Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Morgan Shuster was a U.S. lawyer, civil servant, financial expert, and publisher, who served as treasurer general to the Iranian government in 1911. He was appointed by Iran's government to help manage the country's financial position and heavy debts accumulated by the Qajars to the two colonnial powers of Great Britain and Imperial Russia in Iran.
After graduating from an Ivy League college, he went into a career where he became a customs collector, first in newly liberated, newly independent Cuba after the Spanish American War, and then in the Philippines, at that time an American colony.
In 1906, during the Constitutional Revolution , in which Europeanized Iranians, eager to establish a civil society in their own country, confronted and forced the then-Shah to agree to the election of a Parliament, The Majles, the opening up of a relatively free press, and any number of reforms.
In search for an honest tax collector, they came to the United States for help. Morgan Shuster and a few other American associates were sent to Iran, staying for eight months. The move of hiring Americans in Iran's government highly irritated Imperial Russia and Great Britain.
In one of the most extraordinary acts of imperial hubris, the British and the Russians agreed to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 , in which they divided Iran into three sectors: a Russian sector of influence; a British sector -- the British got the areas with the oil; and a neutral sector. The Iranians were neither informed nor consulted about this.
The Russians were very concerned with the evolution of The Majles and of the Constitutional Revolution. Finally, by November of the same year, following an ultimatum demanding the dismissal of Shuster, the Russians, with the connivance and support of the British, brought about the military confrontation and shelling of Iran's Parliament, and forced the sacking of Morgan Shuster.
See also article on U.S.-Iran relations.
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