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Lebanon, History

League of Nations, gorges, diverse culture, Mediterranean Sea, mountainous areas

Lebanonís coastal plain is divided into several isolated sections by gorges, which are cut by streams that pour down the mountains in winter and spring. In ancient times, north-south movement along the plain was nearly impossible. Villages developed on larger sections of the plain, and those with good harbors and better agricultural areas evolved into the city-states of Phoenicia. These cities then used the Mediterranean Sea to communicate and trade with one another and beyond the coastal plain. Due to geographical and other barriers, however, Phoenicia never unified politically. Later, mountainous areas provided protection for groups seeking refuge, but these groups, too, were isolated and did not form a unified nation. The modern nation of Lebanon was formed after World War I (1914-1918), when the defeated Ottoman Empire, which had controlled the area, was divided. When France received a mandate from the League of Nations to rule Lebanon after the war, the regionís people were aligned along religious and cultural lines, but felt little unity based on a Lebanese nationality. Lebanon still lacks unity today, which has led both to a diverse culture and extreme conflicts.

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Article key phrases:

League of Nations, gorges, diverse culture, Mediterranean Sea, mountainous areas, refuge, World War, mandate, mountains, Villages, ancient times, streams, cities, barriers, France, winter, spring, trade, groups, protection


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