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safavid empire political structure

January 2nd, 2021 by

By the seventeenth century, trade routes between East and West had shifted away from Iran, causing a decline in commerce and trade. During his reign, the official language at the royal court was Azerbaijanian. Aside from the conflict with the Mughals in 1648-50, during which the shah seized Kandahar from Shah Jahān, no major external wars were fought, and while some visitors saw signs of a deteriorating economy, most still compared the security on the country’s roads and its prosperity favorably with conditions in the Ottoman Empire. ], and then in Azerbaijan until 1502, d. 1504), in the Battle of Šarur, in the Aras valley. The Safavid concept of kingship, combining territorial control with religious legitimacy, would endure, … Centrally located major provinces such as Qazvin, Kāšān, Isfahan, Yazd, and part of Kermān were thus converted to crown land, as were the silk-producing regions of Gilān and Māzandarān, following Farhād Khan’s demise. Wine was proscribed and public entertainment such as singing and dancing was restricted. The Ottoman use of field artillery strung together in a corral, and infantry equipped with hand guns, was decisive in the defeat at Čālderān, though the fact that the Qezelbāš amirs had engaged in a drunken orgy the night before clearly did not help the Safavid cause. The most dramatic outcome of the defeat at Čālderān was, however, the doubt it cast on the invincibility and thus the divine aura of the Safavid ruler. Local Safavid amirs followed this example and appointed Persian deputies as well. Mounting the throne at age ten, Shah ʿAbbās II escaped an overly long childhood dependence on the forces that dominated the harem. The Safavids descended from a long line of Sufi shaikhs who maintained their headquarters at Ardabil, in northwestern Iran. Ruling class or the nobles 6. His massacres of the Noqṭawi Sufis, adherents of a set of beliefs that included reincarnation, the transmigration of souls and belief in monism (waḥdat al-wojud) are particularly notorious. The absence of primogeniture—the right of the eldest son to succeed—in the latter tradition turned every succession into a long struggle for power and thus created much instability (though in Safavid Persia, the older Persian principle of the son succeeding the father usually prevailed). The empire's rulers, like the Ottoman rulers, were Muslim, yet the Safavid Empire used religion differently to promote order and stability within its realm. The elegantly baroque, yet famously misnamed, "Polonaise" carpets were made in Iran during the seventeenth century. Here’s a proper structure: House of Osman 1. Resentful of her and her policies, the Qezelbāš conspired against Mahd-e ʿOlyā, and received the shah’s approval for her assassination, which took place in 1579. One of these empires is the Safavids. The main rivals of the Safavids were to be the Ottomans. Most importantly, the Safavids introduced a concept of patrimonial kingship, combining territorial authority with religious legitimacy that, with modifications, would endure until the 20th century. Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) took Darband and, responding to an appeal by Gilān for protection against the Ḡilzi Afghans, marched on the Caspian provinces, which he took as well. He next sent his general, Farhād Khan Qarāmānlu, to occupy former vassal states such as Gilān and Māzandarān on the Caspian Sea. He then declared autonomy, defying punitive campaigns. The revenue this generated for the royal coffers was, however, not necessarily applied to the army. Among these was the country’s large Sunni population, many of whom lived near the exposed borders, which put a great premium on their loyalty. In the first, the ruler ruled the religious community as God’s trustee; the second was built around the notion of an absolutist monarch governing over his people as a shepherd over his flock; while in the third, power, or at least charisma, resided in the clan which included women—mothers and daughters—as much as sons and uncles, rather than in the person of the ruler. The next few years saw continued Safavid expansion across Persia. Continuing budget constraints indeed caused the army to grow ever weaker, to the point where during military parades the same regiments passed a number of times before the shah. o Early Safavid women had considerable power and respect and could be patrons of art, architecture, and religious institutions o Early Safavid differed with other Islamic socities o Divorce could be caused by either the wife or husband o After death of Abbas the Great, women lost some rights Political • Capitals: Tabriz- Qazvin- Isfahan Several Qezelbāš tribes suffered in the process; others gained in power. The state employed religious propagandists (tabarrāʿiyān), whose task was to vilify Sunnis. Ḡolāms were appointed as governors of these newly formed crown provinces. Following Ottoman precedent, he also locked up his grandchildren in the harem, thereby starting a trend that would produce rulers wholly unprepared for the task of governance. Under Ṣafi I, the trend toward greater power and influence for the ḡolāms continued, as did the drive to convert state domain to crown land. By the late 17th century many of them, including rich merchants, began to migrate from Persia to Europe, India, and