History Ethiopia

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The Ethiopian revolution

The consolidation of the Ethiopian Multi-National Hatse State in the era of the beginnings of the struggle against imperialism created, the material and social basis and conditions for the subsequent rise of irreconcilable class antagonism between the toiling gabar class and the exploiting gultegna class, that is, the landed and armed ruling class of gubernatorial, ecclesiastical, ministerial, mercantilist leaders and members of the feudal aristocracy and nobility of Ethiopia.

In 1907, the organized and armed ministerial, ecclesiastical, gubernatorial, and mercantilist leaders and members of the gultegna ruling class jointly seized the State Power in the new Council of Ministers and bureaucracy of the Hatse State.

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The stages and extent of national defence and reunification.

Simultaneously during the second half of the nineteenth century, the Ethiopians undertook the double tasks of national defence and reunification against the forces of aggression and imperialism.

This double fronted national policy was visible during the successive reigns of Tewodros II (1855-1868), Yohannis IV (1868-1889), and Menelik II (1889-1913).

The young and energetic frontier governor Dejazmatch Kasa Hailu of Quara in northwestern Ethiopia confronted the Turco-Egyptian incursions against his country during the second half of the 1840s.

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External challenges and reunification (1855-1900)

During and after the 1789-1799 Anglo-French conflict in Egypt, the Turkish viceroy Mohamed Ali (1769-1849) destroyed the old Mameluk ruling class of Egypt and organized the new Egyptian state under Turkish sovereignty, with Anglo-French financial and technical aid.

In 1820, Mahamad Ali invaded and occupied the Sudanese State of Funj. The Turco-Egyptian conquest and occupation of Funj became the first frontier pressure against Ethiopia in the nineteenth century.

In 1882, the British destroyed the Egyptian nationalist revolt against the Anglo-French Dual Control, and the Turkish ruling class, and directly occupied Egypt and its new international waterway of the Suez Canal.

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The era of regional states and warlords (ca. 1600-1855)

The series of concomitant events of the Luso-Turkish interference in the regional affairs of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Horn of Africa; the Adalite Wars of 1524-1543, and the Great Ethiopian Ethnic Migrations of 1520-1660, jointly interrupted the evolutionary process and progress of the Ethiopian Hatse State until 1855.

On the other hand, these same successive events and forces created the internal and external conditions for emergence of the Era of Regional States and Wrlords in Ethiopia. The designation in the traditional chronicles of Zemene Mesefinit (that is, the Era of Princes) in reference to this period of Ethiopian history hardly explains its socioeconomic aspects as well as its totality of ethnic and regional pluralism, since the chroniclers’ designation refers only to the Gondarian court and a limited area of the country during the period in question.

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The first attempts of the Hatse state restoration (1540-1597)

Between 1540 and 1559, King Galawdewos, with the assistance of the Portuguese soldiers, undertook the first attempts against the Adalites and the Oromo nomads to restore the former state frontiers and the corresponding central authority of the Hatse State of Ethiopia.

When Galawdewos succeeded his tather as the Hatse of Ethiopia in 1540, Imam Ahmed Gragn was the effective ruler of Ethiopia from his Dambia Headquarters in Sahart.

In Tigrai, Galawdewos encountered the Adalites, and suffered defeat and retreated to Semen before he fled to Shewa, Fatagar and Dawaro in the South. It seems that he fled from Shahart-Semen to the south by the way of Wadla-Begamdir-Gojam-Gindeberet crossing the Abay River twice, first from Begamdir into Gojam and second from Gojam into Gindeberet-Shewa.

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The medieval Hatse state of Ethiopia. (ca. 1270-1524.)

The advent and expansion of the two great world religions of Christianity and Islam greatly accelerated the process and nature of state formation.

Christianity was introduced into the Aksumite court and Empire in the 330s and became the dominant political and ideological force of the Ethiopian Hatse State for the next 16 centuries until the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974 separated the state from religion.

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The lands and peoples of southern Ethiopia, (ca. 800 – 1270 A.D.)

It has been said that the line of conventional demarcation between prehistory and history is the existence of written and dated records of human events.

In this respect from the time when the pharaonic Egyptians identified the coastal region and inhabitants of North-East Africa as Punt and the Habasha, respective, in the mid 3rd millennium B.C., to the advent of the Greek, Roman, and Arab writers in the subcontinent between 300 B.C. and 1400 A.D., there were no surviving written accounts of the lands and peoples of southern and eastern regions of the subcontinent.

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The Aksumite state, (ca. 100 – 1100 A.D.)

The major documentary sources of our knowledge of the Aksumite civilization of Ethiopia are first the Adulis Inscriptions in Greek sometime during the first two centuries A.D. The exact date and the name of author of the document were lost when the exact copy was made in 525 by the Greek monk Cosmas.

The Periplus of The Erythrean Sea, an undated work by an anonymous Greek author written sometimes in the second century A.D. The royal chronicles of the two great Aksumite Emperors Ezana and Caleb in the fourth and sixth centuries A.D., respectively, and the metallic coins issued by more than twenty Aksumite kings between the second and ninth centuries A.D. are three other sources.

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The daamatite state (ca. 500 B.C. – 100 A.D.)

After the land and the Habasha people of Punt the earliest historically known land and people of North-East Africa were the people and state of Daamat during the last five centuries B.C. This state was located in the present Southern Eritrea and Northern Tigrai.

Documentary evidence on the ancient Ethiopian land, people, and state of Daamat have come to us mainly from the archaeological inscriptions discovered at the historical sites of Kaskase, Matara, Yeha, Adi Gelemo, Enda Cherkos, Melazo and Hawlti, in these two northern regions.

From these historical sites have come some 13 royal inscriptions containing the names of four different kings, one queen, and six state deities.

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Punt, the land of habasha, the land of spices and deities (ca. 2800 B.C.)

The first recorded historical description of the region and the inhabitants of North-East Africa goes back about 4,800 years to the time of the ancient pharaonic Egyptians.

The coastal region of North-East Africa, approximately between today’s the Red Sea port of Suwakin in the north, and the Cape of Guardafui in the southeast, was dimly known to the pharaonic Egyptians as the Land of Punt, the land of spices and deities.

They also called the people of Punt by the name of Habasha. In the opinion of one leading Egyptologist, the historical origin of the name “Habasha” in reference to both the Aksumites and the present Ethiopians in the subcontinent seems to be from Punt.

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