Mfecane Theory

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How was the zulu centric theory and slave theory responsible for the Mfecane? This report will discuss how Shaka used his military tactics to attack and absorbed his neighboring tribes which caused destruction that swept through the region and how slavery added pressure to this situation and was responsible for the disruptions.

- Great African Military Leaders: Shaka of the Zulu Nation
- Every step of the way : The Journey to Freedom to South Africa by Michael Morris and John Linnegar
- Julian Cobbing - The Mfecane as Alibi : Thoughts on Dithakong and Mbolompo
- A picture of Shaka Zulu

Evolution of sources
- Source A = Great African Military Leaders: Shaka of the Zulu Nation. This is an article talking about Shaka's military
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The picture is from This is a secondary source.

The Mfecane which means "crushing" was a period of widespread chaos and welfare among African communities in South Africa during the period between 1815 & 1840. The Sotho people call it "difiqane" or "lifaqane" which means 'forced migration' and 'hammering '. Some tribes were scattered, others completely destroyed and new groups formed.

The Mfecane was caused by a number of factors including environmental and social changes as well as severe conflict and fear among the people of South Africa. This report will focus on how the zulucentric theory and Slave theory were responsible for the Mfecane. The zulucentric theory states that the chaos began when Shaka who was the king of the Zulu nation attacked and absorbed his neighboring tribes in the process of building the Zulu kingdom Shaka and his amabutho were responsible for the destruction that swept through the
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As a young man he was a member of Dingiswoyo's army where he distinguished himself through his bravery. When Shaka's father died , Dingiswoyo helped him overthrow his older brother and become chief of the Zulu Nation. Once he become leader he began applying new military strategies that he had developed while serving Dingiswoyo. Eventually he became a famous military leader.

Source A says Shaka joined the army at age of 18 and soon proved himself to be a fearless warrior. Some of the things he introduced were the ikwla, a weapon with a shorter sphere and a longer spearhead like a sword. H also introduced cowhide shields which were much stronger than the wood shields. Then his strict military rules earned him respect. He also invented the bull horn formation.
Shaka Zulu was a leader who fought alongside his army. He made sure the Zulu society was restructured to support his army. In just a few years his army had brutally executed his neighboring tribes. Many dead or had to move , Shaka Zulu's army started the Mfecane.

Another factor which fueled the Mfecane was slavery. It all started in 1658 when the 1st slaves arrived at the Cape. They were Angolan slaves . There was a slave rebellion took on Cape

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