chapter  8
30 Pages

Merchants without borders: trade, travel and a revolution in late Qajar Iran (the memoirs of Hajj Mohammad-Taqi Jourabchi, 1907–1911)

ByALI GHEISSARI

Merchants were important players in the Iranian constitutional movement and during the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911; they participated on both sides in the autocratic/constitutional conflict – a number of them served as leading advocates of the revolutionary cause and were a major force in advancing the revolutionary struggle. Some merchants made financial contributions to the constitutionalist campaigns, such as supporting the constitutionalist papers, financing the purchase of weapons, or maintaining the “sit-in” (bast) at the British legation in the summer of 1906.2 Together with the existing wealth of published material, more systematic research on the role of individual merchants, at least on par with the scope of research on courtiers, government officials, intellectuals, or the ulama, will significantly expand our understanding of the late Qajar period.3