Libmonster ID: U.S.-1544

Religious diversity has always been a feature of the Middle East region. The need to ensure peaceful coexistence within a religiously heterogeneous society contributed to the emergence of a unique system of complex organization of socio-political relations - political confessionalism. This phenomenon is based on two elements: the actual "confessional" (fr. confessionelle) - based on religious affiliation and solidarity of members of society, and "communal" (fr. communautaire) - based on family-generic, patronage-client and territorial ties. All this together determines the socio-political status and position of the individual in the state [Dagher, 2001, p. 132; Khalaf, 2003, p.110-111]. In multi-confessional States, religious minorities appear in the political arena as quasi-national groups, as separate socio-cultural, and sometimes socio-economic communities. In such a situation, losing the significance of the worldview system, religion retains only the significance of a powerful consolidating force [Islam in modern politics..., 1986, p. 208].

Confessionalism in the Arab East was most fully manifested under external influence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. on the territory of Lebanon, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. At that time, confessionalism, on the one hand, served as an intermediate stage between the collapse of feudal society and the formation of an independent national state, and on the other, it made it easier for the Porte to control the situation in multi - confessional Lebanon [Makdisi, 2000, p.166-167, 174]. Later, France pursued a similar policy of relying on ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Lebanon to counteract the growth of Arab nationalism and the national liberation movement. After Lebanon gained national independence, the confessional system immediately revealed its negative consequences. Each community defended its own identity, and its political and economic interests often took precedence over the State. Differences in the views of representatives of different faiths made it extremely difficult to reach internal agreement in the process of forming a unified Lebanese nation.

Small Lebanon is now home to representatives of at least 17 faiths. Because of this, Lebanon has become a kind of "nerve center" of the region, where all the socio-political contradictions are directly felt: the Middle East conflict, the war in Iraq, the crisis over Iran's nuclear program, the US-Syrian confrontation, the "cartoon" scandal, etc.

Maronite Christians traditionally play a special role in Lebanon. According to the latest data, they make up about 20% (about 700 thousand people) of the country's population.-

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It is the third largest religious community in Lebanon and the first among Christian denominations. The Maronite community is numerically inferior to Sunnis (about 25% of the population) and Shiites (almost 30%) [Syria after Lebanon..., 2005], it is one of the most active participants in Lebanese political life. And while the Muslim communities in the country often compete with each other, the Maronites in the political arena often acted and act on behalf of all Lebanese Christians.

The Maronites went from being a small agricultural community to the top of the confessional pyramid of Lebanese society, maintaining this position for more than 60 years. It was the Maronites who gained the greatest advantages as a result of the functioning of the system of political confessionalism. It was an important factor contributing to the political success of the community until the early 1970s, and also allowed them to avoid complete marginalization after the end of the civil war of 1975-1990, when serious changes took place in the country's political establishment, which was reflected, in particular, in the significant strengthening of the position of Lebanese Muslims, especially the Shiite community. The current dominance of Shiites in the military and political sphere causes serious concerns, especially among representatives of Christian communities. The new Muslim majority periodically calls for the elimination of the confessional system, as well as the revision of the 1943 National Pact and the Taif Accords of 1989 - the foundations of modern Lebanese statehood and the mechanism for maintaining the status quo. Under these circumstances, the Maronites are faced with a choice. They need to redefine their role in the changed society and try to build trusting relationships with the Muslim world around them, which will require a revision of a number of traditional political principles of the Maronite community, which were formed in parallel with the development of the confessional system.

In the history of the formation of modern Lebanon, confessionalism did not contradict the process of secularization. By the second half of the twentieth century, each of the leading religious communities had put forward its own ideology, which became a secular expression of confessional interests. So, Sunnis took the position of Arab nationalism, Druze - "progressive socialism", Shiites defended the principles of egalitarianism. The Maronites were the first to take this path, as they put forward the concept of "Lebanese nationalism" since the beginning of the 20th century [Harik, 2003, p.23]. Initially, "Lebanese nationalism" meant "belief in the existence of a single Lebanese nation" [Khalifa, 2004, p. 446]. Later, by the mid-1970s, such a derivative concept as "Maronism" came into use, which was a further development of the particularist aspirations of the Maronites. He positioned the Maronite community as the main guarantor of preserving Lebanese identity and statehood. The doctrine caused mostly negative attitude of representatives of other faiths. This was largely due to the fact that Maronism was distinguished by such features as a radical approach to the implementation of the principles of Lebanese nationalism, the desire for Maronite domination in the administration of Lebanon, a tendency to isolationism, and a wary attitude towards cooperation with the rest of the Arab world. Thus, the ideology that was initially based on the recognition of the special path of historical development of Lebanon and its separation from the "united Arab nation", eventually transformed into the idea of the superiority and special position of the Maronites even in relation to other Lebanese [Rayes, 1988, pp. 33-34].

