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Zemene Mesafint

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Zemene Mesafint

Post by kosovohp on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:42 am

All of this contributed to Ethiopia's isolation from 1755 to 1855, called the Zemene Mesafint or "Age of Princes". The Emperors became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras Mikael Sehul of Tigray, Ras Wolde Selassie of Tigray, and by the Oromo Yejju dynasty, such as Ras Gugsa of Begemder, which later led to 17th century Oromo rule of Gondar, changing the language of the court from Amharic to Afaan Oromo.[45][46]

Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that concluded an alliance between the two nations; however, it was not until 1855 that Ethiopia was completely united and the power in the Emperor restored, beginning with the reign of Emperor Tewodros II. Upon his ascent, despite still large centrifugal forces, he began modernizing Ethiopia and recentralizing power in the Emperor, and Ethiopia began to take part in world affairs once again.
Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia and King of Zion, with his son, Ras Araya Selassie Yohannis

But Tewodros suffered several rebellions inside his empire. Northern Oromo militias, Tigrayan rebellion and the constant incursion of Ottoman Empire and Egyptian forces near the Red Sea brought the weakening and the final downfall of Emperor Tewodros II, who died after his last battle with a British expeditionary force. In 1868, Ethiopia and Egypt went to war at Gura. Northern Ethiopian forces, led by Emperor Yohannes IV, defeated the Egyptians decisively.

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