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the foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period

The foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period


Iranian Contemporary History No. 60


History Hall


  Sit ins in Constitutionalism

Mahmud Mirza Hosseini


Among many grounds that led to the protest and sit in of the people and the ulama at the shrine of her holiness, Massoumeh, the shrine of his holiness, Abdolazim and the British and Ottoman embassies to restrain the Shah’s autocratic power and to provide the rule of law, we may refer to the grant of custom concessions to the Russia and the England, the Shah’s visits to Europe at the time of Iran’s financial crisis, taking out loans from foreign countries which were mostly spent on the Shah’s journeys, high inflation, rises in the price of meat and bread, the minister of customs, the Belgian Joseph Neuse’s imposing heavy tax burden on the merchants, the nations dissatisfaction with the governor of Tehran, Alaoddowleh, and the grand vizier, Abdolmajd mirza, Einoddowleh’s doings. Under increasing pressure, the people led by Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Tabatabi and Seyyed Abdollah Behbahani to stage a sit in, demanding the removal of Einoddowleh. Eventually, when a large number of people held a sit in the British ministry, Mozaffaraddin Shah was forced to issue the firman of the constitutionalism. After a short while, the first majlis (consultative assembly) began its work and the constitution called political bylaw was signed by the Shah.


Six months later, the Shah died, and his son Mohammad Ali Mirza came to the throne. A few months later the question of legitimate government was mooted by Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri and Seyyed Ahmad Tabatabai.


The new Shah could not tolerate reformist moves of the majlis including decrease in the court expenses and the pension of the princes, and observed them as discordant with his own authorities and ultra law power. Notwithstanding his many oaths of loyalty to the majlis, he tried to crush the majlis and put down the oppositions. The following records indicate the remission of those who participated in the British consulate protest in Tabriz, the sit in of people and ulama in the Ottoman embassy, protests in the British consulate in Kermanshah and sit in the shrine of his holiness Abdolazim for the purpose of founding a majlis and implementing the constitution in the country.

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