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Haile Selassie I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign 2 November 1930–12 September 1974 (&0000000000000043.00000043 years, &0000000000000314.000000314 days)
Coronation 2 November 1930
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor De jure Amha Selassie I (crowned in exile)
Head of State of Ethiopia
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor Aman Andom (as Chairman of the Derg)
Spouse Empress Menen
Issue
Princess Romanework
Princess Tenagnework
Asfaw Wossen
Princess Zenebework
Princess Tsehai
Prince Makonnen
Prince Sahle Selassie
Full name
Ras Tafari Makonnen
House House of Solomon
Father Ras Makonnen Woldemikael Gudessa
Mother Weyziro Yeshimebet Ali Abajifar
Born 23 July 1892(1892-07-23)
Ejersa Goro,  Ethiopia
Died 27 August 1975 (aged 83)
Addis Ababa,  Ethiopia
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo

Rastafari movement
Flag of Ethiopia (1897).svg

Main doctrines
Jah · Afrocentrism · Ital · Zion
Central figures

Jesus Christ · Queen of Sheba · King Solomon · Haile Selassie · Andre Clayton · Leonard Howell · God

Key scriptures
Bible · Kebra Nagast · The Promise Key · Holy Piby · My Life and Ethiopia's Progress · Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
Branches and festivals
Mansions · United States · Shashamane · Grounation Day
Notable individuals
Bob Marley · Peter Tosh · Walter Rodney · Mutabaruka · Benjamin Zephaniah
See also:
Vocabulary · Persecution · Dreadlocks · Reggae · Ethiopian Christianity · Index of Rastafari articles

Haile Selassie I (Ge'ez: ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ, "Power of the Trinity";[1]) (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen,[2] was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.[3][4]

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people.[5] His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.[6] His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize adequately,[7] earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.[8]

Haile Selassie is revered as God incarnate among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000.[9][10] Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafarian movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to a golden age of peace, righteousness, and prosperity.[11]

Contents

Name

Haile Selassie was born Tafari Makonnen (Ge'ez ልጅ፡ ተፈሪ፡ መኮንን; Amharic pronunciation lij teferī mekōnnin). "Lij" translates literally to "child", and serves to indicate that a youth is of noble blood. He would later become Ras Tafari Makonnen; "Ras" translates literally to "head"[12] and is the equivalent of "duke",[13] though it is often rendered in translation as "prince". In 1928, he was elevated to Negus, "King".

Upon his ascension to Emperor in 1930, he took the name Haile Selassie, meaning "Power of the Trinity".[14] Haile Selassie's full title in office was "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God" (Ge'ez ግርማዊ፡ ቀዳማዊ፡ አፄ፡ ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ፡ ሞዓ፡ አንበሳ፡ ዘእምነገደ፡ ይሁዳ፡ ንጉሠ፡ ነገሥት፡ ዘኢትዮጵያ፡ ሰዩመ፡ እግዚአብሔር; girmāwī ḳadāmāwī 'aṣē ḫaile śelassie, mō'ā 'ambassā ze'imneggede yehūda negus negast ze'ītyōṗṗyā, tsehume 'igzī'a'bihēr). This title reflects Ethiopian dynastic traditions, which hold that all monarchs must trace their lineage back to Menelik I, who in the Ethiopian tradition was the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.[15]

To Ethiopians Haile Selassie has been known by many names, including Janhoy, Talaqu Meri, and Abba Tekel. The Rastafari employ many of these appellations, also referring to him as HIM, Jah, and Jah Rastafari.

Biography

Early life

Ras Makonnen, father of Haile Selassie I, in 1902

Haile Selassie I was born Tafari Makonnen from a mixed Oromo, Amhara, and Gurage[16] family on 23 July 1892, in the village of Ejersa Goro, in the Harar province of Ethiopia. His mother was Woizero ("Lady") Yeshimebet Ali Abajifar, daughter of the renowned Oromo ruler of Wollo province Dejazmach Ali Abajifar. Haile Selassie's father was Ras Makonnen Woldemikael Gudessa, the governor of Harar; Ras Makonnen served as a general in the First Italo–Ethiopian War, playing a key role at the Battle of Adwa.[17] He inherited his imperial blood through his paternal grandmother, Princess Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, who was an aunt of Emperor Menelik II, and as such asserted direct descent from Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of ancient Israel.[18]

