Map of France, c. 1860, Fullarton
France, c.1860, Fullarton
One of the major European powers, the Second Empire of France was a force to be reckoned with. Under the guise of seeking justice, the power-hungry Emperor Napoleon III ensured that France's influence stretched across the globe. Whether wars broke out in Europe or conflict beckoned abroad, there was nothing that would stop the French. Despite great colonial power, such conflicts ultimately weakened the Empire, which became isolated from its own European neighbors.
The event that defined the year 1860 in France was their involvement in the Druze-Maronite conflict. It took place in what is now modern-day Lebanon and Syria. At this time, the State of Lebanon was divided between the Christian Maronite North and the Druze South. The Druze is a unique ethnic and religious group from the Middle East. Their religion is Abrahamic (as are Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), and centers on the importance of their prophet Jethro, whom the Druze is their ancestor. Maronites across the Lebanese region craved independence from the Druze and attempted to revolt. Horrified by this rebellion, the Druze armed themselves. On May 29, they massacred thousands of Christians, including civilians and clergy, burning villages and churches in Damascus and other cities throughout the country.
Envisioning itself the defender of Christianity in the Middle East, French forces charged into Beirut. Their influence did not allow the Maronites to defeat the Druze, as they were strengthened by both British and Ottoman support. However, General Beaufort successfully encouraged peace in the nation, and even supported the independence of a new Christian-led Lebanon. The British were angered by French involvement in the Ottoman region, and this event effectively weakened ties between the Second French Empire and England even in spite of their trade agreements and alliance against China.
This stunning antique map is taken from the Royal Illustrated Atlas created circa 1860. Archibald Fullarton & Co, a prolific printing company from Glasgow, Scotland, is the publisher. George Heriot Swanston, a cartographer regularly hired by the publisher, was the engraver. The Royal Illustrated Atlas was one of the last atlases in the world to include decorative vignettes.
Sheet size: 23.5" x 19"
Condition: In excellent condition