Background and causes of the Iranian Revolution

Causes of the Iranian Revolution

The Iranian Revolution was the Shia Islamic revolution that replaced the secular monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi with a theocracy led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Its causes continue to be the subject of historical debate and are believed to have stemmed partly from a conservative backlash opposing the westernization, modernization and secularization efforts of the Western-backed Shah, as well as from a more popular reaction to social injustice and other shortcomings of the ancien régime.


Background (1906–1977)

Shi'a clergy (or Ulama) have historically had a significant influence in Iran. The clergy first showed themselves to be a powerful political force in opposition to Iran's monarch with the 1891 Tobacco Protest boycott that effectively destroyed an unpopular concession granted by the shah giving a British company a monopoly over buying and selling Tobacco in Iran. To some the incident demonstrated that the Shia ulama were "Iran's first line of defense" against colonialism.

Reza Shah

Main article: Reza Shah

The dynasty... more

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