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War And Change Essay

1969 words - 8 pages

In 1921, Reza Khan successfully managed to overthrow the Qajar Dynasty of Persia, which had been in power since 1785. What followed was the establishment of Reza Khan’s regime, with himself as the shah. After the coup, Reza Shah proceeded to establish himself as the most prominent government official, and was subsequently voted into government as the next shah, becoming Reza Shah Pahlavi and, with his election, inaugurated the Pahlavi dynasty. Reza Shah’s regime differed greatly from its predecessor, the Qajar Dynasty. The Persian coup d’état staged by Reza Kahn in 1921 was the beginning of a major overhaul in Persian government institutions, education, westernization, and marked the start of a transition towards a more stable and unified country at the hand of a dictator. The shift from the Qajar dynasty’s regime, characterized by religious authority and weak resistance to foreign intervention, as well as ineffectual ruling, was immediate and solidified Reza Khan’s position as the undisputed head of government (Metz). With the implementation of reforms pertaining to the role of government, the education system, and the unification of the country with the help of new social policies, Reza Khan clearly established himself and his dictatorial style of ruling (Metz). The nature of Reza Shah’s government is evident in the reforms he put in place and how he ran his government. The definitive actions he took to modernize Persia, which he renamed Iran, demonstrate both the nature of his regime, that of a dictatorship, and also had a major impact on Iran as the reforms served in both the modernization and nationalization of Iran. Reza Kahn’s unique regime of a monarchial dictatorship left a lasting and modernizing impact on his nation through the alteration and establishment of reforms and measures taken in government institutions and systems to unify and strengthen Iran, education, and westernization.
In terms of modernization, the reforms Reza Shah implemented were lasting and impactful in creating a country which differed greatly from the previous Qajar Dynasty, as Reza Shah turned his attention to what he saw as crucial government institutions and systems, such as the army, the railroad, and the justice system. When Reza Shah came to power, the army was small and ineffective. Reza Shah proposed a reform whereby military service was compulsory. With mandated service, the army grew into a significant fighting force for Iran. In 1925, there were 40,000 men in the Persian army. By the time Reza Shah’s policy had taken full effect, the number had almost grown tenfold at a count of 400,000 men. Reza Shah called the army the “soul of the nation”, and allocated funds accordingly, designating almost 1/3 of the entire state budget to maintaining the army. The reorganization of the army had a deep impact on the morale of the country as well as its safety. Not only now was Iran prepared to defend itself but the creation of an army also made the...

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