Persian Constitutionalism

657 Words3 Pages
The Persian Constitutional Movement led to the creation of the Majlis and the Government Gendarmerie, which were quite active throughout the Great War. In the “Iranian Nationalism and Government Gendarmerie,” historian Stephanie Cronin, a fellow of Oriental Studies at Oxford University, argues that Gendarme offices were propelled to national leadership and led the fight against foreign intervention during the Great War. The Gendarmerie Government utilized various strategies, imperial and domestic, to help reverse Iran’s political chaos and eventual burnout. Cronin uses a chronological approach to capture the social-political history of Gendarme officers, which was established during the Qajar Dynasty. The shah wanted to modernize the Iranian…show more content…
The Gendarmerie identified with Iranian constitutionalism and the struggle for independence from its European masters. In November 1915, the Muhajirin thought the shah was going to leave Iran and the Gendarmerie was order to follow the ruler. However, the Gendarmerie decided to grasp power for themselves in Shirz, which allowed them to gain a substantial amount of power with the help of the Committee for the Protection of Iranian Independence. From that point on, the Gendarmes began taking more power in Iran despite the fact that they faced Russian opposition. Cronin further concludes that the Government Gendarmerie transformed itself into an institution of political significance that rejected its British and Russian masters. Essentially this group demonstrated one small aspect of Persia’s agency throughout the war as these men started to gain back the state’s power in physical and metaphorical sense. The Gendarmerie built an era of “continuity between state-building efforts of the constitutional period and of the post-war and early Pahlavi years.” These efforts allowed Persia to reinstate its own agency by working against European forces that sought to destroy the nation for their own…show more content…
Throughout her article, Cronin uses a political discourse to demonstrate how the Gendarmerie gained their power in a short period of time. Unlike any of her contemporaries, she uses Persian sources to provide insight into the said discourse. She's uses Persian archival documents, such as Tarikh-i Zhandarmiri-yi Iran, that provide insight to on the Government Gendarmerie, which truly enriches her narrative. Persian sources describe the state’s position during the Great War in a first hand account and this attributes to the states participation in keeping their own agency throughout the war. Olson uses British sources and narrative, like Grey’s memoirs and Malcolm’s text, to illustrate Persia’s involvement as the middleman; Majd follows this same approach with use of State Department documents to view things from an American perspective. Thus, the use of sources influences the language and tone used in the scholarship. Both Majd and Olson use a neutral tone that describes Persia as lifeless state that seemed almost helpless, but Cronin argues that people worked within the system to change their fate. More importantly, this political rhetoric developed out Curzon’s interpretation of
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