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History, Ottoman Empire

Maronites, Maans, Catholic Press, Lebanon Mountains, Saint Joseph University

In 1516 the Ottomans, centered in Constantinople, extended their conquests to include Lebanon, but gave the region considerable autonomy. Under Ottoman overlords, amirs (princes) of two local dynasties ruled successively: the Maans (1516-1697) and the Shihabs (1697-1842), both Druze families. Maan amir Fakhr al-Din II (1586-1635), a tolerant Europeanized Druze, introduced Western-style development. The later amirs of the Shihabs became Maronites and, under Bashir II (1788-1840), turned against their Druze neighbors. This turmoil in the Lebanon Mountains prompted tighter Ottoman control, though it did not put an end to Maronite-Druze hostility. In battles in 1860 the Druze massacred more than 10,000 Christians, mostly Maronites. European powers landed forces to quell the fighting and encourage better and more open administration. A relative freedom emerged as a result, attracting Arab intellectuals and foreign missionaries. In 1866 the Syrian Protestant College was founded in Beirut and in 1920 was renamed the American University of Beirut. The American Press was established in Beirut in 1834, followed by the Catholic Press in 1874. In 1875 Saint Joseph University was established by French Jesuit priests. Lebanon rapidly became the most literate and best-educated country in the Arab world. World War I (1914-1918) interrupted prosperity with chaos and famine in the Lebanon Mountains, but the Allied defeat of the Ottoman Empire ended Ottoman control over the Levant.



Article key phrases:

Maronites, Maans, Catholic Press, Lebanon Mountains, Saint Joseph University, American Press, American University of Beirut, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, European powers, Bashir, Levant, famine, conquests, prosperity, Arab world, Christians, World War, Ottomans, Din, turmoil, battles, chaos, forces, result, fighting, end, princes, country

 
 

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