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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The coup d'état of September 26, 1916: different perspectives
Author:Omer, Ahmed Hassen
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of Ethiopian Studies (ISSN 0304-2243)
Volume:46
Pages:99-120
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:coups d'état
1916
political stability
feudalism
About person:Lidj Iyasu (1897-1936)ISNI
Abstract:Conflicts over succession in the royal courts of Ethiopia have been ubiquitous in the country's history. This article describes the reign of 'Lej' Iyyassu, grandson and successor of Emperor Menelik II. The first section of the paper addresses the political intrigues during his reign which was characterized by political treachery, inconsistent handling of affairs and corruption. Iyyassu showed a pronounced lack of interest in the day-to-day running of the government, leaving most of the work for the ministers to deal with. His essentially reformist orientation clashed with the conservatism of his grandfather's old ministers, and his many capricious acts served only to further alienate the aristocracy, the Shäwan establishment. All this, combined with his frequent absences from the capital, created the ideal environment to plot his downfall. The author argues that the coup of 1916 was different from the series of Palace coups which characterized African military regimes of the post 1960s, and also from the one which Addis Ababa witnessed in 1960. Lej Iyyassu was overthrown not because he was hated by the Ethiopian public, but because he was not favoured by the Shäwan nobility and the colonial powers ruling by then over many areas of the Horn. It was a plot hatched within the womb of the Ethiopian feudal system. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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