Ras Makonnen arranged for Tafari as well as his first cousin, Ras Imru Haile Selassie to receive instruction in Harar from Abba Samuel Wolde Kahin, an Ethiopian capuchin monk, and from Dr. Vitalien, a surgeon from Guadeloupe. Tafari was named Dejazmach (literally "commander of the gate", roughly equivalent to "count")[19] at the age of 13, on 1 November 1905.[20] Shortly thereafter, his father Ras Makonnen died at Kulibi, in 1906.[21]

Governorship

Tafari assumed the titular governorship of Selale in 1906, a realm of marginal importance[22] but one that enabled him to continue his studies.[20] In 1907, he was appointed governor over part of the province of Sidamo. It is alleged that during his late teens, Haile Selassie was married to Woizero Altayech, and that from this union, his daughter Romanework Haile Selassie was born.[23][24]

Following the death of his brother Yelma in 1907, the governorate of Harar was left vacant,[22] and its administration was left to Menelik's loyal general, Dejazmach Balcha Safo. Balcha Safo's administration of Harar was ineffective, and so during the last illness of Menelik II, and the brief reign of Empress Taitu Bitul, Tafari was made governor of Harar in 1910[21] or 1911.[16]

On 3 August he married Menen Asfaw of Ambassel, niece of heir to the throne Lij Iyasu.

Regency

The extent to which Tafari Makonnen contributed to the movement that would come to depose Iyasu V is unclear. Iyasu V, or Lij Iyasu, was the designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia from 1913 to 1916. Iyasu's reputation for scandalous behavior and a disrespectful attitude towards the nobles at the court of his grandfather, Menelik II,[25] damaged his reputation. His flirtation with Islam was considered treasonous among the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian leadership of the empire. On 27 September 1916, Iyasu was deposed.[26]

Contributing to the movement that deposed Iyasu were conservatives such as Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis, Menelik II's longtime Minister of War. The movement to depose Iyasu preferred Tafari, as he attracted support from both progressive and conservative factions. Ultimately, Iyasu was deposed on the grounds of conversion to Islam.[12][26] In his place, the daughter of Menelik II ( the aunt of Iyasu) was named Empress Zewditu and made Regent for Tafari during his minority. Tafari was elevated to the rank of Ras and was made heir apparent and Crown Prince. In the power arrangement that followed, Tafari accepted the role of Regent Plenipotentiary (Balemulu 'Inderase) and became the de facto ruler of the Ethiopian Empire (Mangista Ityop'p'ya). Zewditu would govern while Tafari would administer.[27]

While Iyasu had been deposed on 27 September 1916, on 8 October the coup d'etat went awry. Iyasu managed to escape into the Ogaden Desert and his father, Negus Mikael of Wollo, had time to come to his aid.[28] On 27 October, Negus Mikael and his army met an army under Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis loyal to Zewditu and Tafari. During the Battle of Segale, Negus Mikael was defeated and captured. Any chance that Iyasu would regain the throne was ended and he went into hiding. On 11 January 1921, after avoiding capture for about five years, Iyasu was taken into custody by Gugsa Araya Selassie.

On 11 February 1917, the coronation for Zewditu took place. She pledged to rule justly through her Regent, Tafari. While Tafari was the more visible of the two, Zewditu was far from an honorary ruler. Her position required that she arbitrate the claims of competing factions. In other words, she had the last word. Tafari carried the burden of daily administration but, because his position was relatively weak, this was often an exercise in futility for him. Initially his personal army was poorly equipped, his finances were limited, and he had little leverage to withstand the combined influence of the Empress, the Minister of War, or the provincial governors.[29]

Empress Zewditu, preceded Haile Selassie as Empress of Ethiopia from 1916 until her death in April 1930. He served as regent of Ethiopia during her reign.

