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The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, and eventually became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range the Maronite Church was established. Although the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their religion and identity. A new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon, causing a religious divide that has lasted for centuries.
The region eventually was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon. The French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which was mostly populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Foreign troops withdrew completely from Lebanon on 31 December 1946.
Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been highly influential in the Arab world. Before the Lebanese Civil War in 1975 until 1990, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity. At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.
1516 - Mount Lebanon Emirate was established and was an autonomous subdivision in the Ottoman Empire
1861 - The Emirate is considered to be an historical precursor of the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate which was, in turn, the precursor of the Lebanese Republic of today
1860 - Approximately 10,000 Christians were killed by the Druzes during inter-communal violence
1865 - Ottomans took direct ruling of the region
1920 - Following WWI, the area of the Mutasarrifate, and some surrounding areas which were predominantly Shia and Sunni, became a part of the state of Greater Lebanon under the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon. Around 100,000 people in Beirut and Mount Lebanon died of starvation during the War
1926 - France formed the Lebanese Republic
1941 - Lebanon became independent under the authority of the Free French government
1943 - Elections were held it was then new Lebanese government unilaterally abolished the French mandate
1948 - Lebanon supported neighbouring Arab countries in a war against Israel and during this time 100,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon
1975 -A full-scale civil war broke out in Lebanon
1960 -1982 Palestine Liberation Organization were based in Lebanon for a significant period of time using their set-up in the country to gather support and maintaining their armed struggle with Israel
1990 - The war ended after sixteen years but it had caused massive loss of human life and property it is estimated that 150,000 people were killed and another 200,000 wounded
2016 - The government estimates that the country hosts 1.5 million Syrians