Portrait of Prince Bashir Shihab II
The most important development during the reign of Bashir Shihab II was the shift from a feudal economic system to a cash crop system whereby merchants (often from Beirut) loaned money to peasants. Thus, peasants no longer relied on their feudal lords and the region saw the development of a handicraft economy and an increasingly specialized agricultural sector. Following a Maronite revolt over changes in taxation in 1821, Bashir II was forced to seek refuge with Muhammad 'Ali in Egypt. However, he returned to Lebanon in 1822 and allied himself with Maronite patriarchs and other Lebanese Christians. It has been argued that by doing this, the Emir stoked the tensions between the Maronite community and the historically dominant Druze community of Mount Lebanon.
Jeff El-Msanne, Hassan El Masri, Remy Nader "Portrait of Prince Bashir Shihab II" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2024. https://sharinghistory.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;AWE;lb;9;en
Prepared by: Jeff El-Msanne, Hassan El Masri, Remy Nader
Copyedited by: Flaminia Baldwin
MWNF Working Number: LB 016