1883-1905 History of Iran Persia 1914-1918

Persia 1905-1914

The Revolution . The public beating of two Tehran merchants accused of overcharging their customers in Dec. 1905 caused an outcry among the Tehran merchants. The clergy joined in the protest; when armed men pursued protesters into a mosque, this caused an even greater outcry as the sanctity of a mosque was violated. In the face of public outrage, Shah Mozzafar ad-Din had to make the first of a series of concessions, which together converted Persia from an oriental autocracy into a constitutional monarchy.

The New Constitution . A constitution modeled after that of Belgium was signed by the Shah in 1906. Key institution was the National Assembly (Majlis), which first convened in 1906. The cabinet was to be headed by a prime minister.
Men aged 25 years or more, if born in the country and literate in Persian had the right to vote. The Majlis was to be a bicameral parliament. Islam was declared official religion; all laws were to be approved by a committee of Shi'a clergymen.

Civil War . In February 1908 the new Shah, Mohammad Ali Mirza, after surviving an assassination attempt, revoked the constitution and ordered his troops to attack the building where the Majlis met. An uprising began, centered in Tabriz (1908). The country was in the state of civil war; the constitutionalists were victorious; in 1909 Shah Mohammad Ali Mirza fled the country, into Russian exile; he was declared deposed, the constitution reinstated (1909). Soltan Ahmad Qajar became new Shah.

Iran and the Imperialist Powers . In the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 Britain and Russia partition Persia in three zones, a Russian sphere of interest in the north including capital Tehran, a British sphere in the southeast and a neutral zone between. In 1912 Shah Soltan Ahmad Qajar recognized the Anglo-Russian Convention (NIYB 1916).
Britain and Russia were opposed to the Persian constitutional government. In 1908 the ambassadors of Britain and the Russian Empire warned the constitutional government to submit to the Shah.

Khuzestan . In 1908 oil was found in Khuzistan; production by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company began in 1911. Khuzestan was administrated rather independently since 1897 by Sheikh Khaz'al, who became a British protege.

Social History . In 1910 the population of Iran was estimated at 9,000,000, that of Tehran at 280,000, that of Tabriz at 200,000, that of Isfahan at 70,000.

History of Iran, from Persian Outpost
History of Iran : Constitutional Revolution, from Iran Chamber Society
Timeline of Iranian History, from Encyclopedia of the Orient
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Iran
Catholic Encyclopedia, Article Persia (1911 edition)
Articles Persian Constitutional Revolution (of 1905), Qajar Dynasty, Sheikh Khaz'al, Iranian Constitution of 1906, Mozzafar al-Din Shah, Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar, Ahmad Shah Qajar, Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, Majlis of Iran, from Wikipedia
Celebrating the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909 and the Constitution of 1906, by M. Kazemzadeh
DOCUMENTS The Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, from Avalon Project, from World War I Document Archive
Het Perzisch vraagpunt. (The Persian Question), Dutch language magazine article of 1911, from Ons Volk Ontwaakt
De Toestand in Perzie (The Conditions inPersia), Dutch language magazine article of 1912, from Ons Volk Ontwaakt
Iranian Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Iran, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
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; posted by Baha'i Library
Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution 1906-1911, NY : Columbia UP 1996, KMLA Lib.Sign. 320.955 A256i
Article : Persia, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913 pp.1112-1119 [G]
Article : Persia, in : Statesman's Year Book 1905 pp.981-994, 1910 pp.1085-1096 [G]
Article : Persia, in : New International Year Book 1907 pp.609-612, 1908 pp.544-547, 1909 pp.565-568, 1913 pp.532-534, 1914 pp.537-538 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 28th 2002, last revised on May 27th 2007

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