Africa History Essay

3054 words - 12 pages

How would you account for Ethiopia's successful resistance to European conquest?Being an African state it would seem that throughout the period commonly known as the "Scramble for Africa" Ethiopia played an exceedingly powerful role and not a role where they were to take advantage of. Many states fell under the power of European colonialism, Ethiopia was one state that effectively stopped the colonialists from seizing their land through numerous different ways. The collection of African states was previously successful as "No African state was strong enough economically to have sustained warfare against Europe". Many foreign powers wished to take Ethiopia for themselves due to its economic nature and its long standing history. This was mostly due to the factor that "European powers engaged in the Scramble for the partition of Africa". Ethiopia was a state like no other within Africa that was able to maintain themselves this was due to the fact that they had a feudal system that was considered to be similar to that of Russia. Furthermore Ethiopia had significantly moved themselves into a powerful position with the European powers making it difficult for numerous situations to occur. Menelik II had successfully managed to manipulate European powers against each other as well as gaining numerous arms and modern weapons against one another. This can be seen through Boahen's view that "the decisive victory at Adwa, achieve primarily because, for the first time in all the Afro-European encounters, the African side enjoyed the technological and military superiority" this helps to show the large amount of support gained from other European powers against the weakest other European powers. Important factors that need to be focused on throughout are about the modernisation that occurred within the state, along with the diplomacy that was struck up with European powers and the strengths that the military gained from the treaties and deals.In a variety of ways it can be argued that Ethiopia under Menelik II was becoming an increasingly modern state compared to that of the other African states. The state within Ethiopia can be described as "a socio-political structure comprising 'a hierarchy of superior - inferior relations held together by powerful authority figures', and an agriculture based economy that generated 'a strong attachment to land' and 'a corresponding network of land-based rights and services' usually negotiated with feudalism" this is important as Ethiopia is considered to have a similar feudal system to that of Russia. Not only is the feudal considered to be similar to Russia on a visit to Ethiopia Alexander Bulatovich states "this is how I would characterize the Abyssinian. He is talented and receptive, like a Frenchman. With his practicality, with the way he deals with those he has conquered and his governmental abilities, he is like an Englishman. His pride is like that of a Spaniard. By his love for his faith, his mildness of character...

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