Summary of French rule over Syria
French maintained tight, direct control over regions through a high
French established native governments with constitution but only
shadow of real, French political structures
Public utilities under French c
Syria and Lebanon
French Mandate of Syria
French claim to Syria based on combination of religious,
economic, and strategic interests.
French were self-proclaimed protectors of Christian
communities of Levant, especially of the Catholic Ma
Early Lebanese Politics
340,000 Maronites at the time (30% of population) French and
Maronites looked at Lebanon as a private domain and as a Christian
homeland and preferred a Franco-Mediterranean cultural orientation
rather than an Arab one.
The Great Arab Revolt
On June 10, 1916 the Great Arab Revolt was launched when an
Arab and British army of up to 70,000 men moved against Ottoman
Sherif Hussein tried to appeal to cause of Islamic solidarity.
Tried to portray his action as a duty
The Alawites & The Druze, by providing each of them with a separate
state in 1922.
Except for a brief period from 1936-1939, both of these states
were administratively separate from Syria until 1942.
In 1924 France introduced a new political arrangement b
As a result, AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY became a governmental institution.
Such policies continued by post-colonial Arab governments
AFTER BRITISH LEFT!
Secular Arab governments restricted freedom of ulama &
the intelligentsia altogether.
Head of al-Azhar now on
San Remo Conference 1920
1920 Conference of San Remo was an international meeting of
the post-WWI Allied Supreme Council, held in San Remo, Italy in
April of 1920.
Determined allocation of Class "A" League of Mandate states for
administration of the forme
French continued to dismiss calls for Syrian and Lebanese
Popular unrest and British pressure finally compelled the French
to restore the constitutions (which had been cancelled earlier) .
French then allowed Lebanese and S
Lebanese Census of 1932
Determined that all Christians outnumbered all Muslims (including the
Druze) by a ratio of six to five and political power was then allocated
according to this ratio.
Thus for every six Christian deputies in the chamber, there were
The first political division France imposed was the creation of Greater
Lebanon in 1920.
Syria and Lebanon
To the old Mutasarifiyya (semi-autonomous, Maronite-dominated
province) of Mount Lebanon
coastal cities of Tripoli, Tyre, Sidon, and B