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Persia / Qajar Dynasty /
Fath Ali
Persian: fath ¢aliyy qājār

Fath Ali

Painting in the Golestan Palace, Teheran.

(1772-1834) Persian shah, 2nd ruler of the Qajar Dynasty 1797-1834, altogether 37 years.
His reign is mainly remembered for his two unsuccessful wars against Russia, which caused Persia to loose Georgia and the Caucasus.
His character is difficult to ascertain. Contemporary sources suggest him both to be a man of culture and learning, showing great interest in both in his own as well as foreign cultures, as well as lazy and avaricious. It is, however, clear that during his reign many elements of Persian culture were revived, like painting.

1772 September 5: Born into the leading family of the Qajars.
1797 June 17: His uncle, the shah, and Fath Ali becomes new shah.
1804: Invades Georgia, resulting in early Persian victories, before the power balance gradually shifted towards Russian dominance. Fath Ali tried to call upon British help, then French, but received aid from none.
1812: Has a Peacock Throne replacement made.
1813: Tabriz is invaded, and Fath Ali is forced to sign the Treaty of Golestan with the Russians. With this, Georgia and large parts of the Caucasus were lost.
1826: Persia attacks Russia, with the aim of recapturing territories lost in the war earlier this century.
1828 February 2: Facing an advancing Russian army, Fath Ali agrees to the signing of a peace treaty. With the agreement, Persia lost the remainder of its territory in the Caucasus, principally Armenia and Nakhichevan. Also the Russians were paid an indemnity, the Persians formally accepted the presence of a Russian navy in the Caspain Sea. Most important, in the long run, was to allow Russian merchants to trade freely anywhere in Persia.
1834 October 20: Dies in Esfahan, and is succeeded by his grandson, Mohammad.

By Tore Kjeilen