Qajar Iran (1795–1921)

Mansoureh Ettehadieh Nezam-Mafi

in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732159
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Qajar Iran (1795–1921)

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)



The Qajar era in Iran instilled consciousness among the Iranian psyche vis-à-vis their vulnerability to European influences. The Qajar dynasty, originally of Turcoman origin and a Safavid affilial, gained prominence in the sixteenth century. Qajar chief Agha Muhammad Shah defeated Zand prince Lotif Ali Khan, thus beginning the Qajar ascent. Russian advent in Georgia, an erstwhile Iranian domain, ensued a series of conflicts between the two sides that spanned the Agha Khan's and his successor Fath Ali Shah's reigns. Fath Ali's reign saw immense administrative centralization and the loss of huge swathes of Caucasian domain to the Russians, followed by a humiliating treaty, which informed Iranian foreign policy vis-à-vis Europe, for the remaining of the century. Iran eventually resorted to French assistance against the Russian threat, and was assured of the same.

Keywords: Western influence; Turcoman origin; Lotif Ali Khan; Agha Muhammad Shah; Fath Ali Shah; Georgia

Article.  14302 words. 

Subjects: History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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