Economic Colonialization of Persia and Decline of Conservative Cultural Values

  December 05, 2020   Read time 1 min
Economic Colonialization of Persia and Decline of Conservative Cultural Values
The modern culture of Iran was hugely influenced by the economic tensions between Iran and superpowers. Qajar Shahs always put their personal benefits at the front and preferred to pursue their ambitions instead of protecting the national interests. This caused irreparable cultural damage.
Commercial dependency was reinforced by pressures from the major powers. As the Tsarist empire expanded its territories into the Caucasus and central Asia, and the British pushed the frontiers of their Indian domains into the Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and the borders of Afghanistan, the stability and policy of the rulers of Iran assumed growing importance in their calculations and rivalries. Intensified diplomatic and military intervention established the Tsarist and British governments as players in Iranian politics. Their influence was used for material advantage, gaining Russian and British traders favourable tariffs and commercial concessions, and later drawing Iranian governments into loans and banking concessions.By the 1880s the Shah faced financial difficulties, partly caused by international movements of prices and currency values, to which Iranian prices and values were now linked, and partly as the result of Russian and British demands. The establishment of a British bank in Iran in 1889 was part of the settlement of the cancelled Reuter Concession of 1872, and the setting up of the Russian equivalent in 1891 followed the cancellation of a railway concession to a Russian subject. The dynamic of foreign influence and Iranian government need, leading to grants of concessions, and Iranian resentment at such concessions leading to their cancellation, shaped new forms of dependency. Cancellation of the Tobacco Concession in 1890 led to the government contracting the first foreign loans, and pledging revenues for their repayment.