Lebanon Research Paper

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Lebanon’s extensive history of foreign interventions which continue to this day are rooted in several factors including its history prior to independence, the formation of the state and society, and the nature of its modern political system. In order to understand Lebanon’s seeming predisposition to foreign intervention, it’s first necessary to understand it’s historical background and relationship with foreign powers under the Ottoman system and following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. During the 17th century the economic and military center of the world shifted from the Middle East to the north Atlantic in Europe. During this transition, Ottoman strength disintegrated quickly and western nations rapidly gained power through colonialism …show more content…
The foundation of the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon played an integral role in shaping Lebanese politics and society, and in turn establishing factors that would make it prone to intervention. The French sought to make Lebanon as large as possible while still retaining a Maronite majority; a move that pleased the Maronites and brought out animosity among the Druzes and Sunni Muslims. Nationalists revolted against the French in the streets and through representatives in the government. Following Lebanon attaining its independence the government removed all “French prerogatives” of the mandate from their Constitution. In retaliation, France stationed troops in Lebanon and only withdrew under pressure from the UN. Following the establishment of Lebanese independence, a curious agreement was struck which is now known as the National Pact. Under the National Pact, the Sunni delegation agreed to recognize Lebanon’s current borders and reject reunification with Syria in exchange for the Maronites rejecting further French involvement in Lebanon’s affairs. The parliament and offices of the government would be split in a six-to-five ratio with Maronites being the majority holders (being proportional to the population as recorded in the 1932 census.) Finally, the prime minister would be Sunni and the president would be Maronite. Though the Lebanese government aimed …show more content…
Throughout Lebanon’s history, foreign intervention has been relatively proportional to the stakes at hand. When the nation was part of the Ottoman Empire, European powers exercised what they believed to be the required amount of force to protect their interests in the region (along with the Christian minorities) against the superpower that was the Ottoman Empire. During the 1958 Lebanon Crisis, the US sent a fraction of the troops it has used in other interventions. This is because the present turmoil was relatively small and supporting the Chamoun presidency wasn’t necessarily a priority for US interests in the region. However, the Lebanese Civil War appears to be an anomaly. Experiencing a considerable amount of intervention for what in all likelihood would otherwise be a contained domestic conflict. The US was once again drawn in for similar reasons to the 1958 Crisis; that is to say concerns for interests in the region, protecting a relatively pro-western regime, and additionally stopping inhumane violence. The major developments of the civil war were the interventions of Israel and

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