1848-1883 History of Iran Persia 1905-1914

Persia 1883-1905

Administration . Iran was an absolute monarchy. Shah Nasir ad-Din ruled from 1848 to his assassination in 1896; he was succeeded by his son Mozzafar ad-Din (1896-1907).

Foreign Policy . Persia was one of a number of areas contested by Britain and the Russian Empire in the Great Game (1813-1907). When the Russian Empire established protectorates over the Emirates of Bukhara (1868) and Khiva (1873), when it took possession of Merv in 1884, it acquired territory which traditionally was Persian sphere of influence. In 1883, Persia and the United States entered in diplomatic relations. In 1889 Nasir ad-Din Shah visited Europe. In 1900, Shah Muzaffar ad-Din (since 1896) visited Europe.
At British request, in 1904 Persia evacuated Abu Musa and the Tunb Islands; shortly afterward, the flag of Sharjah (Trucial Oman) was raised.

Domestic History . In 1891, Persians staged a successful boycott against the tobacco monopoly granted by Shah Nasir ad-Din to a British merchant in 1890. Shah Nasir ad-Din was assassinated in 1896. In 1904, Persia suffered a cholera epidemic.

The Economy . 1889 Imperial Bank of Persia established by Baron Julius de Reuter. Tramway operation, in Tehran began in 1889. Railway construction began in 1888 (EB 1911), but failed to take off; the first railroads worthy to mention were opened in 1916. Attempts to establish a foreign-owned gas factory (1891), a glass factory (1891), a beet sugar factory (1895), a match factory (1890) failed, and the factories were closed after a few years (EB 1911), due to the difficulty to obtain raw material cheaply, or simply due to the inability to compete with imports. The Britannica 1911 edition notes a steady increase in prices for food from 1880 to 1901.
The practise of tax farming was abolished in 1899-1900 (EB 1911).
In 1890 Persia (Imperial Bank of Persia) began issuing banknotes.

History of Iran, from Persian Outpost
Timeline of Iranian History, from Encyclopedia of the Orient
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Iran
Catholic Encyclopedia, Article Persia (1911 edition)
Article Tobacco Protest, Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar, Greater and Lesser Tunbs, Great Game, from Wikipedia
The Origin and Development of Imperialist Contention in Iran, 1884-1921, by Younes Parsa Benab
The HSBC Group in the Middle East, from HSBC
Iran, from Global History of Currencies
DOCUMENTS Iranian Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Iran, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
Map : Persia 1883 (Letts & Son), from David Rumsey Collection
Life in Persia 1885, from Islamic History Sourcebook
A Persian Wedding 1885, from Islamic History Sourcebook
Article : Persia, in : EB 1911
REFERENCE Antony Wynn, Persia in the Great Game. Sir Percy Sykes. Explorer, Consul, Soldier, Spy. London : John Murray 2003 [G]
Edward G. Browne, The Persian Revolution 1905-1909, Washington : Mage 2006, KMLA Lib.Sign. 955.051 B882p
Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution 1906-1911, NY : Columbia UP 1996, KMLA Lib.Sign. 320.955 A256i
Article : Persia, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 pp.809-819, 1898 pp.809-819, 1901 pp.904-916, 1905 pp.981-994 [G]
Article : Persia, in : International Year Book 1898 p.607, 1899 p.636, 1900 pp.717-719 [G]
Article : Persia, in : Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 1894 pp.649-650, 1902 pp.529-533 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 28th 2002, last revised on September 6th 2007

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