Document Type : Research Paper


Institute for humanities and cultural studies



By creating a centralized government, the Safavid's revived the historical territory of Iran and gave legitimacy to Shiism. Some claim that the Safavid's created a national government and gave Iranians a new national identity and unity. Two decades after the Islamic revolution, the idea popularized that the establishment of the Safavid government was the origin of the contemporary/modern history of Iran. If considerate the importance of this claim and its consequences, this article evaluates the issue of whether the emergence of the Safavid is really the origin of Iran's contemporary history, and can we talk about the national government and the formation of a national identity during the Safavid period.

The author categorizes the most important ideas raised in this regard in the form of three discourses: orientalist, pan Iran, and Shiite. The article concludes that the establishment of the Safavid government is the origin of a new historical period in the framework of it is the middle period of Iran and its continuation, not the origin of the new or contemporary history of Iran. Because with the Safavid's government, neither a new civilization was established in Iran, that would bring Iran into the modern era, nor did Iran participate in the new European civilization to benefit from its facilities and opportunities, nor a new definition of its position in relation to Presented with modernity. As a result, the Safavid continued the per-modern period of Iran only by changing the religion and changing the relationship between religion and the state.


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