robou

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lets hope we can keep this powerhold now. I suggest that an overthrowing of the Shah and the placement of a democracy/consitutional monarchy might be in order...
 

stnylan

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Not too much room for further expansion into India - I presume the likes of Tibet, and perhaps the Gulf states, are among your next targets?
 

Aethis

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Now northwards and westward campaigns?
 

unmerged(25818)

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Chapter 3: The Persian Spring

Herat, 1847

The destruction of both Afghanistan and Punjab constituted the end of the strongest native opponents to Persian expansion in central asia. Their removal would allow the Empire to expand seemingly without limit. After allowing Punjab time to sufficiently cool off, the army was sent north to begin their Anext task. Shah Mohammad, seeing the benefits of the eastern drive, decided to expand his country further, and had set his sights upon Bukhara.

Launching from Herat and Feyzabad, Persia's two armies thundered across the border in April 1847. As before, the army had the former nation rolled up within a few months despite a bold, but ultimately fruitless attempt by Bukhara to take Mazar i Sharif. By that November, Bukhara became the next state of the Persian Empire. But expansion would come with a price. Punjab rose yet again almost as soon as the army entered Karsi, and nearly took control of the state before the military was able to return and suppress the rebels. The generals began to question the merits of the Shah's long-term strategic plans, as holding down the new territories was keeping the entirety of the Empire's standing military force tied down. The loss of the military's faith, as well as the increasing tension between, and mutual hatred of the throne of, the nation's liberals and conservatives, would ultimately prove instrumental to the Empire's fate.

Tehran, 1848

On February 19th, Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar ascended to the Peacock Throne after his father's 14 year reign ended as he succumbed to gout. A known reformist, the early days of reign were watched closely by both liberals and conservatives. With the first batch of graduates having known nothing else than Mohammad's shah's new liberal education system now completing their schooling, liberalism was beginning to come into full flower as the older, conservative generations began to feel increasingly threatened. The Empire now stood on the edge of a razor.

Nasseraldinshah3.jpg.png

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, in front of the Peacock Throne

On February 20th, only on day after taking the throne, the new Shah announced that he could continue the program of English-inspired reforms enacted by his father.

"I know many of you wish for our great nation to remain as it has since the arab conquest. But if we are to succeed and prosper, we must look forward. For the empire to have a future, it must relinquish its past. But fear not, whatever else may change, there shall always be the guiding hand of the monarchy to lead the empire to glory."

It is said the sign of the perfect compromise is a solution in which no one is pleased. In this sense, the shah was a truly wise leader. Liberals chafed under the idea of the continuance of the monarchy, but were otherwise mollified. The conservatives, on the other hand, sensing that the cause would soon be lost, chose to take action. Long-simmering plans were put into motion.

On April 22, 1848, as the Shah left the Golestan Palace, a group of men assembled nearby. A few moments later they rushed the royal bodyguard. One of them reached the Shah himself and, wielding a knife, yelled "God Is Great!" as he struck several times. By the time the scuffle ended the magnitude of what happened became clear. Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, the last emperor of Iran, lay dead. 2500 years of dynasty leaked out into the street in a pool of blood. The Qajar government, and indeed the Iranian Monarchy as a whole, had been from the start a highly centralized order. Without a clear leader that government essentially ceased to function. And as news of the shah's death spread, the nation exploded.

A full uprising followed as liberals and conservatives took to the streets in a joint bid to sweep away the monarchy once and for all. With the military still trying to hold down the eastern provinces, Iran itself collapsed into anarchy. For 3 months revolution wracked Persia, with even Tehran itself falling under rebel control. A new government would not take hold until, on July 9th 1849, the conservatives turned on their liberal allies and declared the Islamic Caliphate of Persia. The period now known simply as "The Islamic Terror" began soon thereafter.

xroad6.jpg

800px-Flag_of_Iran.svg.png

The Flag of the Islamist Caliphate

The former empire's new rulers quickly worked to establish their vision of the new order, instituting sharia law, slashing funding to education and dismantling the shah's system, and rooting out their liberal opponents. However, they underestimated their adversaries' fighting spirit, and the uprising quickly degenerated into full civil war. The army, able to move but unwilling to expose itself to the possibility of splitting along sectional lines, declared neutrality. As 1849 passed into 1850, liberal opposition continued to grow and gain momentum. Tabriz fell on February 22, 1850. Tehran itself fell to rebels for the second time in less than a year 6 days later, forcing the Islamists to flee to Qom, their traditional stronghold. But the nonintervention of the military, as well as their own heavy-handed policies, ultimately doomed their cause. On February 27, 1851, three years after the chain of events leading to the revolution began, the Republic of Persia was declared in Tehran.