During his Regency, the new Crown Prince developed the policy of cautious modernization initiated by Menelik II. He secured Ethiopia's admission to the League of Nations in 1923 by promising to eradicate slavery; each emperor since Tewodros II had issued proclamations to halt slavery,[30] but without effect: the internationally scorned practice persisted well into Haile Selassie's reign.[31]

Travel abroad

In 1924, Ras Tafari toured Europe and the Middle East visiting Jerusalem, Cairo, Alexandria, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Geneva, and Athens. With him on his tour was a group that included Ras Seyum Mangasha of western Tigre Province, Ras Hailu Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam Province, Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu of Illubabor Province, Ras Makonnen Endelkachew, and Blattengeta Heruy Welde Sellase. The primary goal of the trip to Europe was for Ethiopia to gain access to the sea. In Paris, Tafari was to find out from the French Foreign Ministry (Quai d'Orsay) that this goal would not be realized.[32] However, failing this, he and his retinue inspected schools, hospitals, factories, and churches. Although patterning many reforms after European models, Tafari remained wary of European pressure. To guard against economic imperialism, Tafari required that all enterprises have at least partial local ownership.[33] Of his modernization campaign, he remarked, "We need European progress only because we are surrounded by it. That is at once a benefit and a misfortune."[34]

Throughout Ras Tafari's travels in Europe, the Levant, and Egypt, he and his entourage were greeted with enthusiasm and fascination. He was accompanied by Seyum Mangasha and Hailu Tekle Haymanot who, like Tafari, were sons of generals who contributed to the victorious war against Italy a quarter century earlier at the Battle of Adwa.[35] Another member of his entourage, Mulugeta Yeggazu, actually fought at Adwa as a young man. The "Oriental Dignity" of the Ethiopians [36] and their "rich, picturesque court dress"[37] were sensationalized in the media; among his entourage he even included a pride of lions, which he distributed as gifts to President Alexandre Millerand and Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré of France, to King George V of the United Kingdom, and to the Zoological Garden (Jardin Zoologique) of Paris.[35] As one historian noted, "Rarely can a tour have inspired so many anecdotes".[35] In return for two lions, the United Kingdom presented Ras Tafari with the imperial crown of Emperor Tewodros II for its safe return to Empress Zewditu. The crown had been taken by Robert Napier during the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia.[38]

In this period, the Crown Prince visited the Armenian monastery of Jerusalem. There, he adopted 40 Armenian orphans (አርባ ልጆች Arba Lijoch, "forty children") who had escaped the Armenian genocide of the Ottoman Empire.[39] Ras Tafari arranged for the musical education of the youths, and they came to form the imperial brass band.[40]

King and Emperor

In 1928, the authority of Ras Tafari Makonnen was challenged when Dejazmatch Balcha Safo went to Addis Ababa with a sizeable armed force. When Tafari consolidated his hold over the provinces, many of Menilek's appointees refused to abide by the new regulations. Balcha Safo, Governor (Shum) of coffee-rich Sidamo Province was particularly troublesome. The revenues he remitted to the central government did not reflect the accrued profits and Tafari recalled him to Addis Ababa. The old man came in high dudgeon and, insultingly, with a large army.[nb 1] The Dejazmatch paid homage to Empress Zewditu, but snubbed Ras Tafari.[42][43] On 18 February, while Balcha Safo and his personal bodyguard[nb 2] were in Addis Ababa, Ras Tafari had Ras Kassa Haile Darge buy off his army and arrange to have him displaced as the Shum of Sidamo Province[45] by Birru Wolde Gabriel who himself was replaced by Desta Damtew.[46]

Cover of Time magazine, 3 November 1930

Even so, the gesture of Balcha Safo empowered Empress Zewditu politically and she attempted to have Tafari tried for treason. He was tried for his benevolent dealings with Italy including a 20-year peace accord which was signed on 2 August.[20] In September, a group of palace reactionaries including some of the courtiers of the Empress, made a final bid to get rid of Tafari. The attempted coup d'état was tragic in its origins and comic in its end. When confronted by Tafari and a company of his troops, the ringleaders of the coup took refuge on the palace grounds in Menilek's mausoleum. Tafari and his men surrounded them only to be surrounded themselves by the personal guard of Zewditu. More of Tafari's khaki clad soldiers arrived and, with superiority of arms, decided the outcome in his favor.[47] Popular support, as well as the support of the police,[42] remained with Tafari. Ultimately, the Empress relented and, on 7 October 1928, she crowned Tafari as Negus (Amharic: "King").

