Sublime State of Persia
دولت علیّه ایران
Dolate Eliyye Iran
Anthem: Salâm-e Shâh
Map of Iran under the Qajar dynasty in the 19th century.
minority religions: Sunni Islam, Sufism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Bahá'í Faith, Mandaeism
|Mohammad Khan Qajar (first)|
|Ahmad Shah Qajar (last)|
|Mirza Nasrullah Khan (first)|
|Reza Pahlavi (last)|
• Qajar dynasty begins
|24 October 1813|
|10 February 1828|
|4 March 1857|
|21 September 1881|
|5 August 1906|
• Pahlavi dynasty begins
qiran (1825–1925) 
Part of a series on the
|History of Iran|
The Qajar Empire,[a] also referred to as Qajar Iran, officially the Sublime State of Persia (Persian: دولت علیّه ایران Dowlat-e Aliyye Iran), also known then as the Guarded Domains of Persia (Persian: ممالک محروسه ایران Mamâlek-e mahruse-ye Irân;), was the state ruled by the Qajar dynasty (listen (help·info); Persian: سلسله قاجار Selsele-ye Qājār;[b]), an Iranian royal dynasty of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
- 1 History
- 2 Administrative division
- 3 Military
- 4 Qajar Shahs of Persia, 1789–1925
- 5 Qajar imperial family
- 6 Notable members
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 External links
The Qajar rulers were members of the Karagöz or "Black-Eye" sect of the Qajars, who themselves were members of the Qajars (tribe) or "Black Hats" lineage of the Oghuz Turks. Qajars first settled during the Mongol period in the vicinity of Armenia and were among the seven Qizilbash tribes that supported the Safavids. The Safavids "left Arran (present-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to local Turkic khans", and, "in 1554 Ganja was governed by Shahverdi Soltan Ziyadoglu Qajar, whose family came to govern Karabakh in southern Arran".
Qajars filled a number of diplomatic missions and governorships in the 16–17th centuries for the Safavids. The Qajars were resettled by Shah Abbas I throughout Iran. The great number of them also settled in Astarabad (present-day Gorgan, Iran) near the south-eastern corner of the Caspian Sea, and it would be this branch of Qajars that would rise to power. The immediate ancestor of the Qajar dynasty, Shah Qoli Khan of the Quvanlu of Ganja (also spelled Ghovanloo or Ghovanlou), married into the Quvanlu Qajars of Astarabad. His son, Fath Ali Khan (born c. 1685–1693) was a renowned military commander during the rule of the Safavid shahs Sultan Husayn and Tahmasp II. He was killed on the orders of Shah Nader Shah in 1726. Fath Ali Khan's son Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar (1722–1758) was the father of Mohammad Khan Qajar and Hossein Qoli Khan (Jahansouz Shah), father of "Baba Khan," the future Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. Mohammad Hasan Khan was killed on the orders of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty.
Within 126 years between the demise of the Safavid state and the rise of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the Qajars had evolved from a shepherd-warrior tribe with strongholds in northern Persia into a Persian dynasty with all the trappings of a Perso-Islamic monarchy.
Rise to power
"Like virtually every dynasty that ruled Persia since the 11th century, the Qajars came to power with the backing of Turkic tribal forces, while using educated Persians in their bureaucracy". In 1779 following the death of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty, Mohammad Khan Qajar, the leader of the Qajars, set out to reunify Iran. Mohammad Khan was known as one of the cruelest kings, even by the standards of 18th-century Iran. In his quest for power, he razed cities, massacred entire populations, and blinded some 20,000 men in the city of Kerman because the local populace had chosen to defend the city against his siege.
The Qajar armies at that time were mostly composed of Turkomans and Georgian slaves. By 1794, Mohammad Khan had eliminated all his rivals, including Lotf Ali Khan, the last of the Zand dynasty. He reestablished Persian control over the territories in the entire Caucasus. Agha Mohammad established his capital at Tehran, a village near the ruins of the ancient city of Rayy. In 1796, he was formally crowned as shah. In 1797, Mohammad Khan Qajar was assassinated in Shusha, the capital of Karabakh Khanate, and was succeeded by his nephew, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.
Reconquest of Georgia and the rest of the Caucasus
In 1744, Nader Shah had granted the kingship of Kartli and Kakheti to Teimuraz II and his son Erekle II (Heraclius II) respectively, as a reward for their loyalty. When Nader Shah died in 1747, they capitalized on the chaos that had erupted in mainland Iran, and declared de facto independence. After Teimuraz II died in 1762, Erekle II assumed control over Kartli, and united the two kingdoms in a personal union as the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, becoming the first Georgian ruler to preside over a politically unified eastern Georgia in three centuries. At about the same time, Karim Khan Zand had ascended the Iranian throne; Erekle II quickly tendered his de jure submission to the new Iranian ruler, however, de facto, he remained autonomous. In 1783, Erekle II placed his kingdom under the protection of the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Georgievsk. In the last few decades of the 18th century, Georgia had become a more important element in Russo-Iranian relations than some provinces in northern mainland Persia, such as Mazandaran or even Gilan. Unlike Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, the then-ruling monarch of Russia, viewed Georgia as a pivot for her Caucasian policy, as Russia's new aspirations were to use it as a base of operations against both Iran and the Ottoman Empire, both immediate bordering geopolitical rivals of Russia. On top of that, having another port on the Georgian coast of the Black Sea would be ideal. A limited Russian contingent of two infantry battalions with four artillery pieces arrived in Tbilisi in 1784, but was withdrawn, despite the frantic protests of the Georgians, in 1787 as a new war against Ottoman Turkey had started on a different front.
