Events in Lebanon during the 1975-90 period, often referred to as the Lebanese 'Civil War', were never far from media headlines. For many, Lebanon was synonymous with anarchy, reflected in incidents ranging from random violence, car bombings and kidnapping to major military conflicts such as the 1982 Israeli invasion. The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with a concise analysis of the causes of the breakdown of the post-1943 Lebanese political system, and the effects of the subsequent war on the system. The paper is divided into three parts. It begins with an examination of the post-1943 Lebanese political and ecenomic order, and then explains why that order collapsed. Second, a brief discussion of the war is given, examining primarily the effects of the conflict on the political and economic system. Finally, the paper discusses the post-civil war political system and provides insight into the future stability of the order.