The crowning of Tafari as King was controversial. He occupied the same territory as the Empress rather than going off to a regional kingdom of the empire. Two monarchs, even with one being the vassal and the other the Emperor (in this case Empress), had never occupied the same location as their seat in Ethiopian history. Conservatives agitated to redress this perceived insult to the dignity of the crown, leading to the rebellion of Ras Gugsa Welle. Gugsa Welle was the husband of the Empress and the Shum of Begemder Province. In early 1930, he raised an army and marched it from his governorate at Gondar towards Addis Ababa. On 31 March 1930, Gugsa Welle was met by forces loyal to Negus Tafari and was defeated at the Battle of Anchem. Gugsa Welle was killed in action.[48] News of Gugsa Welle's defeat and death had hardly spread through Addis Ababa when the Empress died suddenly on 2 April 1930. Although it was long rumored that the Empress was poisoned upon the defeat of her husband,[49] or alternately that she died from shock upon hearing of the death of her estranged yet beloved husband,[50] it has since been documented that the Empress succumbed to a flu-like fever and complications from diabetes.[51]

With the passing of Zewditu, Tafari himself rose to Emperor and was proclaimed Neguse Negest ze-'Ityopp'ya, "King of Kings of Ethiopia". He was crowned on 2 November 1930, at Addis Ababa's Cathedral of St. George. The coronation was by all accounts "a most splendid affair",[52] and it was attended by royals and dignitaries from all over the world. Among those in attendance were George V's son Prince Henry, Marshal Franchet d'Esperey of France, and the Prince of Udine representing Italy. Emissaries from the United States,[53] Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Belgium, and Japan were also present.[52] British author Evelyn Waugh was also present, penning a contemporary report on the event. One newspaper report suggested that the celebration may have incurred a cost in excess of $3,000,000.[54] Many of those in attendance received lavish gifts;[55] in one instance, the Christian Emperor even sent a gold-encased Bible to an American bishop who had not attended the coronation, but who had dedicated a prayer to the Emperor on the day of the coronation.[56]

Haile Selassie introduced Ethiopia's first written constitution on 16 July 1931,[57] providing for a bicameral legislature.[58] The constitution kept power in the hands of the nobility, but it did establish democratic standards among the nobility, envisaging a transition to democratic rule: it would prevail "until the people are in a position to elect themselves."[58] The constitution limited the succession to the throne to the descendants of Haile Selassie, a point that met with the disapprobation of other dynastic princes, including the princes of Tigrai and even the Emperor's loyal cousin, Ras Kassa Haile Darge.

In 1932, the Kingdom of Jimma was formally absorbed into Ethiopia following the death of King Abba Jifar II of Jimma.

Conflict with Italy

The Emperor, Photography by Walter Mittelholzer, February 1934.

Ethiopia became the target of renewed Italian imperialist designs in the 1930s. Benito Mussolini's fascist regime was keen to avenge the military defeats Italy had suffered to Ethiopia in the First Italo-Abyssinian War, and to efface the failed attempt by "liberal" Italy to conquer the country, as epitomised by the defeat at Adowa.[59][60][61] A conquest of Ethiopia could also empower the cause of fascism and embolden its rhetoric of empire.[61] Ethiopia would also provide a bridge between Italy's Eritrean and Italian Somaliland possessions. Ethiopia's position in the League of Nations did not dissuade the Italians from invading in 1935; the "collective security" envisaged by the League proved useless, and a scandal erupted when the Hoare-Laval Pact revealed that Ethiopia's League allies were scheming to appease Italy.[62]

Mobilization

Following the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie joined his northern armies and set up headquarters at Desse in Wollo province. He issued his famous mobilization order on 3 October 1935:

