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Introduction

Authored by: Cyrus Schayegh , Andrew Arsan

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138800588
eBook ISBN: 9781315713120
Adobe ISBN: 9781317497066

10.4324/9781315713120.intro

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Abstract

The First World War’s protracted wake witnessed the emergence of a constellation of new poli-ties in the region we now call the Middle East: the Mandate states of French Lebanon and Syria and British Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq. This fundamental redrawing of the geopolitical map of a region ruled since 1516 by the Ottoman Empire reflected Britain’s military control over the Middle East, and its somewhat reluctant recognition of the claims of its wartime ally, France. Franco-British dominance received the acquiescence of the League of Nations, whose founding Covenant, drawn up in 1919, recognized the need for mandatory powers to watch over the peoples of the Middle East “until such time as they are able to stand alone,” ready for independent statehood.1 At the Conference of San Remo, held in 1920, the Allied powers confirmed this new status quo. The entirety of the Mashriq – as present-day Lebanon, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, and Jordan are commonly known in Arabic – was now under British or French mandatory rule.

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