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The Claims of Culture at Empire's EndSyria and Lebanon under French Rule$
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Jennifer M. Dueck

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264478

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264478.001.0001

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Rivalries Redoubled: Americans in the Levant

Rivalries Redoubled: Americans in the Levant

(p.164) Chapter 6 Rivalries Redoubled: Americans in the Levant
The Claims of Culture at Empire's End

Jennifer M. Dueck

British Academy

This chapter considers American involvement during the war years. Unlike Britain, the USA had a sizeable social and cultural network in Syria and Lebanon, owing mainly to the work of American Protestant missions. This strong educational presence provided the American government with an institutional framework around which to develop stable long-term cultural networks. Moreover, the USA's reputation for political disinterestedness and anti-imperialism endeared it to much of the local population. Where the British used direct contact between their military officials and the French teaching establishments to hinder French cultural activities, American influence on education took place through grass-roots activism and diplomatic intervention. The ties that American educators had fostered with the local population for decades provided a foundation for powerful bilateral exchanges during the Second World War.

Keywords:   USA, American Protestant missions, cultural networks, diplomatic intervention, Second World War

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