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date: 15 October 2019

Qajar family [Qājār; Kadjar]locked

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[Qājār; Kadjar]

Turkoman dynasty of rulers and patrons. They reigned in Iran from 1779 to 1924. After the fall of the Safavid family dynasty and the campaigns of Nadir Shah (d 1747), the Qajar tribe of Turkoman competed against the Zand dynasty for power in Iran. Under Agha Muhammad Khan (d 1797) the various branches of the Qajar tribe were united, and their authority expanded over the country. In 1785 Agha Muhammad took Tehran and adopted it as capital. In 1794 he captured the last Zand ruler Lutf ‛Ali (reg 1789–94) at Kirman, and the following year he was formally crowned in Tehran. With the country pacified, subsequent Qajar rulers in the 19th century, particularly Agha Muhammad’s nephew (1) Fath ‛Ali Shah and the latter’s great-grandson (2) Nasir al-Din, became important patrons of art and architecture at a time when Iran was increasingly exposed to European ideas. By the end of the 19th century, however, the country was deeply in foreign debt due to incessant warfare and royal extravagance. A demand for political liberalism arose, and in ...

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Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden, 1954–)