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According to official church doctrine, the emergence of the Maronite community is associated with the activities of the hermit Marun (d. 410), who lived in the north-west of Syria in the vicinity of the city of Haleb. Novices founded after his death as monks-

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The Russian Orthodox Church has earned a reputation as an outspoken defender of the official Christian faith established at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In the sixth century, the monastery became a major religious center, from which the ideas of the Chalcedonites (representatives of official Orthodoxy) were propagated and polemics with the Monophysites were conducted.1 As a result of the Arab conquests, the Maronites were isolated from their co-religionists and in 687 proclaimed their own patriarch, Johanna Marun al-Sarumi. Independence in ecclesiastical matters was also reinforced by the economic isolation of the Maronites, who relied on a self-sufficient rural economy, the center of which was the monastic economy.

The community that emerged in the Syrian cultural milieu remained isolated and had no relations with the Hellenized population of the large coastal Levantine cities, which were used to replenish the Orthodox community of the Byzantine Empire (Valognes, 1994, p.370). The confrontation between the Maronites and Monophysites often reached armed clashes. The Monophysites enjoyed the support of Iran, which sought to weaken the Byzantine Empire by inciting religious contradictions within the empire (Khalifah, 2001, p. 21). The isolation of the Maronites allowed them to resist foreign religious influences, and if necessary, to defend the interests and purity of their teachings by force. However, the community could not survive under constant pressure for a long time. In the seventh century, the Maronites began to move from Western Syria to the northern part of the Lebanese Mountains. In the tenth century, because of the constant Arab-Byzantine clashes in Syria, the Maronite migration took on a massive character, and in the eleventh century the community almost entirely moved to the territory of present-day Lebanon.

Modern historians agree that with the formation of an independent church organization, the Maronites adopted the doctrine of monothelism2in order to finally separate themselves from the official church and the Byzantine authorities. At the same time, belonging to this recognized heretical teaching at a certain stage made it difficult for the Maronites to get closer to the Vatican [Musa, 2004, p.317], so from the end of the 15th century, the Maronite Church began to promote the thesis of the "primordial orthodoxy" of the Maronites [Salibi, 1991, p. 44-45].

There are at least three points of view regarding the ethnic origin of the community: the Maronites are considered descendants of the Phoenicians, followers of the Mardaites 3 of Iranian or Anatolian origin, and Arabs who penetrated the Levant before the Arab conquests [Valognes, 1994, p.369]. Defending the thesis about the non-Arab origin of the Maronites, their own historiography sought to prove that the Maronites were not just a Christian community, but a full-fledged "nation "that was in alliance with Byzantium and opposed the" expansion of Islam " [Musa, 2004, p.260]. At the same time, modern researchers, in particular the well-known Lebanese historian K. Salibi, argue that the Maronites were most likely an Arab tribe or a confederation of tribes, a significant part of which migrated to the Levant and was in the service of Byzantium in the pre-Islamic era. He gives a specific answer-

1 Monophysitism is a theological and dogmatic trend in Christianity that emerged in Byzantium in the fifth century (it was condemned as a heresy at the Council of Chalcedon in 451). Proponents of this doctrine claim that Christ has only one nature - divine [see: Denisov, 1994, p.97].

2 Monothelism is a Christian theological and dogmatic teaching that emerged at the beginning of the seventh century and claimed that Christ had two essences - divine and human, but a single will. This theological doctrine, which represented a compromise between the teachings of the Monophysites and the official church, was put forward by Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople with the support of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, the patron saint of the monastery of St. Marun. Monothelitism was rejected by both Monophysites and Orthodox Christians, and the Sixth Ecumenical Council of 680-681 condemned the teaching as heretical (Denisov, 1994: 105-106).

Mardaites 3 (Arabic) Marada rebels) - Christian armed groups that conducted raids on the possessions of the Umayyad Caliphate in the Levant [Salibi. 1991, pp. 175-176].

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The Maronites ' origin is well known, noting that they originally lived in an oasis on the border of present-day Saudi Arabia and Yemen (Firro, 2003, p. 44).

Subsequent periods in the history of the Maronites are associated with their establishment first in the northern part of Lebanon (Bsharreh, Batrun, Jbeil) and their gradual spread almost throughout the country. The Maronite settlement of the central and southern parts of the Lebanese Mountains began after the Mamluk punitive expeditions to Kisrawan in 1291 and 1306, when Egypt, dissatisfied with the strengthening of Shiite notables, began to forcibly expel the Shiite population from these areas. As a result, prerequisites were created for the subsequent development of these territories by the Maronites. During the Ottoman period, beginning in the 16th century, Maronite migration was encouraged by local Sunni authorities as a counterbalance and guarantee against the return of Shiites to Kisrawan. The growth of the Maronite community in this area was also facilitated by the fact that some local Shiites converted to Maronite Christianity in order to protect themselves from persecution (Picard, 2002, p.14). Subordinate to the Ottoman authorities, the leaders of the Turkoman tribes that ruled Kisravan at that time invited Maronite notables as their economic agents and managers. Even then, the Maronites were distinguished by a fairly high level of education and were familiar with various crafts [Fawaz, 1994, p. 18].

