Concept

Naser al-Din Shah Qajar

Summary
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (Nāser-ad-Din Ŝāh-e Qājār; 16 July 1831 – 1 May 1896) was the fourth Shah of Qajar Iran from 5 September 1848 to 1 May 1896 when he was assassinated. He was the son of Mohammad Shah Qajar and Malek Jahan Khanom and the third longest reigning monarch in Iranian history after Shapur II of the Sassanid dynasty and Tahmasp I of the Safavid dynasty. Nasser al-Din Shah had sovereign power for close to 51 years. He was the first modern Persian monarch who formally visited Europe and wrote of his travels in his memoirs. A modernist, he allowed the establishment of newspapers in the country and made use of modern forms of technology such as telegraphs, photography and also planned concessions for railways and irrigation works. Despite his modernizing reforms on education, his tax reforms were abused by people in power, and the government was viewed as corrupt and unable to protect commoners from abuse by the upper class which led to increasing antigovernmental sentiments. He ended up being assassinated when visiting a shrine. The state under Naser al-Din was the recognized government of Iran but its authority was undermined by local tribal leaders. The religious and tribal chieftains held quite a bit of autonomy over their communities. Naser al-Din was not effective in implementing his sovereignty over his people. Local groups had their own militias and oftentimes did not obey laws passed by the monarchy since they did not have the power to enforce them. The people followed the ulama's fatwas instead of state issued law. When Naser al-Din took power, his army barely had 3,000 men which was significantly smaller than the armies under various tribal leaders. When the state needed a proper army, he would hire the local militias. Prior to his reforms, Naser's government had very little power over their subjects and even during the reforms, they faced more scrutiny over their ability to implement those reforms successfully. Naser al-Din was in Tabriz when he heard of his father's death in 1848, and he ascended to the Sun Throne with the help of Amir Kabir.
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