A Destiny Realized: A Timeline of Afsharid Iran and Beyond

Vuu

Banned
I see Greece becoming like we were- after the first revolt failed, it was basically a state of eternal revolt at a smaller scale. Not good if suddenly Bulgarians start being noisy too, then they can kiss the Balkans goodbye
 
U know, since Burmese is very similar to Chinese, maybe the Qing, if they try hard enough, can take it.
I don't think the Burmese are all that linguistically or ethnically related to China. They've never been under Chinese rule, nor to my knowledge have they ever tried to scinicize. Being in the Sino-Tibetan language family means just about as much as being in the Indo-European family.

Qing China by Qianlong's time was really as big China got. It had encountered geographic barriers on all sides, and it really was just logistically impossible to go any further.
 
U know, since Burmese is very similar to Chinese, maybe the Qing, if they try hard enough, can take it.
While Burmese is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family that the varieties of Chinese (as the Sino- of Sino-Tibetan reflects) are also included in, linguistic similarities does not automatically lead to national or cultural unity (otherwise Europe would be split between New Rome, Germania, and the land of Slavs).

Also, both in OTL and ITTL, the Qing did attempt to subjugate the Burmese in the 1760s in three invasions that cost nearly 10 million silver taels and ended in what can be best described as abject failure. In OTL and ITTL, the Burmese showed they could fight both Siamese and Qing forces without collapsing, the Qing armies were unsuited to the tropical mountainous terrain of Burma, and the failed war represented a sort of '“natural” limit' to the Qing Empire, to quote Nassirisimo.

I wouldn't count on the Qing taking on any more great conquests for a while; the 10 Great Campaigns are over and logistics are getting ridiculous (losing to both Burmese and Persians does reflect a certain limit to expansion). Anti-Manchu sentiments still need to be addressed and resolved.

That said, this does get into the period where Europeans and Americans started to get involved in East Asian affairs, particularly Chinese and Japanese, so there will be quite a bit to observe on that side. No America and no Commodore Perry is definitely a change for the Tokugawa Shogunate (the tozama daimyo were still getting uppity regardless). Joseon Korea probably would stay the same since they didn't really get too much influence until after the 1870s but that's dependent on Russia at this point (since America's nonexistent, Britain doesn't have all of India to project eastward from, the Dutch have Japan, and France is otherwise occupied).
 
The first part of the 19th century saw a continuation of the move away from the malikane tax farming arrangements towards other systems such as the esham which allowed the central government better access to the revenues of the land, as well as encouraging greater investment in the land itself. Particularly in Anatolia and the Arabic-speaking provinces of the South, the era saw an increase in irrigation and a move toward the production of cash-crops. Syria saw raw cotton production increase by 140% in the period of 1790-1830, buoyed by an increase in demand from the newly industrialising countries of North-Western Europe. However, it was the well-watered Nile Valley of Egypt which saw the swiftest movement toward an economy based on the growing of cash crops, and in the same period the amount of cotton grown increased by more than 200%. As well as providing ready cash to the Ottoman government (and landowners), the increase of cash crop production saw the economy of the Ottoman East Mediterranean tied not only to traditional trading partners such as the French at Marseilles, but to ports as far away as Liverpool and Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Good to see that cash crops will become a boon for the Turks finances. Wonder if this will help in increasing the population of Anatolia.

In Greece, the harsh treatment received by the population had descended into outright revolt by 1816. Originally dismissed as “bandits” by the Ottoman authorities, Greek Revolutionaries inspired by ideas from Europe fought a desperate struggle for independence that was only defeated after six years of bloody conflict. For the first time in centuries, the Greek Revolt presented an alternate vision of independence for the Christian peoples under Ottoman rule.

I am honestly surprised that the revolt would last that long, given how disorganized it was in OTL.
 
While Burmese is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family that the varieties of Chinese (as the Sino- of Sino-Tibetan reflects) are also included in, linguistic similarities does not automatically lead to national or cultural unity (otherwise Europe would be split between New Rome, Germania, and the land of Slavs).

Also, both in OTL and ITTL, the Qing did attempt to subjugate the Burmese in the 1760s in three invasions that cost nearly 10 million silver taels and ended in what can be best described as abject failure. In OTL and ITTL, the Burmese showed they could fight both Siamese and Qing forces without collapsing, the Qing armies were unsuited to the tropical mountainous terrain of Burma, and the failed war represented a sort of '“natural” limit' to the Qing Empire, to quote Nassirisimo.

