France and the Levant


In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section with responsibility for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. France and the Levant is Number 66 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book is mainly an historical survey of French military, political, and cultural influence in the Levant, the eastern Mediterranean territory that includes all or parts of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, and Cyprus. It includes brief chapters on the Crusades, the alliance in the 16th century between France and Turkey, the plan proposed by the German philosopher Leibniz for the French conquest of Egypt, the policies of Louis XIV and Louis XV, Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, the Crimean War, and more recent developments. The chapter on Lebanon deals with the French military intervention in Lebanon and Syria in 1860 to protect the Christians of these countries, and a concluding chapter discusses the rival claims held by France, Italy, and Austria on the eve of World War I to serve as the European protector of the Christian minorities in the Levant.

Last updated: November 14, 2017