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Derived from this Question and this Answer is a question about the history of the twelver Shia branch of Islam. Would you please notify in short how did this branch evolved through the ages with focus concentrated around the Safavid era? The main points that are considered to exist in an accepted answer are these:

  1. the main events that largely helped spreading this perspective (a list of events with references given for each can be very helpful, but only the main events please)
  2. does this claim that Safavid empire in Persia was the main reason for the twelver Shi'ism becoming the mainstream shia sect has anything to do with reality?
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Good question but it needs too long answer like a book, much more than what can be written here –  Ali Jan 21 '13 at 21:23
    
@Ali, keeping the answer as short as possible should be enough, only tracking qualitatively how it evolved may suffice. You can start that with the fact that after the holy prophet --peace be upon him-- passed away Shia started to evolve from 3 or 5 or 7, then was branched and evolved, until Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq --peace be upon them-- who had as many as thousands of students, not all of them Shia of them but caused in intensive spread of their ideas, then Imam Redha --peace be upon him-- coming to Iran, then the 9th, 10th, 11th Imam sending representatives to all over the Islamic land ... –  owari Jan 21 '13 at 21:46
    
I wished I had such historical knowledge to answer this question, but I don't unfortunately :-) –  Ali Jan 22 '13 at 0:18
    
This is question is too broad and contains off-topic question which might be better suited at History. The question needs to be spread across multiple questions. –  Bleeding Fingers Jan 28 at 21:53
    
@BleedingFingers, history of islam can equivalently belong to a history branch and to a Islamic branch in my opinion. However, I accept that the question is somewhat broad in scope, although it is almost focused on the history of the growth of Shi'ism in the Safavid era. –  owari Jan 31 at 18:57
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