I wouldn't count on the Qing taking on any more great conquests for a while; the 10 Great Campaigns are over and logistics are getting ridiculous (losing to both Burmese and Persians does reflect a certain limit to expansion). Anti-Manchu sentiments still need to be addressed and resolved.

Not that you bring it up, if the Qing made peace with the Dzungar Khanate, could they have conquered Burma in it's place at that time?
 
Not that you bring it up, if the Qing made peace with the Dzungar Khanate, could they have conquered Burma in it's place at that time?
To my knowledge, Qing China's defeat was far less a lack of resources and more of the sheer difficulty of logistics in Burma. The Dzungars were thoroughly broken by the time of Qianlong, and really didn't pose the threat they once did.
 
U know, since Burmese is very similar to Chinese, maybe the Qing, if they try hard enough, can take it.
I don't think the Burmese are all that linguistically or ethnically related to China. They've never been under Chinese rule, nor to my knowledge have they ever tried to scinicize. Being in the Sino-Tibetan language family means just about as much as being in the Indo-European family.

Qing China by Qianlong's time was really as big China got. It had encountered geographic barriers on all sides, and it really was just logistically impossible to go any further.
While Burmese is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family that the varieties of Chinese (as the Sino- of Sino-Tibetan reflects) are also included in, linguistic similarities does not automatically lead to national or cultural unity (otherwise Europe would be split between New Rome, Germania, and the land of Slavs).

Also, both in OTL and ITTL, the Qing did attempt to subjugate the Burmese in the 1760s in three invasions that cost nearly 10 million silver taels and ended in what can be best described as abject failure. In OTL and ITTL, the Burmese showed they could fight both Siamese and Qing forces without collapsing, the Qing armies were unsuited to the tropical mountainous terrain of Burma, and the failed war represented a sort of '“natural” limit' to the Qing Empire, to quote Nassirisimo.

I wouldn't count on the Qing taking on any more great conquests for a while; the 10 Great Campaigns are over and logistics are getting ridiculous (losing to both Burmese and Persians does reflect a certain limit to expansion). Anti-Manchu sentiments still need to be addressed and resolved.

That said, this does get into the period where Europeans and Americans started to get involved in East Asian affairs, particularly Chinese and Japanese, so there will be quite a bit to observe on that side. No America and no Commodore Perry is definitely a change for the Tokugawa Shogunate (the tozama daimyo were still getting uppity regardless). Joseon Korea probably would stay the same since they didn't really get too much influence until after the 1870s but that's dependent on Russia at this point (since America's nonexistent, Britain doesn't have all of India to project eastward from, the Dutch have Japan, and France is otherwise occupied).
Not that you bring it up, if the Qing made peace with the Dzungar Khanate, could they have conquered Burma in it's place at that time?
To my knowledge, Qing China's defeat was far less a lack of resources and more of the sheer difficulty of logistics in Burma. The Dzungars were thoroughly broken by the time of Qianlong, and really didn't pose the threat they once did.
Would it be theoretically possible for China to conquer Burma in the 18th century? Possibly, in the same way that Spanish victory against the Dutch in the 80 years was possible. The Chinese were ultimately fighting a war in unfavourable terrain, a huge distance away from their core regions and against a rather capable opponent. Keep in mind that Burma was at war with Siam for most of the time that she was at war with China, saying a considerable deal about the effectiveness of the Konbaung army and state. China was the world's biggest state at this point, and I would guess that it is in the realm of possibility that China would pour as many resources as she could into attempting again and again to break the Burmese. However, the conflict was unpopular as it was within the Qing court, it cost a great deal and was an embarrassment for the Chinese. The Burmese had a strong proto-national identity meaning that any successful occupation of the country was likely to invite further resistance even after the main Burmese armies had been defeated.

