I'd start with...

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Posted by Dawud on July 09, 2101 at 20:05:26:

In Reply to: History and Political setting posted by Robert on July 09, 2101 at 07:55:11:

...some books (or websites) on the Crimean War. That was 1854-56, after the Babi uprisings but before Baha-Allah's rise to power among the exiles. Almost everything that happened later in the relationships between the countries you mentioned (until World War I) was a consequence of this war.

For the early 19th century, I'd start with a general book on European history. Napoleon's conquests led to national movements in other parts of Europe, and these spilled over into the Middle East. (You probably know that the present-day Levantine states you mentioned were part of the Ottoman Empire back then.) The Babi uprisings happened about the same time as the European revolutions of 1848, probably not by coincidence.

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