The citizens and residences of Iran, wanted to spark a movement dedicated to changing the Iranian government due to errors and actions executed by the Shah under a monarchy rule, and the mistakes and successes of the different political forces. Methods used by Iranians were demonstrating, destroying western symbols, rallying and massive protesting all of which were completed in a violent, rough and destructive manner. Anti-Shah groups worked outside of Tehran, in various other countries, using the media to spread ideals and ideas to the public by smuggling cassettes with speeches done by leaders of these organizations.Early on, the opposition was mostly consisting of the urban middle class, similar to Brinton Crane’s anatomy of a revolution, a sector of the population that wanted the Shah to abide by the Iranian Constitution of 1906.
The first major demonstration against the shah was held in January 1978 lead by Islamic groups. Students and Religious leaders rebelled in the city of Qom. The army was sent in to minimize conflict but instead ended up killing several students. Because of these deaths, on February 18 groups marched in honor of these students and also protested against the rule of the Shah. History repeated itself, killing 100’s of demonstrators. Again this continued on March 29 and May 10. Symbols which represented the Shah were destroyed. In May, there was a shooting of one of a leading political moderate’s followers. Shariatmadari, the political moderate, abandoned his stance and joined the opposition. By summer 1978, these workers, often from traditional rural backgrounds, joined the street protests in massive numbers. Other workers went on strike and by November the economy crumbled. Violence continued killing 400 civilians at a movie theater. 10,000 relatives and sympathizers gathered for a mass funeral and march.
By September, the nation was rapidly destabilizing, with major protests becoming a regular occurrence. The Shah introduced martial law, and banned all demonstrations. A massive protest broke out in Tehran, in what became known as Black Friday. Rumors started and violence killed 700 people, but in the meantime the appearance of government brutality alienated much of the rest of the Iranian people and the Shah’s allies abroad. A general strike in October resulted in the paralysis of the economy, with vital industries being shut down.
Basically methods used to impeach the shah were done in a very violent manner and protests, demonstrations and public awareness were main methods that the Iranians used.
2. SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
The 1979 Iranian revolution is both similar and different to many other previous revolutions in different corners and locations in the globe. This revolution is similar to the French revolution in many aspects, for one, the first people to arise and complain about the political system was the middle/working class. In the eventual out come the king in the French revolution, and the Shah and the Iranian revolution were eventually executed. Anti-Shah organizations outside of Tehran smuggled speeches of leaders and officials stating facts and ideals concerning the revolution, similar to the American Revolution where in Thomas Paine wrote “Thomas Paine’s Common Sense” also stating facts and ideas of the events happening; they both used the distribution of media to get ideas and thoughts across to the people of their nation. Concerning the Philippine revolution, when General Fidel Ramos joined the people or opposition of the government, the revolution took a turn and was at its climax, similar to Shariatmadari, who abandoned the Shah for the opposition. Also similar to the Philippine revolution, when the military detached it’s self from Pres. Marcos the rule of Marcos collapsed also like the crumble of the Pahlavi dynasty which occurred shortly after Iran’s military declared itself “neutral”, on February 11.
Unlike the Philippine revolution the protests, demonstrations and methods used in the Iranian Revolution were done violently, while in the Philippines it was done peacefully. The execution of the Shah is different from the Philippine revolution and the American Revolution considering the leaders weren’t killed in those two revolutions. Different from all the other revolutions, French, American and Philippines, all countries were aiming for a democratic government while the people of Iran wanted a theocratic government to emerge.
3. OUTCOME AND POST REVOLUTIONARY IMAPCT:
The Iranian Revolution, which has been called “the third greatest revolution in history,” transformed the former monarchy under the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Phalvi, to a theocratic run government or Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. Internally, some goals of the revolution have been fulfilled such as broadening education and health care for the poor, particularly government promotion of Islam and elimination of American influence in the government. Another post-revolutionary impact due to the 1979 revolution is that Iran now has one of the most effective and useful family planning programs. Plus, Iranians experience more political freedom and both male and female above the age of 15, are legal registered voters, and vote for members of the government at national, provincial and local levels. But generally, un-happiness and dis-satisfaction is wide spread. Because of this revolution many changes have occurred affecting all citizens and residences of Iran.
After the success of the Revolution, the new theocratic government created a movement called “Literacy Movement Organization” which primary focus is to provide literary courses for the illiterate population through a vast mobilization program. The illiterate population in Iran was previously 52.5% and now has decreased dramatically to only 24% as of 2002. This movement established over 2,000 community learning centers across the country, employed 55,000 instructors, distributed 300 easy-to-read books and manuals, and provided literacy classes, based on Iranian religious principals, to both men and women.
