This rich culture of East Africa-known in the Bible as Abyssinia-claims
descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Under a Marxist
regime, however, this ancient people has suffered from famine
and genocide. This presentation chronicles the heartbreak of
Ethiopia, which mirrors many of the crises besieging the third
world countries of Africa.
10th Cent. BC-Ethiopian royalty begins with Sheba,
Queen of Abyssinia, through union with Solomon,
King of Israel.
Cent. BC--City-state of Aksum emerges; becomes
Cent. AD-- Christian Ethiopia loses ports to Muslim competitors;
Aksum becomes landlocked and isolated by surrounding Arab
Empire seizes Palestine, Syria and Egypt, Ethiopia is cut
off from exchange of goods and ideas with other nations. Stagnation
and civil war throughout Middle Ages.
Cent.--Ethiopia overrun by Sultanate of Ifat; becomes
Wealth is pillaged; Portuguese expedition (1541) to defend
Christianity is slaughtered. Ethiopia dissolves into kingdoms
(through 18th century).
Teodores becomes first modern monarch (also called the
launch Anglo-Indian Napier Expedition against Teodores,
who commits suicide.
occupies Red Sea port of Massawa and expands along
coastline. Ethiopia destroys Italian garrison; Italy declares
war on Ethiopia. Treaty of Uccialli declares friendship
with Italians (1889). Disputes lead Ethiopia to renounce treaty
War. Italy is routed at Adowa, annuls Treaty of Uccialli
and recognizes Ethiopian sovereignty.
Tafari is crowned Emperor Haile Selassie; new Constitution
again invades Ethiopia, annexing it in 1936. Haile Selassie
exiled to England. British retake Addis Ababa (1941)
and end Italian occupation. Haile Selassie reclaims throne;
Ethiopia remains British protectorate. Peace treaty with Italy
--Eritrea becomes autonomous unit under Ethiopian Crown.
Somaliland and Italian Somalia become Republic of Somalia,
which soon claims Ogaden, Djibouti, and Northern Kenya.
Ethiopian-Somalian War lasts 5 months; conflict continues
through early 1980s.
Drought and famine in Ethiopia. Creeping coup eventually deposes
Haile Selassie on September 12, 1974.
Banks, financial institutions, rural land, industrial and
commercial companies are nationalized. Tigre revolts;
Eritrean fighting intensifies. Soviets court Ethiopia;
Red Terror begins, 1977. U.S. backs Somalia.
Further drought; villages are collectivized. Millions are
displaced and famine rages.