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Portrait of Prince Bashir Shihab II
The reign of Bashir II saw an economic shift in the mountain regions from a feudal to a cash crop system, in which Beirutis merchants loaned money to peasants, freeing them from dependence on their feudal mountain lords and contributing to the development of a handicraft economy with the growing specialization of agriculture. The emir's relationship with Muhammad `Ali, the Albanian-Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, began in 1821 after Bashir II was forced to seek refuge in Egypt by revolting Maronites upset about over taxation. In 1822, the emir returned to Lebanon, backed by Muhammad `Ali, and re-established his semi-autonomous rule, making allies with Maronite patriarchs and surrounding himself with Christians, causing many historians to retrospectively accuse the emir of fomenting religious tensions between the ascendant Maronite community and the historically dominant Druze.
Jeff El-Msanne, Hassan El Masri, Remy Nader "Portrait of Prince Bashir Shihab II" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=object;AWE;lb;9;en
Prepared by: Jeff El-Msanne, Hassan El Masri, Remy Nader
MWNF Working Number: LB 016