Iranians refer to the early part of the 20th century as the “Age of Awakening” from the bondage of absolute monarchy under the Shahs. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 was the culmination of a broad movement of a quarter century by Iranians to break free from monarchic despotism. It laid the bedrock of Iran’s popular movement for a modern democratic state.

Gradually, freedom defenders were suppressed and dictatorship returned and finally a military coup by Reza Shah Pahlavi ended the Constitutional movement in 1921. The wartime Allies forced Reza Shah to abdicate due to his Nazi sympathies in 1941 and the ensuing weak monarchy allowed the democratic government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq to form in 1951. A US backed coup by the monarchy and reactionary clerics, ended Mossadeq’s short-lived government and an era of Reformism in Iran.

Major figures of the 1906 revolution and other patriotic leaders of the past 100 years are on display, such as Satar Khan, Bagher Khan, Colonel Pessian, and Mirza Kuchak Khan.