From Menelik to Adwa

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From Menelik to Adwa

Post by kosovohp on Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:21 am

Ethiopia as we currently know it began under the reign of Emperor Menelik II in the late 19th century.[47] From the central province of Shoa, Menelik set off to subjugate and incorporate ‘the lands and people of the South, East and West into an empire.’[48] He did this with the help of Ras Gobena's Shewan Oromo militia, began expanding his kingdom to the south and east, expanding into areas that had not been held since the invasion of Ahmed Gragn, and other areas that had never been under his rule, resulting in the borders of Ethiopia of today.[49]At the same time there were also “advances in road construction, electricity and education, development of a central taxation system and foundation of the new capital, Addis Ababa.”[50] Menelik had signed the Treaty of Wichale with Italy in May 1889 in which Italy would recognize Ethiopia’s sovereignty so long as Italy could control a small area of northern Tigray (part of modern Eritrea).[51] In return Italy was to provide Menelik with arms and support him as emperor.[52] The Italians used the time between the signing of the treaty and its ratification by the Italian government to further expand their territorial claims. Italy began a state funded program of resettlement for landless Italians in Eritrea, which increased tensions between the Eritrean peasants and the Italians.[53] This conflict erupted in the battle of Adwa on 1 March 1896 in which Italy’s colonial forces were defeated by the Ethiopians.

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