Russia in a process that would eventually lead to the decimation of the country’s active Armenian population. But surely his most celebrated measure is the embellishment of his new capital, Isfahan. Assisted by the grand vizier, Mirzā Salmān, she set out to centralize power. With the Qezelbāš once again holding the reins, the remainder of Ḵodā-banda’s reign was to be plagued by factionalism and infighting. The Afghans won a confrontation with a hastily assembled Safavid army in March 1722 at Golnābād, near Isfahan. The reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp, a ruler of refined taste, saw a flourishing of the arts. He sanctioned a Qezelbāš conspiracy against his grand vizier, Mirzā Moḥammad Sāru Taqi, who, in league with the shah’s own mother, had wielded great power since he had been appointed by Shah Ṣafi in 1633. In 1508, Safavid forces achieved their final victory over the Āq Qoyunlu by capturing Iraq, including Baghdad and the Shiʿite shrine cities of Najaf and Karbalāʾ. Persia had benefited from two decades of relative peace. His reign was mostly a period of stability and peace. The highest military post, that of sepahsālār was held by two prominent golāms, Rostam Khan and his brother, ʿAliqoli Khan, almost uninterruptedly for nearly twenty-five years between 1631 and 1655. It has been estimated that by the end of Shah ʿAbbās’ reign some one-fifth of high-ranking officials were ḡolāms. The Safavids began in about 1300 as a mystical order centered in the northwestern town of Ardabil, the hometown and burial place of the order’s founder, Shaikh Ṣafi-al-Din (1252-1334). Shah Abbas ordered a general massacre in Beradost and Mukriyan (Mahabad) (Reported by Eskandar Beg Monshi, Safavid Historian, 1557-1642, in the Book "Alam Ara Abbasi") and resettled the Turkish Afshar tribe in the region while deporting many Kurdish tribes to Khorasan. This did not prevent the Ottomans from taking Ganja and Tabriz a year later. The existing army unit of qollar, consisting of ḡolāms, was reorganized and expanded, and the position of qollar-āqāsi, the head of this corps, turned into one of the most elevated bureaucratic posts. The increased power of both groups, eunuchs and women, was a function of a royal household that had more than doubled in size since the late 1500s to become a fixed place centered on the harem. 1 and 2). Having gained the upper hand in the power struggle, Shah Ṭahmāsp managed to extend his authority and influence over a number of areas that under his father had been buffer regions or vassal states. Ṭahmāsp’s dealings with the Sunni Mughals were far less acrimonious, in part because sectarian differences were less pronounced than in Persia’s relationship with the Ottomans. Culture flourished under Safavid patronage. Ghazal was a form of classical Arabic and Persian lyrical poetry. The Safavid Empire, although driven and inspired by strong religious faith, rapidly built the foundations of strong central secular government and administration. They relied mainly on the technology and tactics that the Persian emperors before them had left. Its governorship went to a leader of the Ḏu’l-Qadr who would rule the area for the next 100 years. Each clan migrated to a different part of Persia, with their leaders appointed as governor of the area once the Safavids conquered it. SAFAVID DYNASTY. 4, p. 14. Once he had seized Hormuz, he razed the town to the ground and founded a new port called, after himself, Bandar ʿAbbās, at the site of the existing village of Gomru on the mainland. A lack of unity, borne out of resentment and jealousy played an unmistabkable role in the denouement, both on the part of the hard pressed Zoroastrians of Kermān, who are said to have welcomed the Afghans, and on the part of the Qezelbāš who, embittered with the Georgians and the number of high positions held by them, seem to have encouraged the Afghans. ), in 1512, the Uzbeks regained Transoxania and briefly occupied Herat and Mashad. At the same time, the “Isfahan school of philosophy”, represented by Mollā Ṣadrā and other thinkers, became known for its metaphysical speculation. Crown domain, for instance, reached its greatest extent under Shah ʿAbbās II. Shah ʿAbbās II’s reign witnessed a continuation of many longstanding trends. Their predecessors had been roving warriors, forever vigilant in patrolling their realm to pacify unruly tribes and withstand external enemies. Another development with equally debilitating effects was the religious policy of Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn’s administration. He had effective control under Shah Tahmasp II and then ruled as regent of the infant Abbas III until 1736, when he had himself crowned shah. By terminating the wars with the Ottomans, Qaṣr-e Širin also put an end to the most imminent threat to Persia’s survival, thus further contributing to the decline of the Safavid army. This enabled him to recapture Tabriz, taken by the Ottomans in 1585, and Sistān, which the Uzbeks had invaded, as well as Kandahar, lost to the Mughals in 1595. The Safavids unified much of Iran under single political control. Attempts were made to standardize religious practice around a scriptural, urban-based version of the faith as opposed to the folk beliefs of the Qezelbāš. He died in 1715, to be succeeded, after a brief interregnum, by his son, Maḥmud Ḡilzay (d. 1725). 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