Located along the Horn of Africa, a territory carved into three protectorates, French Somaliland and British Somaliland along the Red Sea, and Italian Somaliland along the Indian Ocean. Until the early 1870s, the Ottoman Empire exercised a nominal sovereignty over the Red Sea Coast until the Egyptians expanded into the area all the way to Cape Guardafui. When they evacuated, European powers followed, expanding their influence through the establishment of protectorates over native rulers. The British established a protectorate over the Red Sea port of Zeila, while the French, seeking to contain further British expansionism and to establish trade with Ethiopia, occupied the port of Djibouti. Finally, the Sultan of Zanzibar, nominal sovereign over the Benadir cities, the Obbia, and Mijjertein sultanates negotiated protectorates with the Italians in 1887–1893.
   All three colonial powers faced the same problems: native uprisings, investment costs to develop their colonies, and an increasingly expansionist Ethiopian Empire. The most serious native uprising occurred in British Somaliland between 1899 and 1905 when Mohammed ben Abdullah and his Dervishes rebelled and raided British and Italian Somaliland. And, though bribed with land in southeastern British Somaliland, his presence required a British garrison and hindered development. With an ill-defined border, Ethiopian warriors constantly raided the British and Italian protectorates. The French were investing in a massive railroad project to build a line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, the Empire’s capital, while the Ethiopians continued to press more and more demands. The Italian government was the last to start investing in its colony, having only assumed governmental control in 1905.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>.
    Hess, Robert. Italian Colonialism in Somalia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966;
    James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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