Meaning of 'ABBAS I in English


born Jan. 27, 1571 died Jan. 19, 1629 byname 'Abbas the Great shah of Persia from 1588 to 1629, who strengthened the Safavid dynasty by expelling Ottoman and Uzbek troops from Persian soil and by creating a standing army. He also made Esfahan the capital of Persia and fostered commerce and the arts, so that Persian artistic achievement reached a high point in his reign. born 1813 died July 13, 1854, Banha, Egypt khedive (viceroy) of Egypt under the Ottomans from 1848 to 1854. During his reign he deliberately opposed change, such as the Western-inspired reforms initiated by his grandfather Muhammad 'Ali Pasha (viceroy 1805-48). 'Abbas, distrustful of Europeans and European-educated Egyptians, reacted to the reforms of Muhammad 'Ali by closing down or neglecting the public and military schools and factories. He reduced the armed forces, stopped the construction of the Delta Dam, and opposed the construction of the Suez Canal that had been proposed by the French. He allowed the construction, however, of the Alexandria-Cairo Railway by the British, who in return assisted him in his dispute with the Ottoman government over the application of the Western-inspired reforms (tanzimat) in Egypt. Although he was opposed to the reforms, 'Abbas showed his loyalty by sending an expeditionary force to assist the Ottomans in the Crimean War (1853); he also abolished the state trade monopolies, which had defied Ottoman treaties with the European powers. Although 'Abbas' aversion to reforms won him the reputation of a reactionary, his curtailment of government spending benefited the poorer classes, who received tax remissions and suffered less from compulsory labour and conscription into the army. A man of secretive nature, 'Abbas lived in isolation in his palace at Banha, where he was strangled by two of his servants. Additional reading L.L. Bellan, Chah 'Abbas I: sa vie, son histoire (1932), the only biography of Shah 'Abbas I in any European language-generally accurate; R.M. Savory, " 'Abbas I" in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., vol. 1, pp. 7-8 (1960); for general background to the period of Shah 'Abbas, the reader is referred to: J. Chardin, Voyages du Chevalier Chardin, 4th ed., 4 vol. (1811); Sir John Malcom, The History of Persia from the Early Period to the Present Time, 2 vol. (1815); and V. Minorsky, Tadhkirat al-Muluk (1943), especially the introduction, commentary, and appendixes.

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