Ethiopia is one of the two countries that were not colonised by the Europeans.
Ethiopia has always been an independent empire. In the late 19th century, when many European countries took over African territories, Ethiopia was still exempted.
The Europeans would have benefitted greatly from the resources of Ethiopia if they had gained control over it. But how was Ethiopia able to stay Uncolonised?
Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia, is one of the world’s oldest countries, dating as far back as 400 BCE, and is even mentioned in the Bible many times. Ethiopia’s unique geographical location, economic prosperity, viability, and the unity of the people, are what helped the territory avoid colonialisation, despite the attempts that were made to subdue it.
Throughout the millennia of its existence, Ethiopia scored decisive victories against a series of global colonialist forces, particularly Italy, in the mid-1890s.
Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1895, seeking to enlarge its colonial empire in Africa. In the ensuing first Italo-Ethiopian War from 1895-1896, the Ethiopian troops were victorious over Italian forces at the Battle of Adwa on March 1, 1896. They won because of their organisation, teamwork, and wealth, with which they purchased armoury. The emperor, Menelik II of Ethiopia, also contributed to their victory.
The emperor assembled approximately 200,000 men, fully armed with local and advanced weapons. He ensured that the Italian soldiers had no chance whatsoever of winning.
On October 26, 1896, Italy agreed to the Treaty of Addis Ababa, ended the war, and recognised Ethiopia as an independent state. Although the country was later occupied during World War II, the occupancy was brief, and Italy did not establish colonial control over Ethiopia.