Maronite peasants proved to be skilled farmers, which led to the willingness of almost all local rulers of Mount Lebanon to facilitate the migration of Maronites to the territories under their control (Valognes, 1994, p. 376). At the expense of the Maronite peasantry, the Muslim authorities also made up for the labor losses caused by numerous feuds. The Maronites were particularly industrious and had a traditional penchant for agricultural labor, which was especially appreciated in the production of silk. Mulberry silkworms were bred in Mountain Lebanon from the end of the sixth century, and after the appearance of the Crusaders in the Levant at the end of the eleventh century. The European market has also opened up for local producers. Until the end of the 19th century, sericulture was the most profitable occupation in the region. At the same time, skilled Maronite peasants contributed to a significant increase in silk production, and consequently to an increase in the welfare of local feudal lords [Smilyanskaya, 1965, pp. 7-8].

By the 16th century, even before mass migration to the central and southern regions of Lebanon, the number of the community had already reached 100 thousand people, and over the next two centuries it grew by one and a half times. By the beginning of the 19th century, the Maronites were the majority in all areas of mixed population, with the exception of the Druze Shuf. By the mid-19th century. They also accounted for 2/3 of the population in the traditionally Druze areas of Mountainous Lebanon (Fawaz, 1994, p. 29; Rodionov, 1982, p.18, 33). Such population growth could not pass without a trace for the economic potential of the Lebanese Mountains. Thus, by the end of the 19th century, the resources of Mount Lebanon were insufficient to meet the needs of the growing population. In 1840, the population of the mountainous regions reached 200 thousand people. With a density of 100 people per 1 sq. km of cultivated land, this was the natural limit for these territories [Fawaz, 1994, p. 236]. In addition, significant damage to the economy of Mount Lebanon was caused during the Druze-Maronite armed clashes of 1841-1860, especially in 1860, when several hundred villages were destroyed and about 117 thousand square kilometers of agricultural land were destroyed. This has led to a significant reduction in the productivity of the Lebanese economy. For example, even in 1882, the local wheat crop provided only a quarter of the district's population's needs, while the rest had to be purchased in the Bekaa Valley or coastal cities, i.e. already outside the Mutasarrifiyya of Mountain Lebanon (Petkovich, 1885, p.175). The decline of the Lebanese economy was accompanied by the migration of the mountain population, first to Beirut, where the center of economic life had already moved, and then to Egypt, Europe, and North and South America (Sneifer-Perri, 1995, p.17).

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At the same time, despite all the negative trends, the Maronite community remained the most numerous and financially secure. According to the census of 1862, 115096 Maronites lived in the territory of Mount Lebanon; in 1882, their number was estimated at about 150 thousand people. In the second half of the 19th century, the Maronite community was the largest owner in Mount Lebanon and owned about 50% of real estate. The closest competitors of the Maronites, the Druze, owned approximately 23.8% [Petkovich, 1885, pp. 124, 158-159]. Despite this, the Maronites faced the problem of providing food in the context of a significant slowdown in the pace of economic development. In this situation, the most logical solution was to provide the administration of Mount Lebanon with direct access to major port cities (Beirut, Tripoli, Saida) and agricultural land east and south of the Lebanon Ridge.

In parallel with the strengthening of the community's well-being and the growth of migration activity, its political activities also intensified. It was she who helped overcome the socio-economic crisis in Mount Lebanon. Active involvement of Maronites in political processes began in the 17th century under Emir Fakhraddin II (1590-1633) of the Druze Maan dynasty, when the Maronite Khazin family received the feudal title and status of Muqataadji for the first time in the history of the community. From now on, the Maronite nobility, in addition to collecting taxes from their co-religionists, exercised judicial and administrative power within the conferred area (mukataa or akta), and called and led armed militias [Rodionov, 1982, p. 21]. Given the important role of the Maronite peasantry in ensuring the well-being of Druze lands, as well as the growing economic power of the Maronite church, the Ma'an, and later the Sunni Shihab dynasty allied with them, became increasingly close to the Maronite elite [Petkovich, 1885, p.123]. An important milestone in the history of the Maronites is considered to be the 1770s, when emirs from the Shihab dynasty (Sunnis), as well as representatives of the Abillama family (Druze) allied to them, converted to Maronism4, which allowed them to significantly expand their authority among the Maronite population, which by that time was the majority in the Emirate of Mount Lebanon.

The political dominance of the Maronites was clearly manifested under Emir Bashir II Shihab (1790-1841), when the former power of the Druze feudal lords was practically reduced to zero, and their place was taken by the Maronite nobility. For the first time in the history of Mount Lebanon, the emir went from being" first among equals " to an independent sole ruler, who bypassed all traditions and distributed key posts to his relatives and closest allies, disrupting the functioning of traditional power institutions created and debugged during the Druze rule.

The change in the traditional way of life and the established mechanism of interfaith cooperation in Mountain Lebanon took place against the background of Lebanon's involvement in major regional politics, including in armed conflicts in the Middle East. This circumstance contributed to the politicization and militarization of the entire population, regardless of their religious affiliation. During the Egyptian occupation of Syria (1832-1840), the Emir of Mount Lebanon Bashir II actively cooperated with the Egyptians. On the one hand, this favored the strengthening of the power of the Maronite Emir, his greater independence from Istanbul, and on the other, it undoubtedly created prerequisites for the development of antagonism between the Maronites and the Druze. Druze feudal lords were not only deprived of many traditional privileges, but also suffered significant material losses. The military policy of the Egyptians, as well as the obvious abuses of Maronite moneylenders under the Egyptian occupation

4 Historians doubt the specific names and dates, as the"apostate" emirs hid their conversion for a long time [Timofeev, 2003, p. 453].

