minister Vosuq od-Dowleh had received a large amount of money to suppot the agreement the opposition and the Majlis refused to approve it. In 1921 the Persian Cossacks Brigade officer Reza Khan in collaboration with a prominent journalist Sayyid Zia ad Tabatani seized power in Tehran ushering a new and the last monarchy of the Pahlavi’s into Iran history. Reza Shah’s era (1921-1941) launched a strong program to change and bring Iran into modern world. He strengthened the central authority, build the Iran military forces which he later used to pacify the country. He overhauled the administrative machinery and expanded bureaucracy to promote westernization. He created an extensive system of secular primary and secondary schools and a European styled university in Tehran. He expanded road networks, successively completed the trans-Iranian railroad, and established state owned factories to produce basic consumer goods. Reza’s son Mohammed took power from him in 1941 and rule up to 1979 where he was forced to run for Exile due to the Islamic revolution in that year that led to a sudden e to the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty. The dynasty was identified on its attempts to modernize and westernize Iran. The revolution ended and replaced the monarchy with an Islamic republic and a secular state. Was Mohammed Reza Shah deteriorating character responsible for the revolution in 1979? In this essay we are going to look at the various aspects in Mohammed Reza Pahlavi life as a Shah and as an individual that led to the Revolution in 1979.
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- Summer '15
- Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Pahlavi dynasty, Muhammad Shah