The consequences of these events came a few years later, when a strong new Iranian dynasty under the Qajars emerged victorious in the protracted power struggle in Persia. Their head, Agha Mohammad Khan, as his first objective, resolved to bring the Caucasus again fully under the Persian orbit. For Agha Mohammah Khan, the resubjugation and reintegration of Georgia into the Iranian Empire was part of the same process that had brought Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz under his rule. He viewed, like the Safavids and Nader Shah before him, the territories no different than the territories in mainland Iran. Georgia was a province of Iran the same way Khorasan was. As the Cambridge History of Iran states, its permanent secession was inconceivable and had to be resisted in the same way as one would resist an attempt at the separation of Fars or Gilan. It was therefore natural for Agha Mohammad Khan to perform whatever necessary means in the Caucasus in order to subdue and reincorporate the recently lost regions following Nader Shah's death and the demise of the Zands, including putting down what in Iranian eyes was seen as treason on the part of the vali of Georgia.
Finding an interval of peace amid their own quarrels and with northern, western, and central Persia secure, the Persians demanded Erekle II to renounce the treaty with Russia and to reaccept Persian suzerainty, in return for peace and the security of his kingdom. The Ottomans, Iran's neighboring rival, recognized the latter's rights over Kartli and Kakheti for the first time in four centuries. Erekle appealed then to his theoretical protector, Empress Catherine II of Russia, asking for at least 3,000 Russian troops, but he was ignored, leaving Georgia to fend off the Persian threat alone. Nevertheless, Erekle II still rejected Agha Mohammad Khan's ultimatum.
In August 1795, Agha Mohammad Khan crossed the Aras River, and after a turn of events by which he gathered more support from his subordinate khans of Erivan and Ganja, and having re-secured the territories up to including parts of Dagestan in the north and up to the western-most border of modern-day Armenia in the west, he sent Erekle the last ultimatum, which he also declined, but, sent couriers to St.Petersburg. Gudovich, who sat in Georgievsk at the time, instructed Erekle to avoid "expense and fuss", while Erekle, together with Solomon II and some Imeretians headed southwards of Tbilisi to fend off the Iranians.
With half of the troops Agha Mohammad Khan crossed the Aras river with, he now marched directly upon Tbilisi, where it commenced into a huge battle between the Iranian and Georgian armies. Erekle had managed to mobilize some 5,000 troops, including some 2,000 from neighboring Imereti under its King Solomon II. The Georgians, hopelessly outnumbered, were eventually defeated despite stiff resistance. In a few hours, the Iranian king Agha Mohammad Khan was in full control of the Georgian capital. The Persian army marched back laden with spoil and carrying off many thousands of captives.
By this, after the conquest of Tbilisi and being in effective control of eastern Georgia, Agha Mohammad was formally crowned Shah in 1796 in the Mughan plain. As the Cambridge History of Iran notes; "Russia's client, Georgia, had been punished, and Russia's prestige, damaged." Erekle II returned to Tbilisi to rebuild the city, but the destruction of his capital was a death blow to his hopes and projects. Upon learning of the fall of Tbilisi General Gudovich put the blame on the Georgians themselves. To restore Russian prestige, Catherine II declared war on Persia, upon the proposal of Gudovich, and sent an army under Valerian Zubov to the Qajar possessions on April of that year, but the new Tsar Paul I, who succeeded Catherine in November, shortly recalled it.
Agha Mohammad Shah was later assassinated while preparing a second expedition against Georgia in 1797 in Shusha. Reassessment of Iranian hegemony over Georgia did not last long; in 1799 the Russians marched into Tbilisi, two years after Agha Mohammad Khan's death. The next two years were a time of muddle and confusion, and the weakened and devastated Georgian kingdom, with its capital half in ruins, was easily absorbed by Russia in 1801. As Iran could not permit or allow the cession of Transcaucasia and Dagestan, which had formed part of the concept of Iran for centuries, it would also directly lead up to the wars of even several years later, namely the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), which would eventually prove for the irrevocable forced cession of aforementioned regions to Imperial Russia per the treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828), as the ancient ties could only be severed by a superior force from outside. It was therefore also inevitable that Agha Mohammad Khan's successor, Fath Ali Shah (under whom Iran would lead the two above-mentioned wars) would follow the same policy of restoring Iranian central authority north of the Aras and Kura rivers.
Wars with Russia and irrevocable loss of territories
On 12 September 1801, four years after Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar's death, the Russians capitalized on the moment, and annexed Kartli-Kakheti (eastern Georgia). In 1804, the Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of Ganja, massacring and expelling thousands of its inhabitants, thereby beginning the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813. Under Fath Ali Shah (r. 1797-1834), the Qajars set out to fight against the invading Russian Empire, who were keen to take the Iranian territories in the region. This period marked the first major economic and military encroachments on Iranian interests during the colonial era. The Qajar army suffered a major military defeat in the war, and under the terms of the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, Iran was forced to cede most of its Caucasian territories comprising modern day Georgia, Dagestan, and most of Azerbaijan.