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they led to the ruin of Druze peasants [Smilyanskaya, 1965, p. 90]. In addition, the use of members of one religious community by the Emirati authorities to quell unrest in another contributed to the emergence of sectarian strife. So, in 1820, even before the Egyptian invasion, Emir Bashir II demanded that the Druze notables of Shuf suppress the local uprising of Maronite peasants. And in 1837-1838, he handed over Christian formations to the commander of the Egyptian troops in Syria, Ibrahim Pasha, to suppress the Druze uprisings in Hauran and Wadi at-Time (Gunnam, 1998, p. 116). The numerically superior Maronites objectively claimed dominance in the original Druze areas, which threatened to further weaken the Druze feudal lords. After the liquidation of the Shihab Emirate in 1842, sectarian confrontation was no longer restrained by any power institutions and took an open form.

The escalation of sectarian strife in Lebanon, which was in the orbit of the geopolitical interests of the "Great Powers", primarily England and France, forced them to pay attention to the restructuring of the emirate's political system. The process began with the division of Mount Lebanon after the first Druze-Maronite conflict in 1841 into two kaymakamiyyahs (districts): Christian north and Druze south. District heads were supposed to report to the Turkish administration in Beirut. The plan was proposed by Austrian Chancellor Karl Metternich and was a compromise between the French desire to restore the Shihab dynasty and the Porte's desire to maintain direct government of the country. The innovation did not lead to peaceful coexistence among the Lebanese and increased religious tensions rather than reduced them. Christians were the overwhelming majority in northern Kaimakamiya. In the south, their number was at least 2/3 of the population (Fawaz, 1994, p. 29). The new organization of government in Lebanon perpetuated religious separatism, supported the antagonism of the Druze and Maronites, and consequently provided the Porte and the European powers with pretexts to interfere in Lebanese affairs.

The administrative and territorial reorganization of Lebanon has also exacerbated the contradictions associated with the redistribution of property. The events of 1841-1860 were characterized by a close relationship between confessional contradictions and the conflict of economic entities. In areas with a mixed population, the situation worsened as a result of Maronite peasants ' actions against the Druze nobility [Smilyanskaya, 1965, p. 125]. Anti-feudal Maronite sentiment was encouraged by the clergy, who also participated in the power struggle and had economic interests in both Maronite and Druze territories. At the same time, the church maintained and even strengthened its position as the unifying force of the Maronite community. At first, the clergy served as the main link between Maronite families who moved to Druze lands (Salibi, 2003, p. 114). Later, in connection with the establishment of Maronite rule in the Lebanese Mountains, the church took a direct part in the political struggle. At the same time, religion became a tool for denoting not so much cultural as political orientation in the absence of established political ideologies [Reflexion..., 1993-1994, p. 234]. Moreover, the church was able to replace the secular leadership in order to prevent a power vacuum, especially during periods of transition, such as after the liquidation of the Shihab Emirate in 1842.

At the same time, Druze notables, faced with the harsh policies of Bashir Shihab during the Egyptian occupation, clearly saw all the harmful consequences of the Maronite settlement of Shuf. The Druze faced the need for serious steps to radically limit the influence of the Maronites in their own territories. Now Christians were openly attacking the power and social status of Druze feudal lords. A kind of signal for the Druze was the anti-feudal uprising of the Maronites.

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In 1858, in Kisrawan, Druze notables began to prepare for preventive actions, encouraging feelings of sectarian isolation among ordinary members of their community.

The Port also made a significant contribution to the intensification of inter-confessional discord. In order to overcome the increasingly noticeable economic and military-political decline in the mid-19th century, the Ottoman authorities, within the framework of the Tanzimat (1839-1876), carried out a series of transformations to centralize the administrative apparatus and strengthen the influence of Istanbul in the controlled provinces. The situation was particularly affected by the laws that provided for equal civil rights, the abolition of the death penalty for "apostasy", and the equalization of the rights of the entire population of the Ottoman Empire, regardless of their national or religious affiliation. This corresponded to the growing ambitions of Lebanese Christians, but was sharply negatively perceived by Muslims. On the ground, periodic aggravations of the situation were often associated with the fact that the Turkish authorities indirectly and sometimes directly participated in inciting unrest in Lebanon, trying to find a reason to establish direct rule there from Istanbul [Fawaz, 1994, p.22, 214-215].

