Quest for the Jade Sea: Colonial Competition around an East African Lake

Quest for the Jade Sea: Colonial Competition around an East African Lake

Quest for the Jade Sea: Colonial Competition around an East African Lake

Quest for the Jade Sea: Colonial Competition around an East African Lake

Synopsis

In this fascinating story of colonial competition around Lake Rudolf, a remote body of water in northern Kenya, Pascal James Imperato examines the political & diplomatic aspects of colonial competition for the lake as well as the many expeditions that traveled there. Although the chief competitors for the lake included the British, Italians, the French, Russians, & Ethiopians, its colonial fate was decided by Great Britain & Ethiopia. The role of Ethiopia as a late nineteenth-century colonial power unfolds as Imperato provides unique insights & analyses of Ethiopian colonial policy & its effects on the peoples who inhabited the region of the lake.

Excerpt

The three years following Arthur Donaldson Smith's return from East Africa, 1896-1898, were to prove decisive for Britain's plan to control the Nile from its headwaters to the Mediterranean. This period also witnessed the emergence of Ethiopia as an indigenous colonial power that was destined to play an important role in the complex competition for the Nile. Ethiopia not only inflicted a humiliating military defeat on the Italians in 1896 but also allied itself with the French in the interests of pushing its borders to the south and west. This territorial expansion eventually brought Ethiopia into confrontation with British interests around Lake Rudolf and the Nile. a clever and prudent man, Ethiopia's emperor, Menelik ii, knew the value of shifting his alliances in the interests of self-preservation. Thus, he eventually moved from a policy of confrontation with the British to one of accommodation when it became . . .

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