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Title: Political History of Tigray:Rivalry for Power (1910-1935)
Authors: Hagos, G/Yohannes
Advisors: Tecle-Haimanot G/Selassie (Ph.D.)
Copyright: 2003
Date Added: 15-May-2008
Publisher: Addis Ababa university
Abstract: ABSTRACT Following the unexpected death of Emperor Yohannes IV, Negus Menelik was crowned Emperor and the political ambition of some of the Tigrean chiefs to crown Ras Mängäša as Yohannes IV’s heir was barred, and Tigray entered into a political turmoil. The continuous efforts to regain the throne and the rivalries among the Tigrean chiefs were, therefore, the major factors affecting the course of events after the death of Emperor Yohannes IV. After Ras Mängäša’s death, the principal antagonists in Tigray- Däjjac Gäbrä-Sellassé, Ras Sebhat, Ras Gugsa Araya, Däjjac (later Ras) Seyum were involved in constant power struggle and engaged in rivalry to influence the central government to gain favour and to obtain the overlordship of the whole province of Tigray. During the last reshuffles in the administrative posts of the country made by Emperor Menelik, on 22 April 1902, Däjjazmac Abatä Bwayaläw was appointed Wagšum and governor general of Tigray in the presence of Däjjac Seyum, Däjjac Abreha and Däjjac Gäbrä-Sellassé. Däjjac Abreha rebelled opposing the appointment of Däjjac Abatä as an overlord of Tigray and was, however, defeated at the Battle of Koräm, in October 1909. The power struggle among the Tigrean nobility continued after the Battle of Koräm, which led to the Battle of Akhora, on 25 February 1914, in which Ras Sebhat and his two sons were killed. The causes and the consequences of the battle are discussed in the thesis. The relation between the Tigrean chiefs (mainly Ras Seyum and Ras Gugsa) due to the deposition, escape and arrest of Lej Iyasu was also attempted to be identified in the thesis.In Tigray the son of Ras Seyum, Däjjac Kassa Abba Yelaq, rebelled against his father and against the central government in 1918 and he achieved initial victories. The thesis, therefore, attempts to give a highlight on the causes and results of the rebellion of Däjjac Kassa Abba Yelaq. Ras Seyum and Ras Gugsa, who were both the grandsons of Emperor Yohannes IV, remained rivals to gain the title of Negus of Tigray until the death of Ras Gugsa in 1933. They attempted to gain popularity and influence in the central government and to win the favour and support of the central government at the expense of one another. Emperor Haylä-Sellassé unable to impose an effective control over Tigray, however, attempted to achieve an internal balance of power, and finally succeeded in preventing any one of Yohannes IV’s descendants from becoming Negus, through diplomacy and marriage ties. Emperor Haylä-Sellassé, aware of the potential trouble and danger from Tigray by Ras Seyum and Ras Gugsa for being deprived of their legitimate patrimony, attempted to placate them by marriage ties to the Shewan royal family, by bonds of matrimony. As a result marriage ties were arranged between the children of the Emperor with the children of the two grand-sons of Emperor Yohannes IV, although it had little effect on the loyalty, especially, of Däjjac Haylä-Sellassé Gugsa. At the time when the Tigrean chiefs were conducting their rivalries, the Italians, who never forgot the ignominy of their defeat at the Battle of Adwa, worked hard to woo the Tigrean chiefs to their interests. Thus, they finally succeeded to gain Däjjac Haylä-Sellassé Gugsa’s defection to their side, which facilitated their penetration in to the Ethiopian interior.
Description: A Thesis Presented to The School of Graduate Studies Of the Addis Ababa University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in History
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1102
Appears in:Thesis - History

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