The most acute form of sectarian conflict took place in 1860, when armed clashes (in some areas it was a massacre of the Christian population) swept through all areas of mixed population in Mountainous Lebanon and partly in the Bekaa valley. Starting in Metna and around Beirut, the fighting quickly spread south, reaching Jezzin, and west, encompassing the town of Zahleh in the Bekaa, as well as the towns of Hasbaya and Rashaya at the foot of Mount Hermon. The events of May-June 1860 in Lebanon and the subsequent massacre of Christians in Damascus (July 1860)served as a pretext for a French military expedition (August 1860-June 1861) "to assist the Turkish authorities in pacifying Syria" .5 French troops put an end to the armed clashes in the mountains and saved the Maronites from complete defeat. Among the Maronites, there was a hope that after the intervention of Paris, power in Lebanon would be given to them in full. However, other powers (including Russia) also showed interest in the Lebanese issue, so the final settlement was submitted to the International Commission for consideration. It met on June 9, 1861 in Constantinople, consisting of representatives of France, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and Turkey. The result of the commission's work was the Organic Statute for Mount Lebanon, which approved the regime of the autonomous province of Mutasarrifiyyah. According to the Statute of Mutasarrif (the position was introduced by an amendment of 1864) - the ruler of Mount Lebanon-was appointed from among the Christians of the Ottoman Empire (but not Lebanon) for a term of 5 years with the right of re-election and reported directly to the Minister of the Interior in Istanbul. Article 6 of the Statute proclaimed the abolition of all feudal privileges and the equality before the law of the entire population of Lebanon.

The new administrative-territorial structure of Lebanon took its final shape in 1864: Lebanon was divided according to the confessional principle into seven administrative districts, and in four of them the heads of local executive authorities and the chairmen of courts were Maronites. At the level of the mutasarrifiyya, a Central Administrative Council was established, consisting of 12 members. Initially, the seats were divided equally between representatives of the six main faiths (only six seats for Christians and six for Muslims) [Nizam Jebel..., 1998, p. 526], but in the final version, Christians were allocated seven seats, of which four (most) were intended for Maronites. Such a system marked the beginning of the process of eliminating feudal institutions of power, as well as the legislative system of the state.-

5 The Turkish army was also involved in "restoring order", but in reality it was either inactive or directly involved in clashes on the Druze side.

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it firmly established confessionalism as a principle of political representation. However, the internal organization of the Maronite community itself retained some features of feudal society for a long time, including the dominance of large feudal clans and clientism [Valognes, 1994, p.646]. At the same time, the numerous and more modern institutions of power in the Lebanese Mutasarrifiyya contributed to the rapid rise of new Maronite families (including those of non-aristocratic origin), which played a key role in the already independent Lebanon.

The civil conflicts of 1841-1860 revealed serious contradictions within the Maronite community itself. The conflict reflected a lack of unity among Maronite notables, especially between the traditionally Maronite north, a stronghold of militant Maronism with elements of Messianism towards fellow believers from the central and southern regions [Saghieh, 2006], and the south, where Christians have long co-existed and cooperated with representatives of various Muslim faiths [Dib, 2004, p. 50 - 51]. Thus, while the Maronites of Metna and Shufa adopted the new system, the "Northerners" who were not affected by the tragic events of 1841-1860 were more radical and less loyal to the new authorities. In northern Lebanon, tribal and clan ties played a much larger role than the authority of the authorities or the church. Military methods of managing and resolving conflict situations as an element of political culture persisted in the northern part of mountainous Lebanon both during the relatively calm period of the Mutasarrifiyya and already in independent Lebanon (see Chamoun, 1963).

Within the Maronite community, there was a fairly influential group of opponents of the new regime, dissatisfied with the impossibility of appointing a Lebanese Maronite to the highest post in Mutasarrifiyyah. The movement for Maronite rule of Lebanon and expansion of its territory was led by Yusuf Karam, a native of the "northern" clan and the last Maronite ruler (1860-1861) during the two Kaimakamiyas. Hoping for the support of France, he twice raised uprisings (in 1864 and 1867) against the new Lebanese authorities, but each time he was defeated and eventually forced to leave Lebanon (Harris, 1996, p. 111).

The intensification of the political struggle, the sharpening of the sense of confessional solidarity, the awareness of one's own economic interests, as well as the officially recognized autonomy of Mount Lebanon became a favorable environment for the formation of the foundations of the ideology of "Lebanese nationalism". Relations with Europeans contributed to the emergence of a national Arab elite, which, being familiar with the European way of life, sought to transfer European traditions and achievements to the Middle East [Reflexion..., 1993-1994, p. 224]. Lebanese Christians were introduced to European political teachings, including those on nationalism. At the same time, for a long time there was no consensus among Lebanese intellectuals on the future development paths and foreign policy orientation of Lebanon. It was the Maronites, who were fully aware of the political and economic interests of their own community, who were able to project them on Lebanon and helped give the final appearance to the concept called "Lebanese nationalism" (Entelis, 1982, p.233). The evolutionary path of the "Lebanese ideology", which eventually led to the creation of the so-called Great Lebanon, took about 70 years and was initially promoted exclusively by the Maronites.

The ideas of the Maronite aristocracy about the future political and socio-economic structure of Lebanon were first outlined in one of the writings of the Maronite Bishop Nikola Murad6 in 1844.

6 N. Murad is known as one of the most active participants in the events of 1841-1860. As a representative of the church, he was directly involved in spreading anti-Druze sentiment among Maronite Christians.