China is still comfortably the world's greatest power at this point. Although she doesn't know it, she's likely a bit more secure than she was at this point in OTL due to the lack of British rule in Bengal, as well as Russia's stronger threats on her southern borders. Whether this will end up giving China the breathing space she needs to modernise down the line, or whether it will prevent the realisation of the changing world is anyone's guess at this point.
I see Greece becoming like we were- after the first revolt failed, it was basically a state of eternal revolt at a smaller scale. Not good if suddenly Bulgarians start being noisy too, then they can kiss the Balkans goodbye
The mountains of Greece still provide a lot of hiding places for men keen to avoid the writ of Ottoman Law, and the class of bandits that some of the revolutionaries hailed from isn't likely to disappear quickly. Although things are quiet in Greece now, the situation isn't likely to stay that way if the wider situation of the Ottomans changes in the future.
Good to see that cash crops will become a boon for the Turks finances. Wonder if this will help in increasing the population of Anatolia.

I am honestly surprised that the revolt would last that long, given how disorganized it was in OTL.
The population of Anatolia did increase in the 19th century in OTL, due in part to better administration on the part of the Ottoman government as well as increasing economic prospects and an improving security situation. Like in the OTL, if considerably earlier, the population of Anatolia is likely to both increase and become more sedentary, with the respective boon for the Ottoman authorities in the region. Anatolia is still a relatively secure region from the Ottomans, with a comparatively smaller Christian population as well as a greater distance both from European powers as well as Iran's core regions.
 
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Progress and Regression - The Maghreb in the Early 19th Century

If the story of the Maghreb in the late 18th century was one involving the recovery of the state in some areas as well as its regression in others, the beginning of the 19th century demonstrated the threat that both a weak state and strong tribal influence represented for the countries of the Maghreb. Tunisia, the most developed part of the Maghreb economically and politically had long since curbed piracy and the slave trade in Europeans, and her economy was steadily moving toward a more commercialised agricultural economy. However, while Tunisia herself was spared the armed intervention of Europeans which Algeria and to a lesser extent Morocco suffered, she nevertheless felt the growing impact of European influence. The spread of the industrial revolution into France now began to have its impact on the souks of Tunisia’s towns, and textiles produced in Lancashire and North-eastern France soon began to make an increasing share of the goods sold in the country. In the future this would threaten to squeeze out the un-mechanised artisanal workers of Tunisia’s cities.


In Algeria and Morocco, the economic impact of Europe’s growing productive muscle came alongside that of Europe’s growing military might. Although the corsair raiders who prayed on European coasts were a thing of the past in Morocco, the relative weakness of the Dey of Algiers prevented a similar move towards curbing the trade in Algeria. The disruptions of the French Civil War had allowed pirates operating from the Algerian coast to enjoy easy pickings on Europe’s coasts, and the number of raids had increased in the period. However, this had also generated a great deal of anger within Europe, and following the defeat of the French Revolutionaries, the British took it upon themselves to “police” the Mediterranean. As well as acting on a check on France in the Mediterranean, the British also hoped to win domestic support for imperial ventures, and the Algerian trade in “white gold” as European slaves were referred to in the British press became a popular target for a victorious Britain. After Algerian Pirates and a Royal Navy frigate clashed near Cartagena, killing five British sailors, the government of Marquis Bristol was given the casus belli needed to undertake a “policing action” against the Dey of Algiers.


The war began with a spectacular display of British naval firepower. In a two hour bombardment, the city of Algiers was laid waste by fire from British ships, killing thousands and demonstrating that there was little recourse that the Dey had to the British assault. The British subsequently bombarded the town of Oran and landed troops in both, demanding as a price for withdrawal the return of all Christian slaves in Algeria. Unable to fully comply due to the fragmented nature of the country, the Dey eventually secured a British withdrawal with as many freed slaves as he could muster as well as a large indemnity. In Britain the action had its own effects (the abolitionist movement was galvanised by what it saw as the hypocrisy of the British action in Algeria) but for Algeria and her neighbours, the conflict was a seismic shock [1]. With comparatively little effort, the British had smashed the defences of Algeria’s greatest urban centres, and there was little recourse navally. Indeed, the land forces of the British had been near-impossible to drive out with the limited armed strength available to the Dey.


Thus when a consortium of French and Spanish ships threatened to do the same to the Moroccan port of Tangiers in 1809 if Christian Slaves held in Morocco were not freed, the Moroccan Sultan quickly acquiesced to the Franco-Spanish demands. Although all of the Maghrebi nations would continue to hold non-Christians from sub-Saharan Africa as slaves for decades to come, and the economic impact of freeing European slaves was minimal at best due to their relatively small numbers, the events of the 1800s nevertheless left an impact on the psyche of the Maghreb, especially in its coastal areas. Fears of European invasion and occupation along the lines of a latter-day Reconquista were articulated by contemporary writers, though with few resources when compared to the Ottoman Empire, there was little that could be done in the way of the Westernising reforms that had taken place in the Ottoman Empire.


Indeed, far from being able to embark on a program of centralising and westernising reforms, the Maghrebi nations still remained in some ways, hostages of the tribes which dominated much of the countries. While the Bey of Tunis ran a more sedentary nation receptive to the kind of reforms that had been partially successful in the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan of Morocco had just about managed to ensure the balance of power between himself and the tribes in his country, and attempts by Ali Bey in Algiers to secure his own power in the wake of the British expedition led to his exile and increased tribal influence within the country. The Atlas Mountains of Algeria would prove to be the real base of power in the country, and the Berber and Arab tribes who inhabited those mountains were to dominate the destiny of Algeria for decades to come.


[1] – A little note on abolitionism in Britain here. The movement has been somewhat weaker than in OTL, due in part to heightened economic importance as well as the continued presence of the southern Thirteen Colonies in the British Empire. Nevertheless by this point in the timeline it is making progress and, as will be covered later on, may well be a matter of time.

* * * * * *

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Abode of the Bedouin - Arabia in the Wake of the Saudis

Although the rise and fall of the Saudi State as a real force in Arabia had been a relatively “flash in the pan” phenomenon, its effects would be lasting and significant. The balance of power on the peninsula had changed, with Iran gaining some measure of influence even in the West, even to the extent of the Sharif of Makkah becoming a joint tributary of Iran alongside the Ottoman Empire. Alongside the growth of outside influence in the peninsula also came the re-assertion of tribal power. While the Sharif of Makkah was able to avoid total domination of his state from the various tribal groups that made their home in the Hedjaz, but the same luxury was not afforded to the Rashidis of Central Arabia, nor the smaller states elsewhere on the peninsula. Unlike Turkey or Iran, or Morocco and Tunisia for that matter, the states of Arabia were for various reasons unable to break from the dominance of the tribes which had characterised the peninsula since time immemorial.


Nowhere was this more evident than Central Arabia. Lacking much in the way of agricultural resources or even the trade that other parts of the peninsula saw, Central Arabia had been very much a backwater prior to the rise of the Saudis, and so it remained after they had ceased to become a force. While a small number of Hajj Pilgrims made their way through the town of Ha’il while journeying to Makkah, the region saw few other visitors, offering little in the way of exportable products. Central Arabia was perhaps one the greatest backwaters in the Muslim world, something especially ironic when considering its proximity to its religious heartlands. An Iranian traveller who had visited the oasis town of Ha’il in the 1820s remarked that “even compared to the Baluchis of the North Coast of the Gulf, the Bedouin of Najd live in grinding poverty. Were it not for the few caravans that pass through the region, the people would be entirely destitute”. The Rashidi rulers of Ha’il attempted to promote some trade in the region, but with the sea-lanes around Arabia increasingly safe due to the efforts of the Iranian navy, this was very much an up-hill struggle.


In Yemen, the end of the threat of the Saudis did not end the worries of the Imams who ruled from Sana’a. As with much of the rest of Arabia, Yemen was dominated by its many tribes who fiercely guarded their independence. With Yemen’s economic golden age of coffee long gone, the Imams of Yemen remained too starved of resources to establish anything resembling a centralised state, similar to the cases of Algeria and Central Arabia. The South of Yemen remained out of reach of the Imam, under the rule of its own, often Sunni Sultans. However, the period was not only characterised by the failures of the Imams in forming a central state, as the period saw the establishment of new treaties with both the Ottoman and Iranian rulers, preserving Yemen’s independence from outside forces. The period also saw the arrival once again of European merchants who had seldom been seen since the decline of Yemen’s coffee trade in the 17th century. These few European traders largely came in search of small quantities of goods such as frankincense but also brought along impressions of the rest of the world and some European knowledge as well as silver.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - A good idea, such as the centralising and modernising reforms of both the Iranians of the Ottomans, is often only part of the process. An idea can only go as far as resources can allow, and ultimately the "Naderian" model of reforms is based upon the possession of an urbanised and sedentary population that is simply too small in many parts of the Middle East. Thus many governments remain weak, the pawns of both powerful internal forces as well as larger external powers. In this respect, some areas differ little from OTL even as deep change has affected both Iran and the Ottoman Empire. These countries may well remain backward in terms of administration until they are absorbed into larger empires or something more fundamentally affects their internal structures, though the course of history for the region is far from decided at this point.

As an aside, from this point on updates should be a bit more regular, so I'll set myself the modest aim of getting one out each week, if not a bit more frequently. So let's see how that goes.
 
Where the Naderian model doesn't work, maybe "homebrewed" alternatives can be made...
This would be the next logical step. Often when it comes to the creation of institutions in a country, a "one size fits all" model is deeply flawed as it ignores local conditions and challenges that may not be present elsewhere. I suppose that in a wider context this is why the idea of "pulling a Meiji" is fundamentally flawed, ignoring the conditions which were specific to Japan prior to the event. But I digress...
 
The Georgian War and its Aftermath - 1817 to 1824
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Tiflis, 1819

It is something of a cliché to say that modern war does not live up to the heroic expectations that new participants often have. Rather than glory they hoped to find on the battlefield, they find a hellish landscape strewn with bullets and shells, men clinging to whatever cover they can find and above all else, confusion. Little wonder then, that an unimaginable fear grips most soldiers in their first battle. Were it not for the discipline of their training and their officers, most would flee the field at the first sign of trouble.


However, for Ali, this was not the case. For sure this was his first real battle, though as one of the wild Avar he had faced danger in combat and in his travels before [1]. The son of a minor landowner, he had been relatively free in his youth to study history, Arabic and Persian, as well as the Islamic sciences. Ultimately, in search of reputation, he had taken up arms in the service of the Shah of Iran. Though for the most parts subjects of the Shah, there was very little feeling of anything binding the Avars to the Shah. They lived far away from the core of the Iranian Empire, they did not speak Persian, nor did the bureaucrats that funnelled the wealth of much of the rest of the country to the Shah visit these outlying areas. All that these mountain people knew was that the Shah was supposedly the defender of Islam, as well as themselves, in the face of an increasingly resurgent Christianity.


This resurgent Christianity was most obvious in the form of the expanding Russian Empire, which had inflicted defeats both on the Iranians as well as the Ottoman Empire, but the success of the Russians had given heart to the smaller Christian peoples previously living under the domination of Muslims. The Georgians in particular, a proud people on the fringes of the Iranian Empire with a long history of their own, had finally tired of the rule of the Shah, and had rallied under their nobles to once again have their own independent country. And under one nobleman in particular, they seemed to be enjoying a great deal of success, at least until the forces of the Shah had counterattacked and finally cornered him in the city of Tiflis after four hard years of fighting. He had created a state and seen it dismantled by a concerted campaign by the old Shah Emam. But surrender was out of the question, he had gone too far now.


Thus Petre Bagration surveyed what he knew to be the final battlefield of his life [2]. His war to break Georgia away from the Muslims had not met the success that he had hoped, though he still fought on, unsure of whether it was some sense of honour or hatred that pushed him on. His formerly impressive army had shrunken to a mere fifteen thousand die-hards, the rest having been killed or running to the mountains of Georgia to shelter from the Iranian army. And now he watched the last remnants of the army he built falling man by man as they desperately defended the walls of the city.


“My Prince!” A leuitenant of Petre’s, a young nobleman named Ioseb came through the gates of the citadel on a horse, with a look of hopelessness etched onto his face. “The Iranians have broken through in the West. I’ve dispatched some reserves to try and stem the flow, but they’ll be in the streets in a matter of minutes. The rest of our forces…”

“Are exposed. But there is little we could do now”

“You can still escape. A few minutes and we could ride out from one of the lesser gates. We may not lose the war yet”

Petre thought of all that had happened in his struggle against the Iranians, all that he had seen and done. He had not returned to Georgia for any high-minded principles, or desire to free his “people”, but out of a desire to replace a mediocre career in the Russian army with the power of kingship .He thought of the country he had supposedly fought to free, already devastated by war, suffering even further from more fighting. And yet, would their fate be any better were the Shah to rule once more? He shook his head. “No, no, it is far too late for any of that. Supposing I were I to flee Tiflis, I would only prolong the inevitable. The Russians will not come to our aid, and the people would think me a coward for allowing you all to die without me”

“There are still men who would fight for you, in the mountains”


Ioseb watched as his commander began looking around himself in an exaggerated manner, as if to mock him. “Any man who would want to stand by my side is in Tiflis now. We are finished. Tell the men to pull back from the walls, anyone who can safely get to the citadel is ordered to. Dismissed”


Petre abandoned his command post, and ran up to the walls of the citadel. There he saw Iranian artillery in the distance, pummelling the great walls of the city and Iranian soldiers slaughtering whoever they could find.


Ali raced through the streets of the city, sword and pistol in hand, followed by a company of Avar and Chechen troops. He came upon a lone Georgian rebel, musket in hand, bolting toward the gate of the citadel. He drew his pistol and looked into the terrified eyes of the Georgian as he pulled trigger, shooting the man in the chest and instantly killing him. He had a rare gift for this work, and knew that he could profit from this. He looked toward the citadel and saw his destiny.

[1] – This is the very same Imam Shamil of our own time. He had originally been called Ali before an illness, that for the sake of story, we shall say has been butterflied. Expect to see more of him in the future.

[2] – And yes, this is the Russian General Bagration of our own time. Apparently somewhat less Russified than our own.


* * * * * *

The Changing Tide - The Georgian Rebellion and Russia's move south

The position of the Georgian lands within the Afsharid Empire had always been an ambiguous one. The two rulers of Georgia had submitted to Nader Shah even in the face of opposition from Georgia’s nobility, most of whom greatly resented the heavy tribute to which Georgia was subjected to. The Georgians had initially attempted to break free of Iranian control following Nader’s death, but the reconsolidation of the empire on the part of Reza Shah saw Georgia brought more closely into the Iranian Empire. Although there was still a large role to play for the Princes of the two Georgian Princedoms as well as its nobility, they were to be increasingly side-lined over the next half century as bureaucrats appointed from Mashhad were to play an increasing role in the administration of the country. The attempts of some Georgian nobles to gain the patronage of Iran’s Russian adversary came to naught, as for the most part Mashhad’s control was too strong and the Caucasian Mountains too strong a barrier against Russian forces to project any power into Georgia.


The trend toward integration with the rest of the Iranian Empire was stopped with the reign of Shahrukh, whose comparative disinterest in administration at least halted the progress that had been made under his predecessors. However, it was not until his overthrow that the tide began to turn decisively towards the strengthening of the Georgian princes and nobility. By the time that Emam Shah came to the throne of Iran after years of comparative chaos, very little in the way of taxation actually left Georgia, which had become largely self-governing at this point, if still de-jure subject to Mashhad. Emam was determined to stop this and reintegrate the provice, and sent officials as well as additional garrison troops to “stop the rot”. By this point however, the situation was too far gone. Prince Bagration, a scion of one of Georgia’s Princely Dynasties had returned from his service in the Russian army, and was rumoured to have the unofficial backing of the Russian Tsar. With a small but experienced core, he was able to raise the flag of rebellion in Georgia and within a year, had expelled most of the Iranian garrisons in the country, including the one in Tiflis.


Prince Bagration had proved to be far more successful than his Greek contemporaries, who were never quite able to secure their own country against Ottoman forces. He had declared the independence of a Christian Georgian Kingdom, and sent a message of submission to the Russian Tsar, hopeful to gain his protection. However, things had changed in St Petersburg since his departure, and the Russian Tsar was now more concerned about Poland, following the death of the Holy Roman Emperor and challenges to Russian dominance in Poland in the wake of his death. By 1819, Emam Shah had gathered his armies and was poised to sweep through Georgia. The Iranian re-conquest of the country was a brutal one, leaving villages burned, farmsteads ruined and the land depopulated as anyone who could fled to Bagration’s remaining fortresses or the relative safety of Russia. Georgian pleas for Russian aid fell on deaf ears, until after the fall of Tiflis and the death of Bargration. Stirred by stories of the heroic defence of Tiflis, the Russian court had been won around to the cause of intervention in favour of the Georgians, which the Tsar, encouraged by reports of the death of Emam Shah, promptly followed through with in 1820.


