Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The shah intended it to be a non-violent evolutionization of Iranian society through economic and social reforms. The shah attempted to import western economic ideas and launched massive government-financed heavy industry projects. Most important, however, was the land reform which saw the traditional landed elites of Iran shorn of much of their influence. Almost 90% of Iranian share-croppers became land owners as a result. Socially the platform granted women more rights and poured money into education, especially in the rural areas, which had some success in increasing literacy rates.
The reforms were launched to try to justify the shah's somewhat tenuous rule and to try to build Iran into an economic power on the western model.
The White Revolution failed to include any measure increasing democratic representation in Iran, however. Also, many of the reforms were botched or fell victim to corruption. An example of this is the land reform program which did not give most peasants enough land to live on, creating widespread discontent. The powerful Shi'ite clergy was also displeased at the reforms that removed some of their traditional powers in the realms of education and family law.
See also: Verghese Kurien ("father of the white revolution" in India)
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