Citation

A Precarious Mediterranean Mountain Ecology: Migration, Silk and Famine in Lebanon, 1887-1918

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Abstract:

International mobility characterized the experience of the Lebanese more than any other Ottoman population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a fact that had salient consequences for the ecology of the Lebanese mountains. Nearly a third of Mount Lebanon’s population immigrated to the Americas between 1887 and 1914, obliged to leave by the falling price of the silk on the international market. By 1850, silk had become by far the biggest source of income in Mount Lebanon. Abundant ground water, fertile soil, high population density, and elevations favorable to the production of silk had created the environmental context for rural Lebanon’s aggressive incorporation into global capitalism. Silk production engendered prosperity among the peasant class while also creating ecological vulnerability that became manifest during World War I when wartime conditions denied the Lebanese the opportunity to export silk, receive remittances from abroad, or immigrate to the Americas. Lebanon’s reliance on the mobility of humans and capital became a fatal liability as the war dragged on; a famine ensued which took the life of more than one in three Lebanese. Demographic overshoot and the consequent collapse of carrying capacity was a general phenomenon in the Mediterranean mountains, as shown by John R. McNeill’s work, and Lebanon’s experience during the war tragically illustrates the instability of the basin’s Mountain ecologies.
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Association:
Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170285_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Pitts, Graham. "A Precarious Mediterranean Mountain Ecology: Migration, Silk and Famine in Lebanon, 1887-1918" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170285_index.html>

APA Citation:

Pitts, G. A. "A Precarious Mediterranean Mountain Ecology: Migration, Silk and Famine in Lebanon, 1887-1918" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170285_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: International mobility characterized the experience of the Lebanese more than any other Ottoman population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a fact that had salient consequences for the ecology of the Lebanese mountains. Nearly a third of Mount Lebanon’s population immigrated to the Americas between 1887 and 1914, obliged to leave by the falling price of the silk on the international market. By 1850, silk had become by far the biggest source of income in Mount Lebanon. Abundant ground water, fertile soil, high population density, and elevations favorable to the production of silk had created the environmental context for rural Lebanon’s aggressive incorporation into global capitalism. Silk production engendered prosperity among the peasant class while also creating ecological vulnerability that became manifest during World War I when wartime conditions denied the Lebanese the opportunity to export silk, receive remittances from abroad, or immigrate to the Americas. Lebanon’s reliance on the mobility of humans and capital became a fatal liability as the war dragged on; a famine ensued which took the life of more than one in three Lebanese. Demographic overshoot and the consequent collapse of carrying capacity was a general phenomenon in the Mediterranean mountains, as shown by John R. McNeill’s work, and Lebanon’s experience during the war tragically illustrates the instability of the basin’s Mountain ecologies.


 
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