The battle of Adwa African Victory in the Age of Empire – By Professor Raymond Jonas


This is the story of a world turned upside down. So begins The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire. While no attribution is suggested, it is likely Raymond Jonas had in mind the famous ballad played by the British at their surrender at Yorktown.

As much as the victory by the colonials was a rebuke to conventional wisdom so the battle of Adwa was to European attitudes towards Africans during the Age of Imperialism.

The Battle of Adwa in 1896 was the result of Italian encroachments south of their colony of Eritrea on the Red Sea. Though bound by the Treaty of Wichale (1889) to friendship, the Italians and Ethiopians had different opinions about the nature of that friendship.

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