Nationalism in Iran

Essay by StratMan172Junior High, 9th grade July 2005

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Nationalism in Iran

Iran was primarily an Islamic society and went through many changes and struggles to come to where they are today. There were many important steps that had to be taken before they could have accomplished what they did.

Nationalism in Iran began in the early 1940's because Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was trying to westernize Iraq after his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the Qajar dynasty. Once Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi started ruling, he began making western style popular music, discoteques, and cinema widespread. Some of the Iranians didn't really mind this much but many others resisted because they wanted to preserve their beliefs and heritage. From all of this, tension grew between the westernized people and the more traditional Islamic people. Some people resorted to violence but most of the conflict was political.

A growing Iranian nationalist movement called for self-determination, control over Iranian oil, and fair elections.

The most widely known lead of the nationalist movement was Iran's Prime Minister Mosaddeq, who attempted to seize control of oil production in Iran. He also wanted to limit Muhammad Reza Shah's power. For a period of time, Mossadeq succeeded in gaining control of Iranian oil reserves. When this happened, the western powers reacted harshly and began leading a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil. In 1953, Mosaddeq was removed from power in a coupe that the United States CIA supported. After Pahlavi's control was restored he set up an internal security organization. Throughout the 1960's and 70's the population was poor and they weren't getting any richer. Later in the years, the shah began a program called the "White Revolution". This program was made to promote rural literacy, give women rights to vote, and distribute land to rural farmers. Some farmers benefited from this but 40% of the...