About a decade later, in violation of the Gulistan Treaty, the Russians invaded Iran's Erivan Khanate. This sparked the final bout of hostilities between the two; the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828. It ended even more disastrously for Qajar Iran with temporary occupation of Tabriz and the signing of the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire South Caucasus and Dagestan, as well as therefore the ceding of what is nowadays Armenia and the remaining part of Republic of Azerbaijan; the new border between neighboring Russia and Iran were set at the Aras River. Iran had by these two treaties, in the course of the 19th century, irrevocably lost the territories which had formed part of the concept of Iran for centuries. The area to the North of the river Aras, among which the territory of the contemporary republic of Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Armenia were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.
As a further direct result and consequence of the Gulistan and Turkmenchay treaties of 1813 and 1828 respectively, the formerly Iranian territories became now part of Russia for around the next 180 years, except Dagestan, which remained a Russian possession ever since. Out of the greater part of the territory, three separate nations would be formed through the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, namely Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Lastly and equally important, as a result of Russia's imposing of the two treaties, It also decisively parted the Azerbaijanis and Talysh ever since between two nations.
Migration of Caucasian Muslims
Following the official losing of the aforementioned vast territories in the Caucasus, major demographic shifts were bound to take place. Solidly Persian-speaking territories of Iran were lost, with all its inhabitants in it. Following the 1804-1814 War, but also per the 1826-1828 war which ceded the last territories, large migrations, so-called Caucasian Muhajirs, set off to migrate to mainland Iran. Some of these groups included the Ayrums, Qarapapaqs, Circassians, Shia Lezgins, and other Transcaucasian Muslims.
Through the Battle of Ganja of 1804 during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), many thousands of Ayrums and Qarapapaqs were settled in Tabriz. During the remaining part of the 1804-1813 war, as well as through the 1826-1828 war, the absolute bulk of the Ayrums and Qarapapaqs that were still remaining in newly conquered Russian territories were settled in and migrated to Solduz (in modern-day Iran's West Azerbaijan province). As the Cambridge History of Iran states; "The steady encroachment of Russian troops along the frontier in the Caucasus, General Yermolov's brutal punitive expeditions and misgovernment, drove large numbers of Muslims, and even some Georgian Christians, into exile in Iran."
In 1864 until the early 20th century, another mass expulsion took place of Caucasian Muslims as a result of the Russian victory in the Caucasian War. Others simply voluntarily refused to live under Christian Russian rule, and thus disembarked for Turkey or Iran. These migrations once again, towards Iran, included masses of Caucasian Azerbaijanis, other Transcaucasian Muslims, as well as many North Caucasian Muslims, such as Circassians, Shia Lezgins and Laks. Many of these migrants would prove to play a pivotal role in further Iranian history, as they formed most of the ranks of the Persian Cossack Brigade, which was also to be established in the late 19th century. The initial ranks of the brigade would be entirely composed of Circassians and other Caucasian Muhajirs. This brigade would prove decisive in the following decades to come in Qajar history.
Furthermore, the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay included the official rights for the Russian Empire to encourage settling of Armenians from Iran in the newly conquered Russian territories. Until the mid-fourteenth century, Armenians had constituted a majority in Eastern Armenia. At the close of the fourteenth century, after Timur's campaigns, Islam had become the dominant faith, and Armenians became a minority in Eastern Armenia. After centuries of constant warfare on the Armenian Plateau, many Armenians chose to emigrate and settle elsewhere. Following Shah Abbas I's massive relocation of Armenians and Muslims in 1604-05, their numbers dwindled even further.
At the time of the Russian invasion of Iran, some 80% of the population of Iranian Armenia were Muslims (Persians, Turkics, and Kurds) whereas Christian Armenians constituted a minority of about 20%. As a result of the Treaty of Gulistan (1813) and the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828), Iran was forced to cede Iranian Armenia (which also constituted the present-day Armenia), to the Russians. After the Russian administration took hold of Iranian Armenia, the ethnic make-up shifted, and thus for the first time in more than four centuries, ethnic Armenians started to form a majority once again in one part of historic Armenia. The new Russian administration encouraged the settling of ethnic Armenians from Iran proper and Ottoman Turkey. As a result, by 1832, the number of ethnic Armenians had matched that of the Muslims. It would be only after the Crimean War and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, which brought another influx of Turkish Armenians, that ethnic Armenians once again established a solid majority in Eastern Armenia. Nevertheless, the city of Erivan retained a Muslim majority up to the twentieth century. According to the traveller H. F. B. Lynch, the city was about 50% Armenian and 50% Muslim (Azerbaijanis and Persians) in the early 1890s.
Fath Ali Shah's reign saw increased diplomatic contacts with the West and the beginning of intense European diplomatic rivalries over Iran. His grandson Mohammad Shah, who fell under the Russian influence and made two unsuccessful attempts to capture Herat, succeeded him in 1834. When Mohammad Shah died in 1848 the succession passed to his son Nasser-e-Din, who proved to be the ablest and most successful of the Qajar sovereigns. He founded the first modern hospital in Iran.
Development and decline
During Nasser-e-Din Shah's reign, Western science, technology, and educational methods were introduced into Persia and the country's modernization was begun. Nasser ed-Din Shah tried to exploit the mutual distrust between Great Britain and Russia to preserve Persia's independence, but foreign interference and territorial encroachment increased under his rule. He was not able to prevent Britain and Russia from encroaching into regions of traditional Persian influence. In 1856, during the Anglo-Persian War, Britain prevented Persia from reasserting control over Herat. The city had been part of Persia in Safavid times, but Herat had been under non-Persian rule since the mid-18th century. Britain also extended its control to other areas of the Persian Gulf during the 19th century. Meanwhile, by 1881, Russia had completed its conquest of present-day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, bringing Russia's frontier to Persia's northeastern borders and severing historic Persian ties to the cities of Bukhara and Samarqand. Several trade concessions by the Persian government put economic affairs largely under British control. By the late 19th century, many Persians believed that their rulers were beholden to foreign interests.
Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, was the young prince Nasser-e-Din's advisor and constable. With the death of Mohammad Shah in 1848, Mirza Taqi was largely responsible for ensuring the crown prince's succession to the throne. When Nasser ed-Din succeeded to the throne, Amir Nezam was awarded the position of prime minister and the title of Amir Kabir, the Great Ruler.
At that time, Persia was nearly bankrupt. During the next two and a half years Amir Kabir initiated important reforms in virtually all sectors of society. Government expenditure was slashed, and a distinction was made between the private and public purses. The instruments of central administration were overhauled, and Amir Kabir assumed responsibility for all areas of the bureaucracy. Foreign interference in Persia's domestic affairs was curtailed, and foreign trade was encouraged. Public works such as the bazaar in Tehran were undertaken. Amir Kabir issued an edict banning ornate and excessively formal writing in government documents; the beginning of a modern Persian prose style dates from this time.
One of the greatest achievements of Amir Kabir was the building of Dar ol Fonoon in 1851, the first modern university in Persia and the Middle East. Dar-ol-Fonoon was established for training a new cadre of administrators and acquainting them with Western techniques. It marked the beginning of modern education in Persia. Amir Kabir ordered the school to be built on the edge of the city so it could be expanded as needed. He hired French and Russian instructors as well as Persians to teach subjects as different as Language, Medicine, Law, Geography, History, Economics, and Engineering, amongst numerous others. Unfortunately, Amir Kabir did not live long enough to see his greatest monument completed, but it still stands in Tehran as a sign of a great man's ideas for the future of his country.
These reforms antagonized various notables who had been excluded from the government. They regarded the Amir Kabir as a social upstart and a threat to their interests, and they formed a coalition against him, in which the queen mother was active. She convinced the young shah that Amir Kabir wanted to usurp the throne. In October 1851, the shah dismissed him and exiled him to Kashan, where he was murdered on the shah's orders. Through his marriage to Ezzat od-Doleh, Amir Kabir had been the brother-in-law of the shah.
When Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar was assassinated by Mirza Reza Kermani in 1896, the crown passed to his son Mozaffar-e-din. Mozaffar-e-din Shah was a moderate, but relatively ineffective ruler. Royal extravagances coincided with an inadequate ability to secure state revenue which further exacerbated the financial woes of the Qajar. In response, the Shah procured two large loans from Russia (in part to fund personal trips to Europe). Public anger mounted as the Shah sold off concessions – such as road building monopolies, authority to collect duties on imports, etc. – to European interests in return for generous payments to the Shah and his officials. Popular demand to curb arbitrary royal authority in favor of rule of law increased as concern regarding growing foreign penetration and influence heightened.
The shah's failure to respond to protests by the religious establishment, the merchants, and other classes led the merchants and clerical leaders in January 1906 to take sanctuary from probable arrest in mosques in Tehran and outside the capital. When the shah reneged on a promise to permit the establishment of a "house of justice", or consultative assembly, 10,000 people, led by the merchants, took sanctuary in June in the compound of the British legation in Tehran. In August, the shah, through the issue of a decree promised a constitution. In October, an elected assembly convened and drew up a constitution that provided for strict limitations on royal power, an elected parliament, or Majles, with wide powers to represent the people, and a government with a cabinet subject to confirmation by the Majles. The shah signed the constitution on December 30, 1906, but refusing to forfeit all of his power to the Majles, attached a caveat that made his signature on all laws required for their enactment. He died five days later. The Supplementary Fundamental Laws approved in 1907 provided, within limits, for freedom of press, speech, and association, and for security of life and property. The hopes for constitutional rule were not realized, however.
Mozaffar-e-din Shah's son Mohammad Ali Shah (reigned 1907–1909), who, through his mother, was also the grandson of Prime-Minister Amir Kabir (see before), with the aid of Russia, attempted to rescind the constitution and abolish parliamentary government. After several disputes with the members of the Majles, in June 1908 he used his Russian-officered Persian Cossack Brigade (almost solely composed of Caucasian Muhajirs), to bomb the Majlis building, arrest many of the deputies (December 1907), and close down the assembly (June 1908). Resistance to the shah, however, coalesced in Tabriz, Isfahan, Rasht, and elsewhere. In July 1909, constitutional forces marched from Rasht to Tehran led by Mohammad Vali Khan Sepahsalar Khalatbari Tonekaboni, deposed the Shah, and re-established the constitution. The ex-shah went into exile in Russia. Shah died in San Remo, Italy, in April 1925. Every future Shah of Iran would also die in exile.