xroad7.jpg


800px-Flag_of_Iran_%281964%29.svg.png

The Republican Tricolor, first raised over Tehran March 15, 1850


The republican victory marked the close of the Persian Revolution, and a new beginning for the nation. Russia and Britain, stymied from intervening by their mutually exclusive guarantees of independence, nonetheless waged a vigorous proxy war in the Iranian Civil War. As the British-backed republicans won the day, Russia began to look west, to the Ottoman Empire, in order to counterbalance the growing influence of Britain in Persia. Direct foreign intervention was also prevented by Persia having been recognized as an independent and civilized nation by the Great Powers following the accession of Nasser al-Din. Taking over and manipulating what they considered an uncivilized tribal state was one thing, to unilaterally invade another civilized state was quite another. But Persia had placed itself in a strategically precarious position. By making itself valuable to both sides of the Great Game the shahs had preserved Persian independence to this point. But the patience of the superpowers was not infinite, and to prevent the carving of the nation the Republic would have to prove it could govern following the collapse of one of the world's oldest monarchies and 3 years of chaos. Only time will tell if the republic will survive this critical period.

-----------------------------------
Sorry for the long wait, it's been a busy few weeks. But I haven't given up, and the story of Persia continues! Thanks for all the comments and I hope you continue to watch my tale unfold :)
 

kalenderee

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...That's interesting. Am I to assume you launched universal suffrage, the Islamists ate the country, and it dissolved into civil war, followed by a liberal occupation of the capital?

Or am I reading the wrong things between the lines?
 

unmerged(25818)

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kalenderee said:
...That's interesting. Am I to assume you launched universal suffrage, the Islamists ate the country, and it dissolved into civil war, followed by a liberal occupation of the capital?

Or am I reading the wrong things between the lines?

No, universal sufferage wasn't enacted until the republic was declared. Basically the conservatives killed the shah for being too western, and after hijacking the uprising against the shadow-monarchy were in turn overthrown by the liberals.

Basically what would've happened had the 1979 revolution gone off a century and a half before its time, followed by liberal counter-revolution.
 

robou

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An interesting turn of events, though i think now that conquests are over, one what you shall profit from!
 

stnylan

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I did not expect this particular twist to the tale.
 

Davisx3m

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Wow.
 

Emp_Palpatine

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Very good AAR indeed, and a great update.

I really like the way game events such as rebellion are stretched in order to fit a greater scheme (like UK/Russia competition).
 

unmerged(61606)

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The Shahs have been overthrown, much earlier than OTL, wow.
 

likk9922

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What an interesting twist!

What have you got up your sleeve for the Crimean War? :p
 

unmerged(25818)

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Chapter 4: The Critical Period

Tehran, December 1851

Every republic on Earth, after being founded, faces a critical period in which its survival is determined. Between its first days and the first peaceful transfer of power to a new party is when a republic must prove itself or collapse. With it's third government in 2 years, Persia was technically free but desperately in need of stability. The vultures were already beginning to circle, with both Britain and Russia already attempting to send advisers to "assist" the new government. However, the leaders of the Revolution were thankfully well into the process of framing the new constitution, a document based upon both the enlightenment teachings they had been brought up on and Persian history itself. Thinkers such as Locke, statesmen like Jefferson, even Persian kings like Cyrus II provided the foundation for articles guaranteeing the freedom of religion and protections against unreasonable search and seizure. With such a relatively liberal document now providing the supreme law of the new government, the first free election in Persian history came as something of a mixed blessing. Though the Liberals lost power to the Conservative Dastebandi-ye-Padishah, they had still built the framework in which they both now operated. And the first handover of power, though met with a few riots, inspired nothing on the scale of the Revolution, and were quickly put down by a military that had finally decided to invest in its own government, following some reciprocal investment from said government. There were no widespread ideological splits, no civil wars. Domestically, the Republic had largely consolidated.

Which left the matter of projecting the impression of strength abroad. A republic being much more difficult to manipulate than a monarchy, the efforts of the russians and british to pull the nation's strings was now somewhat diluted, but still presented a problem to the new government. Thankfully, opportunity would present itself, as a disagreement over some churches in the neighboring Ottoman Empire would be another piece of evidence used by Persian historians to argue the case that Allah himself was indeed watching over the nation.

