I the scholars saw that the land reform was not

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i. The scholars saw that the land reform was not helping the peasants, that rural-urban migrants had a difficult life, and that the oil-based economy was struggling. ii. However, many other countries had these issues too. iii. Some people say that US policy failures, such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq in 1953 contributed to the rise of the revolution c. So, what happened? i. A common misconception is that if an event is major and involved large numbers of people, than its origin must have been massive and distinct as well 1. Big results stem from big causes ii. Although the rising and falling expectations after the 1973 oil price increase and recession, massive migration to urban areas, cultural alienation, autocracy, hostility towards the US and west, etc definitely contributed to the rise of revolution, they rent sufficient to explain why the revolution happened, because all of these factors were present in other similarly situated countries where revolutions did not take place. (However, all of these factors were important) iii. Special features of Iran: 1. Position and role of the clergy 2. Dysfunction between the autocracy and the uneven economic change iv. Chaos Theory 1. One approach to explaining revolutions 2. Experiments that support this theory show that extremely small differences may translate to huge differences in the future, as the small differences add up 3. This theory and revolutions, often compared to weather patterns and hurrcanes d. Some revolutions are predictable and have causes that are large and visible at the time, while others are not i. Isolating a specific point in time and identifying that point as the initial point leading up to the revolution is near impossible ii. On the other hand, it is possible to pick out a date or moment, or several events, that relate/lead to different aspects of the revolution 1. Ex: If looking at the Iranian Revolution, one may choose factors such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq, the special role of the Shi’i clergy, or the oil price rise of 1973 as certain aspects
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iii. Many of the contributing factors, such as autocracy by an unpopular leader, overreliance on oil, mass urban migration, increasing distribution gaps, torture of political prisoners and popular hostility towards the US, were not new to Iran. 1. Keddie stresses the importance of factors such as the dissociation between autocracy and both social classes and socioeconomic development, the role of Shi’i clergy, the personality and actions of the Shah that eventually facilitated the break between the Shah and civil society and the resentment over subordination to foreign powers. e. Role of individuals i. Most notable individuals, were the Shah and Khomeini f. Contrasting revolutions i. Iranian Revolution: the background to this revolution was not distinctive or dramatic enough to have made it predictable ii. Bolshevik revolution: there were a number of causes that people noticed: (1) contrast between considerable economic development and continued
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  • Spring '13
  • The Republic, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Pahlavi dynasty, Islamists

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