On 16 July 1909, the Majles voted to place Mohammad Ali Shah's 11-year-old son, Ahmad Shah on the throne. Although the constitutional forces had triumphed, they faced serious difficulties. The upheavals of the Constitutional Revolution and civil war had undermined stability and trade. In addition, the ex-shah, with Russian support, attempted to regain his throne, landing troops in July 1910. Most serious of all, the hope that the Constitutional Revolution would inaugurate a new era of independence from the great powers ended when, under the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, Britain and Russia agreed to divide Persia into spheres of influence. The Russians were to enjoy exclusive right to pursue their interests in the northern sphere, the British in the south and east; both powers would be free to compete for economic and political advantage in a neutral sphere in the center. Matters came to a head when Morgan Shuster, a United States administrator hired as treasurer general by the Persian government to reform its finances, sought to collect taxes from powerful officials who were Russian protégés and to send members of the treasury gendarmerie, a tax department police force, into the Russian zone. When in December 1911 the Majlis unanimously refused a Russian ultimatum demanding Shuster's dismissal, Russian troops, already in the country, moved to occupy the capital. To prevent this, on 20 December, Bakhtiari chiefs, and their troops surrounded the Majles building, forced acceptance of the Russian ultimatum, and shut down the assembly, once again suspending the constitution.
Though Qajar Iran had announced strict neutrality on the first day of November 1914 (which was reiterated by each successive government thereafter), the neighboring Ottoman Empire invaded it relatively shortly after, in the same year. At that time, large parts of Iran were under tight Russian influence and control, and since 1910 Russian forces were present inside the country, while many of its cities possessed Russian garrisons. Due to the latter reason, as Prof. Dr. Touraj Atabaki states, declaring neutrality was useless, especially as Iran had no force to implement this policy.
At the beginning of the war, the Ottomans invaded Iranian Azerbaijan. Numerous clashes would take place there between the Russians, who were further aided by the Assyrians under Agha Petros as well as Armenian volunteer units and battalions, and the Ottomans on the other side. However, with the advent of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent withdrawal of most of the Russian troops, the Ottomans gained the clear upper hand in Iran, and annexed large parts of it for some time. Between 1914-1918, the Ottoman troops massacred many thousands of Iran's Assyrian and Armenian population, as part of the Assyrian and Armenian Genocides, respectively.
The front in Iran would last up to the Armistice of Mudros in 1918.
Fall of the dynasty
Ahmad Shah Qajar was born 21 January 1898 in Tabriz, and succeeded to the throne at age 11. However, the occupation of Persia during World War I by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was a blow from which Ahmad Shah never effectively recovered.
In February 1921, Reza Khan, commander of the Persian Cossack Brigade, staged a coup d'état, becoming the effective ruler of Iran. In 1923, Ahmad Shah went into exile in Europe. Reza Khan induced the Majles to depose Ahmad Shah in October 1925, and to exclude the Qajar dynasty permanently. Reza Khan was subsequently proclaimed monarch as Reza Shah Pahlavi, reigning from 1925 to 1941.
Ahmad Shah died on 21 February 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
The Empire was divided in 5 large provinces and a large number of smaller ones at the beginning of Fath Ali Shah's reign, about 20 provinces in 1847, 39 in 1886, but 18 in 1906. In 1868, most province governors were Qajar princes.
In 1921, the Persian Cossack Brigade was merged with the gendarmerie and other forces.
Qajar Shahs of Persia, 1789–1925
|Name||Portrait||Title||Born-Died||Entered office||Left office|
|1||Mohammad Khan Qajar||Khan
|1742–1797||1789||17 June 1797|
|2||Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar||Shahanshah
|1772–1834||17 June 1797||23 October 1834|
|3||Mohammad Shah Qajar||Khaqan son of Khaqan||1808–1848||23 October 1834||5 September 1848|
|4||Naser al-Din Shah Qajar||Zell'ollah (Shadow of God [on earth])
Qebleh-ye 'ālam (Pivot of the Universe)
Islampanah (Refuge of Islam)
|1831–1896||5 September 1848||1 May 1896|
|5||Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar||1853–1907||1 May 1896||3 January 1907|
|6||Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar||1872–1925||3 January 1907||16 July 1909|
|7||Ahmad Shah Qajar||Sultan||1898–1930||16 July 1909||15 December 1925|
Qajar imperial family
The Qajar Imperial Family in exile is currently headed by the eldest descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah, Soltan Mohammad Ali Mirza Qajar, while the Heir Presumptive to the Qajar throne is Mohammad Hassan Mirza II, the grandson of Mohammad Hassan Mirza, Soltan Ahmad Shah's brother and heir. Mohammad Hassan Mirza died in England in 1943, having proclaimed himself shah in exile in 1930 after the death of his brother in France.
Today, the descendants of the Qajars often identify themselves as such and hold reunions to stay socially acquainted through the Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association, often coinciding with the annual conferences and meetings of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA). The Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association was founded for a third time in 2000. Two earlier family associations were stopped because of political pressure. The offices and archives of IQSA are housed at the International Museum for Family History in Eijsden.
Titles and styles
The shah and his consort were styled Imperial Majesty. Their children were addressed as Imperial Highness, while male-line grandchildren were entitled to the lower style of Highness; all of them bore the title of Shahzadeh or Shahzadeh Khanoum.
Qajar dynasty since 1925
- Heads of the Qajar Imperial Family
The headship of the Imperial Family is inherited by the eldest male descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah.
- Sultan Ahmad Shah Qajar (1925–1930)
- Fereydoun Mirza (1930–1975)
- Sultan Hamid Mirza (1975–1988)
- Sultan Mahmoud Mirza (1988)
- Sultan Ali Mirza Qajar (1988–2011)
- Sultan Mohammad Ali Mirza (2011–present)
- Heirs Presumptive of the Qajar dynasty
The Heir Presumptive is the Qajar heir to the Persian throne.