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Lebanon is divided into two kaymakamiyyas, so the author advocated the unification of all of Mountainous Lebanon within one emirate. In addition, he defended the view that the Lebanese ruling elite "has always been Maronite" (Harik, 1968, p. 140-141).

In the course of the development of autonomous Mountain Lebanon, the ideology of Lebanese nationalism, in particular the territorial issue, was more deeply studied. It was temporarily closed at the political level, but it was repeatedly raised in scientific papers. Thus, in 1902, a Belgian Jesuit professor living in Beirut, Henry Lammens, declared that the then-existing Mutasarrifiyya of Mount Lebanon was "only a part of Lebanon." Based on the ambiguity of the interpretation of the history of the first centuries of the Maronite community, Lammens rejected the fact of its Arab origin. In 1908, the concept of Lammens was developed by the Lebanese Bulus Nujaym, who believed that " mutasarrifiyya is only the basis for achieving independence." In his opinion, with the support of Europeans, the territory of Lebanon at that time should have included Beirut, the Bekaa valley, as well as the Akkar region in the north and the city of Marjayoun in the south (Firro, 2003, p. 17, 29).

From the beginning of the First World War until the establishment of the mandate system in 1920, various nationalist trends among the Arab intelligentsia were closely linked to each other. On the example of the works of the most famous authors of this period (Nadra Mutran (1916), George Samneh (1920), G. Lammens (1921), it is clear that Lebanese nationalism first developed within the framework of the ideology of pansirism [Firro, 2003, p. 23-26], and its final isolation, as well as the formation of ideas about cultural and cultural identity of the Lebanese people. The historical uniqueness of the Maronites and Lebanon was largely due to foreign policy factors: the activity of Lebanese expatriate organizations, the foreign policy of France, as well as the balance of power in the Middle East.

As a result, in Christian Lebanon, Arab nationalism was perceived as a modified pan-Islamism and was seen as a direct threat to Christians in the Middle East (Salibi, 2003, p. 131). This thesis was further supported by the conclusions of Professor Lammens. In a work published after the proclamation of Greater Lebanon, he put forward one of the fundamental ideas of Lebanese nationalism, "The Lebanese Refuge" (from the French l'asile du Liban), presenting the area of the Lebanese Mountains as a refuge for oppressed religious minorities in the Middle East [Dib, 2004, p. 15]. This approach to the history of Lebanon, as well as to the role of the Maronites as protectors of Middle Eastern Christians, is still very popular among Lebanese politicians today [Speech..., 2005]. After the Christian pogroms in Lebanon and Syria in the 1840s and 1860s, the ideologists of Lebanese nationalism developed a weighty argument, which, along with the tough policy of the Young Turk leadership in Lebanon during the First World War, confirmed the validity of the thesis about the "traditional" hostility of the Muslim environment. The ideological aspects of Lebanese nationalism had been thoroughly worked out by this time, but the implementation of the concept became more of a political issue and largely depended on external support.

An external factor, namely relations with the West, has traditionally had a significant impact on the evolution of the Maronite community and the formation of its political views. The first Maronite contacts with France and the Vatican were established during the Crusades of 1096-1291. In 1099, Maronite armed formations first entered the service of the Latin king of Jerusalem (it is believed that this was a detachment of archers) [Hitti, 1957, p.298]. The appearance of an external force in the Holy Land in the form of Crusaders gave the Maronites the opportunity to overcome their political isolation. Contacts with the Crusaders were also necessary to ensure uninterrupted trade with the outside world. As the military and political ties between the Crusader states and the Maronites strengthened, the Maronite Church grew closer.-

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vi with the Roman curia. So, in 1180, the Maronites were officially recognized as Catholics, but this gesture was rather political in nature, and until the second half of the XVI century. Rome had no real influence on the Maronite Church, whose organization did not conform to the canons of the Vatican. The European counter-Reformation demanded the unity of the Catholic Church, and then Rome began to activate and develop relations with the Maronites, as the main "Catholic" denomination in the Middle East. In 1584, a Maronite college was opened in Rome to train Lebanese priests. In 1736, the Maronite Church adopted a new charter, formally changing the church's organization and discipline in the likeness of the Vatican. However, the final Romanization took place only during the Council of Louisa in 1818 (Valognes, 1994, p.378). Even among the Maronite community, relations with Europeans remained ambiguous for a long time. However, in the end, it was largely rapprochement with the West, including through the Church, that created the conditions for strengthening the Maronite element in the Lebanese statehood [Ayash, 1991, p. 165].

In addition, as European states penetrated the Ottoman economy, Uniate Christians, especially Maronites, were actively involved as agents of foreign trade missions, serving as consuls and translators. In turn, Maronite mediation helped to develop European ties with local Muslim notables. Thus, the Maronites in many respects became indispensable in ensuring the external relations of Muslim rulers [Salibi, 2003, p. 147].

