Emperor Yohannes (1872 – 1989)

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa
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Kassa Mercha – crowning himself emperor Yohannes – reigned for 17 years. In contrast to Tewodros, Yohannes strongly supported the church and recognised the independence of the local lords. With the lords, he struck a bargain: in exchange for keeping their kingdoms, they were obliged to recognise the emperor’s overall power and to pay taxes to his state. In this way, Yohannes secured the religious, political and financial backing of his subjects.

With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the Red Sea became a passageway to the East and beyond. The whole area around the Red Sea became very interesting for the major European powers and this led to the arrival of the Italians in Massawa. The other European countries did nothing about this.

Yohannes had to stand up against many attacks from outside. He beat the Egyptians several times. In the West, the Mahadists (or Dervishes) overran Sudan and a large Dervish army arrived in Ethiopia in 1888. Many Gonderian buildings and churches were burnt. Yohannes was killed in a battle against the Dervishes.

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