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The Addis Ababa MassacreItaly's National Shame$
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Ian Campbell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190674724

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190674724.001.0001

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(p.9) 1 Background
The Addis Ababa Massacre

Ian Campbell

Oxford University Press

This chapter points out similarities between Ethiopian and Roman empires in terms of their history, in particular the adoption by both empires of Christianity as state religion in the 4th century, their fragmentation into warring states, and their subsequent re-unification as sovereign states in the second half of the 19th century. Italy’s unsuccessful attempt at Adwa to occupy Ethiopia in 1896 is summarized. This event was followed by the rise of Fascism and Italy’s second invasion of Ethiopia, the geo-political aims of which are discussed. The chapter outlines the failure of the League of Nations to protect Ethiopia, one of its earliest members, and explains the role of the 6th Blackshirt Division in the suppression of Ethiopian civilians. The author dismisses the idea that the invasion of Ethiopia was a colonial expedition, pointing out that as a sovereign state, Ethiopia was not a candidate for colonialism. It was a victim of Fascist expansionist policy, along with other victims such as Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia.

Keywords:   Rodolfo Graziani, resistance, Mussolini, Blackshirts, League of Nations, Fascism, Ethiopia, Adwa, Haile Selassie

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