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Title: British policy towards Ethiopia 1909-1919
Author: Caplan, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 9716
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1971
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British policy towards Ethiopia was governed by the Tripartite Agreement of 13 December 1906, which safeguarded British interests in the headwaters of the Blue Nile and in the western provinces of Ethiopia. Britain had no desire to dominate Ethiopia, and she wanted to keep her independent of Italian territorial control and French economic control. Britain hoped that Lij Yasu, Menelik's grandson, would take command of the Government in 1913 and give Ethiopia a stable administration. However Yasu was opposed by the Shoan hierarchy, and since he did not receive the crown he virtually abdicated all responsibility. He became enamoured with Islam, and he consulted with Turkish advisers. Consequently, the Government fell into chaos, the Christian highlanders were insulted, and the Allied Legations feared that Ethiopia would join the Control Powers. Britain initiated the Allied demarche of 12 September 1916, and she supported the Shoan conspirators, who deposed Yasu on 27 September 1916. The new Empress, Zauditu, and he Regent, Ras Tafari, were beset by internal problems, and they could not stabilize Ethiopia. The British Minister hopes that Ethiopia would accept administrative reforms, but he was not supported by the Ethiopians, the French or the Italians. Due to the belief that Ethiopia would soon break up, and that Italy would ask Ethiopian territory as compensation for her war-time assistant (and that Britain could acquire the French Somali Coast), Britain began to consider the possibility of a new partition of the Horn of Africa. At the close of the war Italy claimed vast compensation in East Africa, including the entire Somali Coast and Ethiopia. However the British and French negotiators at the Paris Peace Conference refused most of Italy's demands. Thereafter Ethiopian affairs returned to their pre-war state, with Ethiopia unstable and the Tripartite Powers in competition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available