Saturday, 20 January 2018

Muslim Egypt and Christian Abyssinia 1880


Moslem Egypt and Christian Abyssinia; Or, Military Service Under the Khedive, in his Provinces and Beyond their Borders, as Experienced by the American Staff


Description

William McEntyre Dye (1831–99) was a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a former colonel in the United States Army, and a veteran of the American Civil War. In late 1873, Dye entered the service of Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt and Sudan, who was recruiting, with the assistance of General William T. Sherman, American officers to serve as advisors in his army. Egypt was at that time formally still part of the Ottoman Empire, but it exercised a high degree of autonomy. Dye served as assistant chief of staff in the Egyptian expedition against Abyssinia  (Ethiopia), which Ismail Pasha launched in 1875 to conquer territory on the Red Sea coast. This book, published after Dye’s return to the United States, contains an extensive, first-hand account of  the Abyssinian  campaign. Despite the involvement of the foreign officers, Ismail Pasha’s army suffered serious defeats in November 1875 and March 1876, which Dye described and analyzed. The book is also noteworthy for its accounts of expeditions undertaken for the khedive to Kordostan in central Sudan and Darfur in western Sudan. The appendix contains an annotated list of 25 American officers (veterans of both the Union and Confederate armies and navies) connected to military service in Egypt between 1869 and 1878.

Muslim Egypt and Christian Abyssinia:


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Handbooks on Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti prepared by the British Foreign Office 1920

In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. In a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

Eritrea:

Eritrea is Number 126 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book covers physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. At the time the study was written, Eritrea was an Italian colony. With the encouragement of the Italian government, the Rubattino Shipping Company began acquiring territories from local sultans on the shores of the Red Sea as early as 1869, and in 1890 Italy consolidated its possessions on the Red Sea under the name Eritrea. The historical section traces the late-19th century struggle for influence and control in the region involving, at different times, Egypt, Turkey, Britain, and Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The economic section discusses prospects for development of the colony itself, chiefly as a location for Italian-owned plantations worked by indigenous labor, and its importance as an outlet to the sea for Abyssinia. Eritrea remained an Italian colony until World War II, when it was occupied by the British. In December 1952 it was federated with Ethiopia. After a long war of independence, it gained international recognition as an independent country on May 24, 1993.

https://dl.wdl.org/11917/service/11917.pdf
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Abyssinia:

Abyssinia is Number 129 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It summarizes the history of Abyssinia  (now known as Ethiopia) from its origins in Biblical times, through early contacts with Europeans in the 18th century, to the reign of Emperor Menelik II (1889−1913) and his victory over Italy in the war of 1895−96. The study notes that one of the principal results of the 1896 treaty of peace with Italy was “the recognition without reserve of the absolute independence of the Ethiopian Empire as a sovereign and independent state.” The book discusses the Ethiopian Church and its relationship to the Coptic Church of Egypt, as well as the Muslim, Jewish, and animist minorities living in the country. The economic section emphasizes the low level of agricultural and industrial productivity and the feudal system of land tenure. Foreign trade was beginning to grow, with the main exports being coffee beans and cattle hides.



British Somaliland:

British Somaliland (the northwest part of present-day Somalia) was a British protectorate, established in 1884−7, after a period of rivalry between Britain and Egypt (then nominally still part of the Ottoman Empire) for control of the territory on the African side of the Gulf of Aden. Sokotra (part of present-day Yemen) is an island in the Indian Ocean lying south of the Arabian Peninsula, which became a British protectorate in 1886. Both British Somaliland and Sokotra were regarded as strategically important for controlling the ocean trade routes from the Suez Canal to India, Australia, and the Far East. The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. The section on political history summarizes the parts played by Great Britain, France, and Italy in this region of Africa and recounts the recurring difficulties the British and Italians had in subjugating the local religious leader and Somali nationalist Sayid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, a man the British called "the Mad Mullah," who preached holy war against the colonial powers and the neighboring Abyssinians (Ethiopians). The economic section notes the underdeveloped state of both protectorates, observing, for example, that there “are no roads in British Somaliland in the European sense of the word.”

https://dl.wdl.org/11787/service/11787.pdf
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Italian Somaliland:

Italian Somaliland is Number 128 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Italian Somaliland (part of the present-day Republic of Somalia) came under Italian control in early 1889, when the sultan of Obbia (present-day Hobyo) concluded a treaty with Italy placing his dominions along the coast of the Indian Ocean under Italian protection. Southern Somaliland was made an Italian crown colony in 1910, while Northern Somaliland remained an Italian protectorate, “ruled by local Sultans, over whose actions the Italian Government exercises only indirect political control.” The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It chronicles the establishment of Italian control and the demarcation of boundaries between Italian Somaliland and British East Africa and Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The section on social and political conditions is brief and stresses the strict Islamic faith of the Somali tribes. The study discusses the commitment of the Italians to turning Italian Somaliland into an economically profitable colony but notes the many obstacles to be overcome, including the dry climate and shortages of water, the lack of qualified labor for agricultural work, and the rudimentary transport network. It notes the prevalence of slavery in the southern part of the colony.

https://dl.wdl.org/11876/service/11876.pdf

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French Somaliland:

French Somaliland is Number 109 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. British Somaliland and Sokotra is Number 97 in the series; Italian Somaliland is Number 128. French Somaliland (present-day Djibouti) is located on the eastern coast of Africa, bordered at that time by the Italian colony of Eritrea, Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia), and British Somaliland (part of present-day Somalia). The book contains sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. Included is a brief discussion of the population of the colony, which was comprised of two main groups, the Danakil (also known as the Afar), and the Issa Somalis. The section on political history summarizes the process by which France came to control the territory, beginning with the cession of the port of Obok by local chiefs in 1856 and ending with the conclusion of treaties of protection with the sultans of Tajura and Gobad and the chiefs of the Issa Somalis in 1884–85. The study notes that the economic value of French Somaliland derived almost entirely from its position as a transportation hub. It was the terminus of the railroad from the port of Djibouti to Ethiopia and a “convenient coaling station and port of call for vessels trading with the East, particularly with the French Asiatic possessions, and with Eastern Africa and Madagascar.” French Somaliland was renamed the Territory of the Afars and the Issas in 1967 and became independent as the Republic of Djibouti in 1977.

https://dl.wdl.org/11884/service/11884.pdf