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Frontiers of Violence in North-East AfricaGenealogies of Conflict since c.1800$
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Richard J. Reid

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211883

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211883.001.0001

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Borderlands, Militarism, and the Making of Empire

Borderlands, Militarism, and the Making of Empire

Chapter:
(p.66) 4 Borderlands, Militarism, and the Making of Empire
Source:
Frontiers of Violence in North-East Africa
Author(s):

Richard J. Reid (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211883.003.0005

The chief themes of this chapter are the increasing importance of Tigray, in large part owing to the growing significance of Red Sea trade; the critical importance of two key frontier zones in the nineteenth century, namely that of the Mereb River and of the north-west Sudanese borderland; and the making of Menelik's empire in the late nineteenth century. The state-building project initiated by the Tigrayan ruler Yohannes, very much defined by the aforementioned frontiers, was built upon by Menelik. The success of Menelik's imperialism must be understood as a culmination of a century of militarism; the Ethiopian state which resulted from Amhara imperialism was able to harness such violent militarism against both the Italians in the north and the Oromo and other communities to the south.

Keywords:   Tigray, Yohannes, Mereb, Sudan, Menelik, militarism, Amhara imperialism, Oromo

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