- Sultan Ahmad Shah Qajar (1925–1930)
- Mohammad Hassan Mirza (1930–1943)
- Fereydoun Mirza (1943–1975)
- Sultan Hamid Mirza (1975–1988)
- Mohammad Hassan Mirza II (1988–1996)
- Shahzade Arian J. Salari I (1986–Present)
- Prince Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma (1859–1939), prime minister of Iran
- Mohammad Mosaddegh, prime minister of Iran and nephew of Prince Abdol Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma.
- Prince Firouz Nosrat-ed-Dowleh III (1889–1937), son of Prince Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma, foreign minister of Iran
- Hossein Khan Sardar (1740–1830), last ruler of the Erivan Khanate administrative division
- Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Iranian economist and politician, prime minister of Iran from 1965 to 1977, a Qajar descendant on his maternal side
- Ali Amini, prime minister of Iran
- Prince Iraj Eskandari, Iranian communist politician
- Princess Maryam Farman Farmaian (b. 1914–d. 2008) Iranian communist politician, founder of the women's section of the Tudeh Party of Iran
- Ardeshir Zahedi (b. 1928–) Iranian diplomat, qajar descendant on his maternal side.
- Prince Sabbar Farmanfarmaian, health minister in Mosaddeq cabinet
- Abdol-Hossein Sardari (1895–1981), Consul General at the Iranian Embassy in Paris 1940–1945; helped and saved the lives of Jews in danger of deportation by issuing them with Iranian passports. A Qajar Qovanlou and through his mother a grandson of Princess Malekzadeh Khanoum Ezzat od-Doleh, the sister of Nasser ed-Din Shah.
- Aga Khan III (1877–1957), President of the League of Nations from 1937-38, one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League and the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili Muslims.
- Prince Amanullah Mirza Qajar, Imperial Russian, Azerbaijani, and Iranian military commander
- Prince Feyzulla Mirza Qajar, Imperial Russian and Azerbaijani (ADR) military commander
- Prince Aleksander Reza Qoli Mirza Qajar, Imperial Russian military leader, commander of Yekaterinburg (1918)
- Prince Amanullah Jahanbani, senior Iranian general
- Nader Jahanbani, general and vice-deputy chief of the Imperial Iranian Air Force
- Social work
- Princess Sattareh Farmanfarmaian, Iranian social work pioneer
- Princess Fakhr-ol-dowleh
- Aga Khan IV (1936–), the 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism, a denomination of Isma'ilism within Shia Islam.
- Women's rights
- Princess Mohtaram Eskandari, intellectual and pioneering figures in Iranian women's movement.
- Dr. Iran Teymourtash (Légion d'honneur) (1914–1991), journalist, editor and publisher of Rastakhiz newspaper, founder of an association for helping destitute women. Daughter of court minister Abdolhossein Teymourtash and through both her maternal grandparents a Qajar.
- Prince Iraj (1874–1926), Iranian poet and translator
- Princess Lobat Vala (b. 1930), Iranian poet and campaigner for the Women Liberation[clarification needed]
- Shahrnush Parsipur, Iranian novelist, a Qajar descendant on her maternal side[clarification needed]
- Sadegh Hedayat, a Qajar descendant through the female line
- Abdolhossein Teymourtash
- Austro-Hungarian Military Mission in Persia
- Bahmani family
- History of Iran
- Khanates of the Caucasus
- List of kings of Persia
- List of Shi'a Muslims dynasties
- Mirza Kouchek Khan
- History of the Caucasus
- Qajar art
- Persian: شاهنشاهی قاجار Šāhanšāhi-ye Qājār.
- Also Romanised as Ghajar, Kadjar, Qachar etc.
- Homa Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis, published by I. B. Tauris, 2006. pg 327: "In post-Islamic times, the mother-tongue of Iran's rulers was often Turkic, but Persian was almost invariably the cultural and administrative language."
- Homa Katouzian, Iranian history and politics, published by Routledge, 2003. pg 128: "Indeed, since the formation of the Ghaznavids state in the tenth century until the fall of Qajars at the beginning of the twentieth century, most parts of the Iranian cultural regions were ruled by Turkic-speaking dynasties most of the time. At the same time, the official language was Persian, the court literature was in Persian, and most of the chancellors, ministers, and mandarins were Persian speakers of the highest learning and ability."
- "Ardabil Becomes a Province: Center-Periphery Relations in Iran", H. E. Chehabi, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2 (May, 1997), 235; "Azeri Turkish was widely spoken at the two courts in addition to Persian, and Mozaffareddin Shah (r. 1896-1907) spoke Persian with an Azeri Turkish accent."
- "AZERBAIJAN x. Azeri Turkish Literature". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2013.; "In the 19th century under the Qajars, when Turkish was used at court once again, literary activity was intensified."
- علیاصغر شمیم، ایران در دوره سلطنت قاجار، تهران: انتشارات علمی، ۱۳۷۱، ص ۲۸۷
- Charles Melville (ed.). Persian Historiography: A History of Persian Literature. pp. 358, 361.
- Abbas Amanat, The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896, I. B. Tauris, pp 2–3
- Cyrus Ghani. Iran and the Rise of the Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power, I. B. Tauris, 2000, ISBN 1-86064-629-8, p. 1
- William Bayne Fisher. Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 344, ISBN 0-521-20094-6
- Dr Parviz Kambin, A History of the Iranian Plateau: Rise and Fall of an Empire, Universe, 2011, p.36, online edition.
