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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hayla-Sellase: From Progressive to Reactionary
Author:Zewde, Bahru
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:heads of State
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
About person:Hayla Selasse I, emperor of Ethiopia (1892-1975)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/northeast_african_studies/v002/2.2.zewde.pdf
Abstract:There was scarcely anything that preoccupied Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974, more than the acquisition and preservation of power. This paper discerns two phases of his reign: a progressive phase in the early decades, and a reactionary phase in the last decades, with a period of transition in the 1950s. During the first phase, Haile Selassie did not stand for progress for the sake of progress, but progress was the concomitant of his quest for power. Likewise, he can justifiably be called reactionary in the last decades of his power because his clinging to power blocked all paths to progress. The paper pays attention to Haile Selassie's centralization policy, his interest in education and his relationship with the educated elite during the progressive phase, and Ethiopian absolutism, the reactions of the opposition, and the erosion of Eritrea's autonomy during the reactionary phase. Finally, the paper argues that the legacy of the opposition that Haile Selassie's long and obdurate regime engendered, and which was an amalgam of nihilism and idealism, remains: Ethiopia is still saddled with the leftist opposition's perceptions of the national question. Notes, ref.