Autocracy, Modernization, and Revolution in Russia and Iran by Tim McDaniel

By Tim McDaniel

What did the Russian revolution of 1917 and the Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 percentage in addition to their drama? How do we evaluate a revolution led via Lenin with one encouraged by way of Khomeini? How is a revolution dependent totally on the city operating category just like one based to an important measure on conventional teams just like the bazaaris, small craftsmen, and non secular scholars and preachers? determining a particular path to modernity--autocratic modernization--Tim McDaniel explores the dilemmas inherent within the efforts of autocratic monarchies in Russia and Iran to remodel their nations into sleek commercial societies.

Originally released in 1991.

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Extra info for Autocracy, Modernization, and Revolution in Russia and Iran (Princeton Legacy Library)

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They had little power to act independently, but in conjunc­ tion with allied groups, particularly the ulama, they could effectively promote their ends. 31 For a description of this system, see De Madariaga, Russia in the Age ofCatherine the Great, 90-93. 32 Julian Bharier, Economic Development in Iran 1900-1970 (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), 180. 33 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, 58-60. HISTORICAL L E G A C I E S 35 As compared with Russia, where the very concepts of townsman (meshchanin) and bourgeois carried negative connotations, the merchant has always enjoyed higher social status in Islamic societies.

In addition, the government initiated new controls over foreign trade and established state-run monopolies, threatening the positions of many mer34 Maxime Rodinson, Islam and Capitalism (New York: Pantheon, 1973), 16. Hodgson, Venture of Islam, 2:78-79. D. , Washington University, 1973), chap. 3. 35 36 CHAPTER ΟΝΕ chants, although a small merchant elite also benefited from these policies. Changes in the guilds' right to collect taxes undermined the power of the traditional guild leaders and weakened the bazaar organizations.

Both this separation and the activist conception of the state would find fuller expression in the dramatic but historically rooted reforms of Peter the Great. The Iranian monarchy, by contrast, was subject to no such influences. The politics of the Qajar rulers in the late nineteenth century could largely be interpreted in the political categories of previous centuries. These crucial differences provide clues to the development of the Rus­ sian and Iranian states over the next two centuries. For despite the remark­ able similarities already noted, the Russian autocracy, governing appara­ tus, and society underwent noteworthy transformations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, allowing Russia to maintain itself as a great Eu­ ropean power, while Iran remained politically fragmented and economi­ cally sluggish, prey to British and Russian territorial and economic incur­ sions.

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