- Jamie Stokes and Anthony Gorman, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, 2010, p.707, Online Edition: "The Safavid and Qajar dynasties, rulers in Iran from 1501 to 1722 and from 1795 to 1925 respectively, were Turkic in origin."
- Abbas Amanat, The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896, I. B. Tauris, pp 2–3; "In the 126 years between the fall of the Safavid state in 1722 and the accession of Nasir al-Din Shah, the Qajars evolved from a shepherd-warrior tribe with strongholds in northern Iran into a Persian dynasty."
- Choueiri, Youssef M., A companion to the history of the Middle East, (Blackwell Ltd., 2005), 231,516.
- H. Scheel; Jaschke, Gerhard; H. Braun; Spuler, Bertold; T Koszinowski; Bagley, Frank (1981). Muslim World. Brill Archive. pp. 65, 370. ISBN 978-90-04-06196-5. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Michael Axworthy. Iran: Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day, Penguin UK, 6 Nov. 2008. ISBN 0141903414
- Fisher et al. 1991, p. 330.
- Timothy C. Dowling. Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond, pp 728-730 ABC-CLIO, 2 dec. 2014 ISBN 1598849484
- "Genealogy and History of Qajar (Kadjar) Rulers and Heads of the Imperial Kadjar House".
- IRAN ii. IRANIAN HISTORY (2) Islamic period, Ehsan Yarshater, Encyclopædia Iranica, (March 29, 2012).
The Qajar were a Turkmen tribe who first settled during the Mongol period in the vicinity of Armenia and were among the seven Qezelbāš tribes that supported the Safavids.
- K. M. Röhrborn, Provinzen und Zentralgewalt Persiens im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1966, p. 4
- Encyclopedia Iranica. Ganja. Online Edition Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Keddie, Nikki R. (1971). "The Iranian Power Structure and Social Change 1800–1969: An Overview". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 2 (1): 3–20 [p. 4]. doi:10.1017/S0020743800000842.
- Lapidus, Ira Marvin (2002). A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge University Press. p. 469. ISBN 978-0-521-77933-3.
- Suny 1994, p. 55.
- Hitchins 1998, pp. 541–542.
- Fisher et al. 1991, p. 328.
- Perry 1991, p. 96.
- Fisher et al. 1991, p. 327.
- Mikaberidze 2011, p. 327.
- Mikaberidze 2011, p. 409.
- Donald Rayfield. Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia Reaktion Books, 15 feb. 2013 ISBN 1780230702 p 255
- Lang, David Marshall (1962), A Modern History of Georgia, p. 38. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
- Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation, p. 59. Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3
- P.Sykes, A history of Persia, 3rd edition, Barnes and Noble 1969, Vol. 2, p. 293
- Malcolm, Sir John (1829), The History of Persia from the Most Early Period to the Present Time, pp. 189-191. London: John Murray.
- Fisher, William Bayne (1991). The Cambridge History of Iran. 7. Cambridge University Press. pp. 128–129.
(...) Agha Muhammad Khan remained nine days in the vicinity of Tiflis. His victory proclaimed the restoration of Iranian military power in the region formerly under Safavid domination.
- Fisher et al. 1991, p. 329.
- Alekseĭ I. Miller. Imperial Rule Central European University Press, 2004 ISBN 9639241989 p 204
- Gvosdev (2000), p. 86
- Lang (1957), p. 249
- Dowling 2014, p. 728.
- Tucker, Spencer C., ed. (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 1035. ISBN 978-1851096725.
January 1804. (...) Russo-Persian War. Russian invasion of Persia. (...) In January 1804 Russian forces under General Paul Tsitsianov (Sisianoff) invade Persia and storm the citadel of Ganjeh, beginning the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813).
- Fisher, William Bayne (1991). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. pp. 145–146.
Even when rulers on the plateau lacked the means to effect suzerainty beyond the Aras, the neighboring Khanates were still regarded as Iranian dependencies. Naturally, it was those Khanates located closes to the province of Azarbaijan which most frequently experienced attempts to re-impose Iranian suzerainty: the Khanates of Erivan, Nakhchivan and Qarabagh across the Aras, and the cis-Aras Khanate of Talish, with its administrative headquarters located at Lankaran and therefore very vulnerable to pressure, either from the direction of Tabriz or Rasht. Beyond the Khanate of Qarabagh, the Khan of Ganja and the Vali of Gurjistan (ruler of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom of south-east Georgia), although less accessible for purposes of coercion, were also regarded as the Shah's vassals, as were the Khans of Shakki and Shirvan, north of the Kura river. The contacts between Iran and the Khanates of Baku and Qubba, however, were more tenuous and consisted mainly of maritime commercial links with Anzali and Rasht. The effectiveness of these somewhat haphazard assertions of suzerainty depended on the ability of a particular Shah to make his will felt, and the determination of the local khans to evade obligations they regarded as onerous.
- Cronin, Stephanie, ed. (2013). Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800. Routledge. p. 63. ISBN 978-0415624336.
Perhaps the most important legacy of Yermolov was his intention from early on to prepare the ground for the conquest of the remaining khanates under Iranian rule and to make the River Aras the new border. (...) Another provocative action by Yermolov was the Russian occupation of the northern shore of Lake Gokcha (Sivan) in the Khanate of Iravan in 1825. A clear violation of Golestan, this action was the most significant provocation by the Russian side. The Lake Gokcha occupation clearly showed that it was Russia and not Iran which initiated hostilities and breached Golestan, and that Iran was left with no choice but to come up with a proper response.
