THE LEBANESE POLITICAL SYSTEM

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The division of the Lebanese system:

Since the end of World War I, after the Ottomans had been defeated by the Allied Powers specifically Britain and France, split up the remaining Arab territories. France took control of the Lebanese and Syrian mandate, while England took over the Palestinian, Trans-Jordan, and Iraqi mandates. A wave of Arab nationalism swept across the Arab world thereafter, with fierce opposition from the local people towards the controlling mandate. The mandate continued until 1946, at which point the French government handed over independence to Lebanon in which the system was based on confessional lines. The President was to be Christian, the Prime Minister, Sunni Muslim, and the Head Speaker of Parliament Shi'ite Muslim. The division by the French of the Lebanese political system caused opposing religious groups to spread apart. Interests between Muslims and Christians began to spread as certain groups wanted to separate from "Arab unity  while others were passionate about joining the Arab cause. Gamal Abdel-Nasser's unity movement was having a widespread effect across the Arab world, which caused a wave of threat to Arab governments around the Middle East. In Lebanon, particularly, this problem was greater, due to the fact that certain groups wished to maintain Lebanon's ˜western and unique' nature in the Arab world. This began the split between the left and the right, which eventually led to war and to changes after the war.

The Lebanese problem seemed as if it were doomed from the start. Lebanon, a multi-confessional system representing around 17 different sects “ the large ones being Maronites, Sunni Muslims, Shi'ite Muslims, Greek Orthodox, and Druze, was bound to have problems among the different groups. By the 1960s, the confessional demographics changed in favor of the Muslims. The Muslims by then had outnumbered the Christians, with the Shi'ites forming the largest single s

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