In the Monetary History of Iran: From the Safavids to the Qajars
, the authors Rudi Matthee and Willem Floor say that a very small portion of the Indian loot was spent on building the infrastructure of the Persian Empire: most of it went to Nader Shah's private treasury and some to the soldiers and generals and courtiers.
In the 19th century, under the Qajars
, Iran lost much of its territory in the Caucasus and Central Asia to Russia.
had been in decline for many years before Reza Shah's takeover.
In essence, the book is a history of American diplomatic reaction to British attempts to establish and consolidate imperial hegemony over Persia/Iran and of the dynastic transition from the Qajars
, who had ruled over Iran since the late 18th century, to the Pahlevis, who were only to rule (subtracting the democratic interregnum represented by Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, himself overthrown by the CIA in 1953 in favor of the original Shah's son) until the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
A well-argued, lucidly narrated and meticulously researched work, this volume mainly focuses on the development of the Shi'i ceremonies under three successive authoritarian regimes: Qajars
, Pahlavis, and the Islamic Republic.
After a glorious period under the Safavid dynasty (1502--706) and their successors came the Qajars
These "radical shi'a" were "a new breed" who promoted modernism within religious and secular networks and directed their protest against not only the Qajars
, but also the high-ranking mojtaheds (mujtahids).
Before this period, Iran was experiencing one-hundred-years of political anarchy--between the fall of the Safavids and the rise of the Qajars
Though they never fully disengaged themselves from nostalgic loyalties to their earlier patrons, the Zands, within the Qajar
polity the Qaim-maqams represented a strong voice for state-building and centralization, ministerial authority, and diplomacy--positions which helped transform the military-nomadic spirit of the early Qajars
The "Russian legacy" may also be less notorious than it could and should have been because of the relative weakness of the Qajar
central government; since the Qajars
were not perceived as rigid defenders of the Iranian borders, the legacies could become less confrontational.
Representing the unpresentable; historical images of national reform from the Qajars
to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
RELIGION, CULTURE AND POLITICS IN IRAN FROM THE QAJARS
TO KHOMEINI By Joanna De Groot published by IB TAURIS ISBN 978 1 86064 571 6 price 39.