The Russo-Persian War of 1820-23 was far from a decisive war. Russian troops managed to cross the mountain passes and invade Georgia, and with the aid of Georgian rebels expelled the Iranians from much of the country. However, plans to drive to the River Aras were prevented by the stubborn Iranian defence of Derbent, which guarded the Eastern approach of the Caucasus Mountains. An Iranian victory at Yerevan prevented a general collapse on the Armenian Highland, and by 1822 the situation had settled into something of a stalemate. The Russians had entrenched themselves into Georgia, but were unable to make any more progress against the Iranian forces. The Treaty of Tiflis was signed the following year, recognising the independence of Georgia but otherwise leaving Iran’s borders intact. For an Iran whose war effort was exhausting her treasury, this was a welcome relief, though the loss of Georgia would sting Iranian pride and proved a poor omen for the beginning of Shah Adel’s reign. If the psychological impact of the defeat on Iran was palpable however, the fact that Iran had managed to fight the Russians to a standstill was of great interest to some European powers.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - Russia's move south of the Caucasus has finally happened, if not with a great deal of difficulty. Both powers now find themselves in the awkward position of being at the right and wrong side of the Caucasian mountains at various points, limiting its value as a natural barrier. This will have big strategic implications for any future wars between the two, as well as providing a potential cause for war. Nevertheless, Iran has shown that she is still a threat to Russia despite changing balance of power between the two, but this will be of little comfort to the psyche of the Iranian court, which imagines itself as a match for any neighbouring power.

What the war is unlikely to be in the long run is a trigger for deeper and more meaningful reform. As humiliating as the loss of a poor, outlying province may be, this is hardly a fundamental shock to the Iranians that the fall of Isfahan was. While there may be a change of direction in Mashhad to further secure the borders of the Empire, there is still little at this point to suggest that European organizational methods, be they military or civilian, are any better than those of the Iranians.
 
Well now that the Russian already have foothold in south of caucacus this is will be just the start of series of Russo-Persian war in the region. With Georgian success, Armenian might start to try break free too now with potential Russian help just beyond the border.

The Ottoman might start to worry too if this continue. I'm bit wonder why they not try to intervene just to limit Russian gain but it also make sense why they not intervene consider they are in the process of modernization and recently supress rebelion of their own.

Also what are the view of other great power regarding this Russian expansion in the caucacus?
 

Vuu

Banned
At this point any hope of having the Caucasus as a border has been destroyed - with Georgia, the Russians opened a pretty big can of pretty nasty worms, which goes very well into their favor (to create a big buffer zone south of the Caucasus)
 
Russia's move south of the Caucasus has finally happened, if not with a great deal of difficulty. Both powers now find themselves in the awkward position of being at the right and wrong side of the Caucasian mountains at various points, limiting its value as a natural barrier. This will have big strategic implications for any future wars between the two, as well as providing a potential cause for war. Nevertheless, Iran has shown that she is still a threat to Russia despite changing balance of power between the two, but this will be of little comfort to the psyche of the Iranian court, which imagines itself as a match for any neighbouring power.

What the war is unlikely to be in the long run is a trigger for deeper and more meaningful reform. As humiliating as the loss of a poor, outlying province may be, this is hardly a fundamental shock to the Iranians that the fall of Isfahan was. While there may be a change of direction in Mashhad to further secure the borders of the Empire, there is still little at this point to suggest that European organizational methods, be they military or civilian, are any better than those of the Iranians.

I am quite to see if we will get a cultural update on Georgia some time in the future
 
Well now that the Russian already have foothold in south of caucacus this is will be just the start of series of Russo-Persian war in the region. With Georgian success, Armenian might start to try break free too now with potential Russian help just beyond the border.

I think it will all depend on how well the Armenians are doing under Persian rule and comparing it to life under Russian rule.
 
Since the battle of Georgia ITL, I doubt the Russians will going to leave Iran alone, nor will they forget. Well, Russians. One can imagined it to be like a battle between two giants.

On a different topic, what happens to the Azeris in ITTL? They're one of the major ethnic groups in the Caucasus. They're of Turkic bloodlines and shared the same Shiite faith with the majority of Iranians.
 
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