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Title: Trade and politics in the Ethiopian region, 1830-1855
Author: Abir, Mordechai
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1964
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The development of trade in the Red Sea since the second decade of the 19th century brought about a similar development in the Ethiopian region. A growing volume of Ethiopia's main items of export, gold, musk, ivory, incenses and coffee reached the coast from the interior. However, it was especially the slave trade which flourished in consequence of the growing demand for Ethiopian slaves in the Muslim world. This trade was mainly geared to supply the harems of the Muslim world with young concubines and wives, who were in fact of Galla and Sidama origin. On the whole, the volume of the Ethiopian foreign trade was still insignificant considering the potentialities of the country. The most important caravan route in Ethiopia was the one from the rich southwest through Gojam to Gondar and from there either to the Sudan or to Massawa. However, a new route opened by the Tajurans to Shoa in addition to the route leading to Berbera and Zeila by way of Harar, was growing in importance. With the help of the Muslim caravan traders who nearly monopolised Ethiopia's trade the revived Islamic propogation since the beginning of the century achieved great successes among the Galls. In the southwest the rulihg classes of the newly founded Galla monarchies adopted Islam. In the north, Islamised Galla tribes were making their last bid for supremecy in Ethiopia, while the Amhara ruling class was nearly oblivious to the dangers it faced. However, in Shoa with the help of firearms acquired by the Christian Amhara, the rulers were able to reconquer from Muslim dynasties or Galla tribes large areas of historical Shoa. Under the rule of Sahle Sellassie, Shoa became one of the most important political and economical centres in the Ethiopian highlands. One tends to believe that Sahle Sellassie in fact paved the way for his grandson Menelik.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral