The Importance And Contributions Of Menelik II

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Menelik II Essay West Civ Kiyan Tagi Jan. 25, 2016 Block F Grade 9 Yonkey Menelik II, originally named Sahle Miriam was born Aug. 17, 1844 in Ankober, Shewa. He was the king of Shewa from 1865-1889 and became emperor of Ethiopia in 1889 until 1913. Crown name Menelik II was significant since Menelik I was the legendary son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. He was named Menelik because of all the great things he did for Ethiopia. Menelik II was beneficial to Ethiopia because he modernized the country, built up great and useful international relations, and expanded the land in Ethiopia which all overthrow the fact that he caused a war between Ethiopia and Italy which weakened the nation. First off Menelik II modernized Ethiopia. He modernized…show more content…
Around 1890 Menelik was trying to suppress slave trade in Ethiopia. He did this by destroying prominent slave market towns and also by inflicting penalties such as amputation on slavers. Previous rulers like Tewodros II also prohibited slavery but since not all tribes were against slavery and the fact that the country was surrounded on all sides by slave raiders and traders, it was not possible to entirely stop this practice even by the 20th century. Chris Prouty states that Menelik outlawed slavery even though it was beyond his power to change his people’s minds regarding slavery since it was extensively common throughout Ethiopia. This suppression of slavery meant a lot for Ethiopia and the society since many were affected by it and Menelik helped and attempted to stop to it to the best of his ability. Another way he modernized Ethiopia is that he improved transportation and communications…show more content…
Menelik recognized the importance of establishing diplomatic ties with foreign powers. Although he was forced to renounce his claim to the imperial throne and to do fealty to Yohannes in March 1878, in reality he continued to act as an independent sovereign. As a diplomat he made great impressions on foreign emissaries. With help of the emissaries he imported firearms which ended up helping him quite a lot since he got resources that were only available in Europe. The firearms specifically helped him win the Battle of Adwa which was fought on 1 March 1896 against Italy. The battle was fought due to a simple misinterpretation since the Treaty of Wichale was interpreted by the Italians as giving Italy a protectorate over Ethiopia. When Menelik heard about the Italian interpretation he denied having agreed to it and renounced the treaty giving reason to start a battle like the one in Adwa. This crowning battle secured Ethiopian sovereignty as it was a resolute defeat for the Italians. He turned to the Italians and French as well as to other European countries for Western technology too. Resources from the west and other technology helped Ethiopia get an advantage that many other African countries didn’t have. Menelik had great international relations which got him new technology and more weaponry which ultimately helped him expand the

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