Lebanon in History from the Earliest Times to the Present

By Philip K. Hitti | Go to book overview
FLAG OF THE LEBANESE REPUBLIC

CHAPTER XXXIV UNDER THE CEDAR FLAG: PROBLEMS AND PROGRESS

THE infant Lebanese Republic, not much larger than Yellow- stone National Park1 and with a population (approximately 1,000,000) not exceeding that of a good-sized American city such as Baltimore or Cleveland, embarked upon its career of independence and sovereignty beset with knotty problems, political, economic and social, inherent in its geography, inherited from its history and resultant from the heterogeneous ethnic and religious composition of its population. In the first dozen years of its existence it travelled quite a distance toward the solving of its political problems, much further toward achieving economic prosperity, but has lagged behind in the field of social progress. Nor has it yet inculcated in its citizenship that measure of loyalty which transcends the narrow provincial and sectarian ones.

With its neighbours two cardinal factors have conditioned its relationship: its Arabic language and large Moslem population which have it gravitate into the Arab states' orbit, and its Western orientation and preponderant Christian element which dictated a cautious course that would retain the country's

In the political arena

____________________
1
Lebanon is 3470 sq. miles (120 miles by about 29), Yellowstone 3350 sq. miles

-497-

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