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the foreign Lebanese diaspora-members of the so - called Lebanese and Syro-Lebanese societies that emerged among Lebanese emigrant intellectuals in France, the United States, Egypt, Brazil and a number of other countries-began to take an active part in the formation of the ideology of Lebanese nationalism. Their main task was to find possible ways to achieve the sovereignty of Lebanon within its "natural borders". On the one hand, these societies were engaged in the ideological justification of Lebanese independence, and on the other hand, they actively established contacts in European and American political circles and lobbied for "Lebanese interests" [Firro, 2003, p.18]. Taking advantage of the dominant position in Lebanese politics, the Maronites put forward their own vision of the future status of Lebanon and began to actively promote it at the World War I peace conference in Paris (1919-1921).

In this context, we can cite another noteworthy fact. An independent Lebanon within its present borders could have been created as early as 1861. The fact is that in the course of the work of an International Commission that was engaged in working out the subsequent political and administrative-territorial status of Mountain Lebanon, a map of Lebanon and adjacent territories was published, compiled by French military topographers during the expedition of 1860-1861. The command of the expeditionary force launched an initiative to expand Lebanese territories by annexing the Bekaa Valley, Jabal Akkar and Jabal Amil districts, as well as the major coastal cities of Beirut, Said and Tripoli. Then the project was blocked by the British, and eventually the territorial status quo was preserved [Rabbath, 1986, p. 228]. However, in 1920, not without the participation of Maronite lobbyists, this document reappeared.

The Maronites controlled all contacts with Europeans in the framework of the peace process and from the Lebanese side played a leading role in determining the future fate of all of Lebanon, often acting unilaterally and ignoring the interests of other Lebanese communities [F. G. Picot..., 1981, p.194]. Mutasarrifiyya's delegates demanded recognition of independence and " restoration of natural borders illegally altered by the Turkish authorities." According to the participants of the delegation, the territory within the limits of these

page 44
the border was " vital to Lebanon's economy." In addition, the delegation said in a statement that their state will need the support of France as a technical and economic partner, as well as as"an arbiter in relations between numerous Lebanese faiths." The Lebanese also clarified their position on ties with Syria, stating that "in order to preserve the Lebanese uniqueness" they would not want to participate in any form of integration with Syria [Lapremiere delegation..., 1981, p. 106-108]. It can be seen that the position expressed by the delegation was within the framework of the concept of Lebanese nationalism and fully met the interests of the Maronites. The second Lebanese delegation (this time led by Maronite Patriarch Elias Hoyek (1898-1931) at the Paris Peace Conference) made the same demands and used similar arguments. However, this time the patriarch did not rely on speaking at the conference, but on contacts with French politicians - he directly lobbied for the "Lebanese idea" in its Maronite sense [Memoire..., 1981, p.193, 197].

It is worth recalling that discussions about the future of the region after the First World War took place against the backdrop of Anglo-French rivalry, on the one hand, and the emergence of Arab nationalism, on the other. In March 1920, the commander of the Hejaz forces, Emir Faisal al-Hashimi, who together with the British participated in the liberation of Arab territories from the Turks, was proclaimed King of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine without the consent of Paris and with the non-resistance of London. Already in July of the same year, 1920, French troops defeated a small Syrian detachment at the Meysalun mountain pass and entered Damascus, putting an end to the Arab kingdom. Thus, Paris significantly weakened the position of opponents of the separation of Lebanon from Syria, and also dealt a blow to Arab nationalism, the promotion of which at that time was one of the key elements of the Middle East policy of Great Britain, which saw in this movement a tool for fighting the Port, as well as a means of strengthening its own influence on the "post-Ottoman" Arab world. In addition, in the context of the struggle for influence in the Middle East, France was finally convinced of the need to create a "Christian home" - a Christian state in Lebanon-which could become a support for its policy in the region [Corm, 2003, p. 81].

In this regard, it cannot be unequivocally stated that only the Lebanese were engaged in promoting the idea of creating an independent Lebanon under the auspices of France. The initiative largely came from Paris, where the so-called colonial group, consisting mainly of large industrialists, merchants and bankers, enjoyed considerable influence. Back in the Ottoman period, about 30% of their investments in the Turkish economy were in Syria and Lebanon. After the war, they didn't want to lose lucrative contracts. This group contributed to the penetration of French culture into Lebanon, supported the activities of French missionaries, and also directly established contacts with politicians - representatives of Uniate confessions loyal to France [Picard, 2002, p.29]. As a result, on September 1, 1920, the state of Greater Lebanon was created in the territories that fell under the French protectorate after the division of the Arab possessions of the Ottoman Empire. The territory of Mutasarrifiyyah was expanded to include the coastal cities of Beirut, Tripoli and Saida, the Bekaa Valley, and Jabal Amil in the south and Jabal Akkar in the north, in addition to the Mountainous Lebanon region. Lebanon reached its present limits, which exactly corresponded to the French map of 1861 that we have already mentioned.