Although the government is based on religious principals, the minority of the country still has some seat in parliament, such as; Christians, Jewish and Zoroastrian communities. Despite the fact that the government has made an effort to change Iran for the better, minority groups complain of discrimination, particularly those members of the Bahá’í Faith. Large quantities of members in the Bahá’í faith have been executed, imprisoned, deprived of jobs, restricted from being involved in the government and are offered minimal or no educational opportunities.
Despite the fact that the government has made improvements in certain aspects in Iran, political repression, revolutionary guards, and other religious enforcers are problems facing the citizens of this country. Disrespect and violation of Human rights by the theocratic regime are even worst than during the monarchy era.
For woman, the impact of the revolution has been both good and bad. The rate of females enrolling in universities has increase to 66%, plus there are larger numbers of woman in civil service and receive higher education and lastly, woman are a part of the Islamic Consultative Assembly or the Iranian political system. Although the women are entitled to a better education and rights concerned with schooling, the theocratic government practices muslin ideology and according to this, women are treated inferior to men and separation of the sexes is strictly practiced. Women must be dressed conservatively; otherwise one may receive up to 70 lashes or imprisonment for showing anything other than hands and face. To women the Islamic revolution has impacted them in many good ways but has also affected their lives in a very negative manner.
Economy wise, the people still depend on exports on petroleum to support their country and them selves. The price of oil has fallen ¼ since the monarchy. The people of Iran, particularly the young have experienced problems of unemployment as job creation is moving at a slow rate.
Broadening education and health care for the poor, government promotion of Islam and elimination of American influence in the government, effective family planning, political freedom, decreasing numbers of illiteracy are outcomes which have affected and benefited minority groups such as the youth, women, Christians, Jewish and Zoroastrian communities. But inequality to those who practice the Baha’i faith and women, plus political repression, revolutionary guards and other religious enforcers, disrespect and violation of Human rights, and an unsteady and unreliable economy are problems that have affected the people of Iran in negative aspects due to the result of the 1979 Revolution. Overall the 1979 revolution has made a significant impact on certain aspects in the lives of citizens and residences in Iran.
4. JUSTIFICATION OF THE REVOLUTION
Yes, the Islamic revolution was justified. The Iranian rulers today wanted to chase everybody who is a worker that left in the revolution, making them justify to their own authority. The U.S and other Western governments want to take the Iranian revolution one step backward, thus justifying their own opposition to the revolution. As we know the 1979 revolution brought an Islamic republic to power, instead by the clergy and Ayatollah Khomeini, it was the urban poor that lived up the revolution and organized the protests. And Iran’s workers brought the Shah’s regime to its knees. Some methods the Iranians used to impeach the shah was done by very violent manner and protests among the people. Also demonstrations and public awareness were main methods the Iranians used. I don’t think they should have protested in a violent manner by killing innocent people.
5. BRINTON CRANES ANATOMY OF A REVOLUTION:
The Iranian revolution fits into Brinton Crane’s anatomy of a revolution in certain aspects. In stage 1: symptoms; In the Iranian revolution, the middle or working class is the initial members of society that express it’s concerns with the government, specifically concerns dealing with economic restraints. The government is also ineffective and unable to deal with the problems of the people and is also very inept and corrupt. Intellectuals such as Anti-Shah groups, students and religious leaders joined the opposition against the government. All of these are symptoms in Brinton Crane’ anatomy of a revolution, meaning that stage 1 fits into his anatomy.
For Stage 2 the middle class rise up against the government and have violent out breaks and continue to protest and demonstrate aggressively. At this stage many climactic battles begin to take place such as the black Friday, the first major demonstration and the Abadan Arson attack. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his party could be considered the new government although they run under theocratic principals, and of course, the government is overwhelmed with problems both financially and drafting the new constitution instead of the 1906 constitution of Iran is also a difficult task. Indeed this stage fits into Brinton Crane’s anatomy of a Revolution.
In stage 3, there is no political left and the moderates are still in power. There is still violence as the shah is not yet completely thrown out of the government. Currently the revolution and country is fragile since not all people agree with the theocratic government plus the fact that economic conditions are poor. Basically, most of stage 3 fits into Brinton Crane’s anatomy of a revolution.
The convalescence stage of the revolution, or stage 4, is not quite complete and although the country of Iran does have a ruler; the Iranian government and Iran has not yet completely recovered and returned to normal. Generally, stage 1 and 2 and a bit of stage 3 and 4 fit into Brinton Crane’s anatomy of a revolution while most of stage 3 and 4 do not.
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