- Dowling, Timothy C., ed. (2015). Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond. ABC-CLIO. p. 729. ISBN 978-1598849486.
In May 1826, Russia therefore occupied Mirak, in the Erivan khanate, in violation of the Treaty of Gulistan.
- Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1995). Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. Columbia University Press. pp. 69, 133. ISBN 978-0-231-07068-3.
- L. Batalden, Sandra (1997). The newly independent states of Eurasia: handbook of former Soviet republics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-89774-940-4.
- E. Ebel, Robert, Menon, Rajan (2000). Energy and conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7425-0063-1.
- Andreeva, Elena (2010). Russia and Iran in the great game: travelogues and orientalism (reprint ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-415-78153-4.
- Çiçek, Kemal, Kuran, Ercüment (2000). The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation. University of Michigan. ISBN 978-975-6782-18-7.
- Ernest Meyer, Karl, Blair Brysac, Shareen (2006). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-465-04576-1.
- "However the result of the Treaty of Turkmenchay was a tragedy for the Azerbaijani people. It demarcated a borderline through their territory along the Araxes river, a border that still today divides the Azerbaijani people." in Svante Cornell, "Small nations and great powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus", Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001, p. 37.
- Michael P. Croissant, "The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: causes and implications", Praeger/Greenwood,1998 - Page 67: The historical homeland of the Talysh was divided between Russia and Iran in 1813.
- "Caucasus Survey". Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Mansoori, Firooz (2008). "17". Studies in History, Language and Culture of Azerbaijan (in Persian). Tehran: Hazar-e Kerman. p. 245. ISBN 978-600-90271-1-8.
- Fisher et al. 1991, p. 336.
- А. Г. Булатова. Лакцы (XIX — нач. XX вв.). Историко-этнографические очерки. — Махачкала, 2000.
- "The Iranian Armed Forces in Politics, Revolution and War: Part One". Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "Griboedov not only extended protection to those Caucasian captives who sought to go home but actively promoted the return of even those who did not volunteer. Large numbers of Georgian and Armenian captives had lived in Iran since 1804 or as far back as 1795." Fisher, William Bayne;Avery, Peter; Gershevitch, Ilya; Hambly, Gavin; Melville, Charles. The Cambridge History of Iran Cambridge University Press, 1991. p. 339.
- ‹See Tfd›(in Russian) A. S. Griboyedov. "Записка о переселеніи армянъ изъ Персіи въ наши области" Archived 13 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Фундаментальная Электронная Библиотека
- Bournoutian 1980, pp. 11, 13–14.
- Arakel of Tabriz. The Books of Histories; chapter 4. Quote: "[The Shah] deep inside understood that he would be unable to resist Sinan Pasha, i.e. the Sardar of Jalaloghlu, in a[n open] battle. Therefore he ordered to relocate the whole population of Armenia - Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, to Persia, so that the Ottomans find the country depopulated."
- Bournoutian 1980, pp. 12–13.
- Bournoutian 1980, pp. 1–2.
- Mikaberidze 2015, p. 141.
- Bournoutian 1980, p. 14.
- Bournoutian 1980, p. 13.
- Kettenhofen, Bournoutian & Hewsen 1998, pp. 542–551.
- Azizi, Mohammad-Hossein. "The historical backgrounds of the Ministry of Health foundation in Iran." Arch Iran Med 10.1 (2007): 119-23.
- "DĀR AL-FONŪN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Amanat 1997, p. 440.
- Kohn 2006, p. 408.
- Holt, Lambton & Lewis 1977, p. 597.
- Atabaki 2006, p. 9.
- Atabaki 2006, p. 10.
- Willem M. Floor, A Fiscal History of Iran in the Safavid and Qajar Periods, 1500-1925.
- Frederick Millingen, La Turquie sous le règne d’Abdul-Aziz.
- Amanat, Abbas (1997), Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831-1896, Comparative studies on Muslim societies, I.B.Tauris, p. 10, ISBN 9781860640971
- "Qajar People". Qajars. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Qajar (Kadjar) Titles and Appellations
- Paidar 1997, p. 95.
- L.A. Ferydoun Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn (Khosrovani) (ed.), Qajar Studies. Journal of the International Qaja Studies Association, vol. X-XI, Rotterdam, Gronsveld, Santa Barbara and Tehran 2011, p. 220.
- Caton 1988.
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- Bournoutian, George A. (1980). "The Population of Persian Armenia Prior to and Immediately Following its Annexation to the Russian Empire: 1826-1832". The Wilson Center, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.
- Bournoutian, George A. (2002). A Concise History of the Armenian People: (from Ancient Times to the Present) (2 ed.). Mazda Publishers. ISBN 978-1568591414.
- Caton, M. (1988). "BANĀN, ḠOLĀM-ḤOSAYN". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
- Dowling, Timothy C. (2014). Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1598849486.
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- Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994). The Making of the Georgian Nation. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253209153.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Qajar dynasty.|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Qajar dynasty.|
- The Qajar (Kadjar) Pages
- The International Qajar Studies Association
- Dar ol-Qajar
- Qajar Family Website
- Royal Ark-Qajar Website by Christopher Buyers
- Royal Ark-Qajar Website by Christopher Buyers
- Some Photos of Qajar Family Members
- Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran Digital Archive by Harvard University
- Qajar Documentation Fund Collection at the International Institute of Social History