Russo-Persian Relations and Russian Imperialism in Qajar Iran 1800-1906




Goudazri, Baktash

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Inspired by the approaches developed in the new fields of “Borderland Studies,” “Entangled History,” and the revisionist approaches to the study of imperialism, this thesis provides a fresh analysis of Russo-Persian relations and Russian imperialism in Qajar Iran from 1800 to 1906. This thesis pays particular attention to the Russo-Persian cross-border social, cultural, economic, and military interactions and the interconnectedness of the two neighbouring polities. This study demonstrates the great extent of these interactions and the significant role that they played in developing Russia’s imperialist policies in Qajar Iran. The cases of the Persian Cossack Brigade, the Russian Loan and Discount Bank of Iran, Russian deserters to Qajar Iran, Russo-Persian cooperation in subjugating the Turkmen, and the large Persian communities in the Russian Empire demonstrate how Russia developed and expanded its imperialist policies in Qajar Iran by building upon pre-existing social, cultural, and economic structures. Deserted soldiers, private businessmen, bankers, Persian labour migrants, students, and noble families were all significant players shaping Russo-Persian relations, and Russian imperialism in Qajar Iran. This thesis demonstrates how St. Petersburg’s imperial expansion in Qajar Iran was a complex and contradictory process accomplished mostly through Russo-Persian social, economic, cultural, and military interactions. Moreover, by examining the mentioned case studies, this work casts light on the significance of Russo-Persian interconnectedness for the understanding of the two neighbours’ histories.



Russian Empire, Qajar Iran, Russian Imperialism, Borderland Studies, Entangled History