Decolonization; Imperialism; League of Nations; Lebanon; Mandates; Paternalism; Syria


In the aftermath of World War I the League of Nations introduced a new type of imperial control, the mandate. According to the League of Nations, mandatory powers were responsible for building government structures and guiding the mandates toward eventual self-government. In reality mandatory powers often undermined progress toward independence, leading many scholars to regard the mandatory period as a tragic gap in the evolution of national identities. In Colonial Citizens, Elizabeth Thompson argues that in Syria and Lebanon, both French mandates, the interwar period was critical in laying the foundations of postcolonial states and citizenship.