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Lebanese insurrection of 1958

Kristian Patrick Alexander


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The Lebanese crisis of 1958 is widely viewed as an ideological struggle causing polarization between Lebanese nationalism and growing pan-Arabism. President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt became the symbol of pan-Arabism after the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1958 merger of Egypt with Syria to form the United Arab Republic. He had a great influence on Lebanese Muslims, while Christians were set on maintaining the country's autonomy and cooperation with the West. The conflict also demonstrated the fragility of the National Pact of 1943, an unwritten agreement between the two most prominent Christian and Muslim leaders, Khuri and Sulh. The National Pact was based on the basic principle that Lebanon was to be a completely independent state, specifying that the Christian community would cease to closely identify with the West and, in return, the Muslim community would give up its desire to merge with any Arab state. The 1958 conflict between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon reinforced the notion that sectarian affiliation was politically significant, thereby hindering the development of an overarching national identity. One of the most important internal causes of the 1958 crisis was the perception of discrimination and dissatisfaction. Many Muslims felt that the Christians predominated in senior government positions even though the Muslims were more populous. Corruption was another aspect ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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