Greater Lebanon inherited some fundamental elements of the political system of "Lesser Lebanon", first of all retaining the principle of confessional representation in power institutions. Thus, according to the legislation of Lebanon under the mandate, the representative-advisory body under the French High Commission on Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lebanon is a representative-advisory body under the French High Commission on Foreign Affairs.-

page 45
The Administrative Commission (since 1923 - an elected Representative Council) became a district. Seats were distributed according to the confessional principle: 6-for Maronites, 3-for Greek Orthodox, 2-for Sunnis, 2-for Shiites, 1-for Druze and 1 - for Greek Catholics [La reglementation..., 1981, p. 363]. Thus, the legislation established the leading role of Christians in Lebanon, even when the share of the Muslim population (as a result of the expansion of the territory) was no less than 45% [Picard, 2002, p. 33]. Muslims, who were virtually excluded from the process of state-building and determining the directions of political development of the new state, sharply negatively perceived the separation of Great Lebanon from the "natural Syria". Their dissatisfaction with the creation of a Maronite State led to serious outbreaks of violence, especially in areas with a predominantly Muslim population. Many Muslim intellectuals have strongly criticized the instilled Lebanese nationalism. In their opinion, the contradictions in Mountain Lebanon were exclusively of a social and class nature, and "Lebanese nationalism" became only an instrument of European colonialism for the division of Arab territories [Firro, 2003, p. 55]. However, hostile attacks against Lebanese Christians were suppressed by the French in order to preserve the established order in Lebanon [Dib, 2004, p. 53]. In the early years of Greater Lebanon, French support, including military support, became one of the key factors in maintaining Maronite dominance in the country.

Representatives of almost all major non-Catholic faiths opposed the consolidation of French influence in Lebanon. Thus, according to the American King-Crane Commission (1919), a significant part of the Lebanese population-Sunnis, Shiites, Druze, as well as some Greek Orthodox-supported English or even American patronage (the Commission's report discussed two possible options: actually, the mandate or support (English assistance) with a pronounced reluctance to be under the influence of France [Report..., 1981, p. 156, 165]. All this confirms once again that the Maronite political establishment and the French mandate authorities in Lebanon and Syria were largely dependent on each other.

Thus, in 1920, with the support of France, Lebanese nationalism in the interpretation of the Maronites received a real embodiment. The State of Greater Lebanon that emerged at that time was practically unviable without external support. The system of political confessionalism in Lebanon could ensure peaceful coexistence when none of its subjects claimed supreme State power, as was the case during the Mutasarrifiyya period. Under the new conditions, a higher stage of inter - communal interaction was required- the development of a unified approach to the problems of national identification of citizens of the multi-confessional Greater Lebanon.

By 1920, the Maronites had achieved the creation of an independent state of Greater Lebanon with the consolidation of Christian domination in it. Despite the tendency of Maronite historiography to separate the community, the Maronites gradually managed to fit seamlessly into the Arab-Muslim environment, creating conditions for a peaceful, legitimate achievement of power. Along with a strong theocratic clergy, the Maronites formed a secular aristocracy, which was replenished by the "Maronitization" of Druze and Sunni families, and the mechanisms of community self-government were well developed, including in conditions of socio-political crisis. During the 19th century, they came to understand the political and economic interests of the community and were able to formulate a viable ideology that, despite its rejection by a large part of the Muslim population, contributed to the cohesion of the Maronites and the formation of Lebanese statehood. The Maronites acquired quasi-national features, i.e., while remaining Arabs, they became a" nation " in political and ideological terms. In the context of the irreversible weakening of the Port, this fact contributed to the fact that it was the Maronites who retained the initiative in the construction of the Port until 1920.

page 46
determining the direction of Lebanon's further political development in a way that meets its "national" interests.

The final consolidation and institutionalization of the Maronite role in Lebanese politics was made possible by the introduction of the confessional system in the mid-19th century. It was quite adequate to the era of the formation of the foundations of the Lebanese statehood and became an important tool for maintaining internal political stability. Confessionalism served the interests of all concerned parties. Lebanese communities were finally able to legally "share" power, and Porto and Paris received an effective governance mechanism. In Christian-Muslim Greater Lebanon, confessionalism helped strengthen barriers in society and thus made it easier to maintain the position of the French mandate authorities for a long time. For the Maronites, however, confessionalism has long been a means of legal and relatively conflict-free approval in the state leadership. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that confessionalism contributed only to the temporary settlement of contradictions in the struggle for power, preserving serious differences between Muslims and Christians in the ideological and socio-cultural spheres. Since the first years of Lebanon's existence, the confessional system has blocked the possibility of achieving full national accord in the country.

The "special relationship" between the Maronites and France, which initially favored the economic growth of Lebanese Christians, and then provided the necessary military and political support to its main allies in the Middle East, helped strengthen the position of the Maronites of Lebanon. The political system of independent Lebanon also developed under French influence, which, along with confessionalism, led to its somewhat artificial nature and chronic latent instability. Traditionally close ties with Catholic Europe, as well as the assumption that Lebanon has a unique role as a "haven for Christians in the Middle East" in the minds of the Maronite elite, have led to the formation of a wary and often hostile attitude of Lebanese Christians towards the Muslim world.

Since that time, Lebanon has gone through a rather long path of historical development, having experienced two civil wars (in 1958 and 1975-1990), but some fundamental principles of the organization of Lebanese society have remained unchanged since the beginning of the XX century or even the second half of the XIX century, remaining a breeding ground for constant crisis phenomena in the political and socio-economiceconomic life of the country today.

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