On February 10th, 1858, the long tension between the superpowers at last erupted, and the Crimean War began. With Russia and Britain now in a state of open war, the rest of europe still engaged in its own squabbles, and the East India Company still cleaning up from the aftermath of the Sepoy Rebellion, the time to demonstrate the Republic's military capabilities had come. For in the years since the Revolution the government had taken steps to begin to truly strengthen and modernize the nation. Conscription was introduced in 1855, leading to the training of reserve units to back up the army, increasing Persia's military capabilities somewhat. More significantly, Persia's first factory, producing canned goods, began construction in Tehran in 1856. And the nation's first railway, extending between Amritsar and Lahore, began construction in early 1857, with service beginning that December. With Persia heading in the direction of prosperity, the aims of the government returned to restoring the territories lost by old empire. What resulted was the largest military operation since the invasion of Punjab, and a dramatic expansion of Persian power and influence.

The first leg of this push entailed the destruction of the last two independent tribal states in central asia, Khiva and Kokand. Long considered part of the Persian nation in addition to gadflies in Russia's side, the Republic convinced the czar to allow Persian troops to enter the two territories under the pretext of securing law and order. As his forces were otherwise engaged in preparing to meet the combined armies of Britain and France, and as reducing cross-border raids into his kingdom suited his purpose, St. Petersburg did not object. On July 24th, Persian troops invaded Khiva. As before, the country was swiftly overrun, and by the following November was a territory of the Persian Republic. No sooner had the ink dried on the khivan instrument of surrender then the invasion of Kokand, now the last of the central asian minor states, began. On August 16, 1859, Kokand ceased to exist, and with the purchase of the colony at Taldyqorghan from a cash-desperate Russia, Persia officially won the Great Game.

With central asia thus subdued, the second, and more symbolic, operation began. Even as the campaigns in the northeast proceeded, preparations were being executed in bandar abbas: an entirely new 4-division army was built, as well as enough clipper transports to carry them. 4000 years before, the Arabs had invaded Persia. Now Persia, crossing the straights of Hormuz, would return the favor. The tribal states on the Arabian Peninsula had, like their central asian counterparts, long been backward and bankrupt sources of piracy and anarchy. Again under a pretext of securing restive neighbors, the newly minted Army of Arabia landed in Dubai on September 9th, 1859. By September 1860 they had successfully conquered not only Abu Dhabi but neighboring Nejd and Ha'il as well, giving Persia control of most of the Arabian Peninsula. Of course, this was not only a significant territorial and prestige gain for Persia, but a direct strategic challenge to the Ottoman Empire, as the Persian Gulf was now almost entirely a Persian inland sea, leaving the port of Basra at the Republic's mercy. And the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina were also now border territories. The message was clear: there could be only one Muslim Great Power.

Although this period marked a dramatic increase in Persian diplomatic, economic, and military power, it also highlighted new challenges for the rising nation. Though the military was greatly expanded, the Republic faced new foreign threats. The Crimean War had rendered Russia militarily irrelevant, while resulting in a major boost in Ottoman power, outnumbering the Persian army about 4 to 1. A better time to begin a rivalry probably could have been chosen.

With so much now going into a vitally necessary expansion of the military, much of the economic growth of the period never got a chance to go near the nation's coffers. As such, this left the government able to afford little more than a token crime fighting force, leaving it only marginally less corrupt than the monarchy it had replaced.

Finally, though factories were beginning to bloom across the nation like flowers, few were able to work in them. The majority of nation's population lay in the states of Punjab and Afghanistan, and it was here that the nation's greatest potential fro economic growth lay. Unfortunately the government essentially hamstrung itself by insisting on a policy of limited citizenship, preventing otherwise productive Punjabis, Sindis, and Afghans from driving what could have been even more spectacular economic growth, and leaving their citizens content but somewhat resentful.

In all, Persia had become a fundamentally different nation in a very short period. By the beginning of the American Civil War the monarchy had transformed itself into a thriving Republic, stretching from Ottoman Iraq to Xinjiang, from Russian Kazakhstan to British India, and southwest to the Rub' Al Khali. The Persian Republic's achievements to this point were already astounding, but the nation's future still lay ahead of it.

xroad8.jpg

The Persian Republic in 1860, Ten Years After the Revolution

-------------------------------------------
Sorry for another long-ass wait, I'm proving busier than I thought. As you can see I've gotten a lot done in a short span, and again do not fear, I'm not giving up on this yet :)
 

stnylan

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Given the rapid rise at some point you are going to have to take a break from expansion and consolidate a little before the next wave.
 

unmerged(59662)

First Lieutenant
Aug 7, 2006
226
0
I recommend that you consolidate your territory on the Arabian peninsula first. Once you control the whole of it, colonize the areas on your Russian flanks that are open to your influence. Gather your army and hit the Ottomans with everything you've got, taking everything in modern Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and western Saudi Arabia in the process. Should that succeed I might eye the Caucasus and the rest of Central Asia, along with Tibet, China, and an Eastern African colony or two.