And leadership cadres were religious in form and

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and leadership cadres were religious in form and aspiration o The first contemporary revolution that has led to the establishment of a theocracy while all other modern revolutions were against state and church o The only modern social revolution in which peasants and rural guerrillas played a marginal role - The revolution is an example of how ideas and structures interact to produce social change o The shah’s modernizing efforts, which included transferring capital and the regime’s support from rural landowners to the urban bourgeoisie through a land reform package and cultivation of a Western image, led to an economic and cultural chasm between two Irans On one side stood the shah and the upper middle class of liberal technocrats and on the other the tradition-minded lower classes and clergy o This led to the regime and the clergy as two rival elites that saw each other as illegitimate - Two factors contributed to the emergence of a revolutionary crisis
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o A 10 percent decline in oil prices in the late 1970s plus a 20 percent rise in consumer prices dented strong rates of economic growth, leading to widespread discontent o The Carter administration’s new emphasis on human rights coupled with criticism from Western media and human rights organizations led to US pressure on the shah to lift restraints on political opposition - Thus, a broad revolutionary coalition began to crystalize o It consisted of The urban poor The moderate middle classes concerned with political freedoms The leftist opposition The bazaar (traditional) merchants The clergy as a focal point - The clergy had a set of advantages compared with the other groups o A solid centralized and hierarchical internal structure o Strong communication networks o Capable orators o Wide mobilizing networks (mosques and so on…) o Populist slogans o Financial independence from the state o Credibility that came with decades of opposition to the shah - Demonstrations and strikes snowballed through 1978 and intro early 1979 o The state’s capacity to repress resistance began to break down o The shah was finished when the armed forces, faced with chaos and the prospect of being ordered to fire on the public, declared that they were “neutral” and would not defend the regime - The first postrevolutionary government headed by Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan was made up of liberal-minded Muslims and nationalists o Then, as occurred in the French Revolution, the broad moderate coalition of the early stages gave way to progressively more ideological and radical factions o Bazargan’s government resigned in November 1979, less than nine months after it came into office o Through a series of maneuvers over the course of two years, the secular bloc was forced out by the clergy - The clergy set up a state with theocratic forms that would provide it a perpetual role Institutions and Governance - The new leaders chose to create parallel revolutionary organizations because they could
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  • Spring '13
  • The Republic, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Pahlavi dynasty, Islamists

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