If you withhold from your country Ethiopia the death from cough or head-cold of which you would otherwise die, refusing to resist (in your district, in your patrimony, and in your home) our enemy who is coming from a distant country to attack us, and if you persist in not shedding your blood, you will be rebuked for it by your Creator and will be cursed by your offspring. Hence, without cooling your heart of accustomed valour, there emerges your decision to fight fiercely, mindful of your history that will last far into the future... If on your march you touch any property inside houses or cattle and crops outside, not even grass, straw, and dung excluded, it is like killing your brother who is dying with you... You, countryman, living at the various access routes, set up a market for the army at the places where it is camping and on the day your district-governor will indicate to you, lest the soldiers campaigning for Ethiopia's liberty should experience difficulty. You will not be charged excise duty, until the end of the campaign, for anything you are marketing at the military camps: I have granted you remission... After you have been ordered to go to war, but are then idly missing from the campaign, and when you are seized by the local chief or by an accuser, you will have punishment inflicted upon your inherited land, your property, and your body; to the accuser I shall grant a third of your property...

On 19 October 1935, Haile Selassie gave more precise orders for his army to his Commander-in-Chief, Ras Kassa:

  1. When you set up tents, it is to be in caves and by trees and in a wood, if the place happens to be adjoining to these―and separated in the various platoons. Tents are to be set up at a distance of 30 cubits from each other.
  2. When an aeroplane is sighted, one should leave large open roads and wide meadows and march in valleys and trenches and by zigzag routes, along places which have trees and woods.
  3. When an aeroplane comes to drop bombs, it will not suit it to do so unless it comes down to about 100 metres; hence when it flies low for such action, one should fire a volley with a good and very long gun and then quickly disperse. When three or four bullets have hit it, the aeroplane is bound to fall down. But let only those fire who have been ordered to shoot with a weapon that has been selected for such firing, for if everyone shoots who possesses a gun, there is no advantage in this except to waste bullets and to disclose the men's whereabouts.
  4. Lest the aeroplane, when rising again, should detect the whereabouts of those who are dispersed, it is well to remain cautiously scattered as long as it is still fairly close. In time of war it suits the enemy to aim his guns at adorned shields, ornaments, silver and gold cloaks, silk shirts and all similar things. Whether one possesses a jacket or not, it is best to wear a narrow-sleeved shirt with faded colours. When we return, with God's help, you can wear your gold and silver decorations then. Now it is time to go and fight. We offer you all these words of advice in the hope that no great harm should befall you through lack of caution. At the same time, We are glad to assure you that in time of war We are ready to shed Our blood in your midst for the sake of Ethiopia's freedom..."[63]

Compared to the Ethiopians, the Italians had an advanced, modern military which included a large air force. The Italians would also come to employ chemical weapons extensively throughout the conflict, even targeting Red Cross field hospitals in violation of the Geneva Convention.[64]

Progress of the war

Starting in early October 1935, the Italians invaded Ethiopia. On 6 October, Italian honor was avenged when Adwa fell. But, by November, the pace of invasion had slowed appreciably and Haile Selassie's northern armies were able to launch what was known as the "Christmas Offensive". During this offensive, the Italians were forced back in places and put on the defensive. However, by early in 1936, the First Battle of Tembien stopped the progress of the Ethiopian offensive and the Italians were ready to continue their offensive. Following the defeat and destruction of the northern Ethiopian armies at the Battle of Amba Aradam, the Second Battle of Tembien, and the Battle of Shire, Haile Selassie took the field with the last Ethiopian army on the northern front. On 31 March 1936, he launched a counterattack against the Italians himself at the Battle of Maychew in southern Tigray. The Emperor's army was defeated and retreated in disarray. As Haile Selassie's army withdrew, the Italians attacked from the air along with rebellious Raya and Azebo tribesmen on the ground, who were armed and paid by the Italians.[65]

When the struggle to resist Italy appeared doomed, Haile Selassie traveled to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela for fasting and prayer.[66]

Haile Selassie made a solitary pilgrimage to the churches at Lalibela, at considerable risk of capture, before returning to his capital.[67] After a stormy session of the council of state, it was agreed that because Addis Ababa could not be defended, the government would relocate to the southern town of Gore, and that in the interest of preserving the Imperial house, the Emperor's wife Menen Asfaw and the rest of the Imperial family should immediately depart for Djibouti, and from there continue on to Jerusalem.

Exile debate
The Emperor arrives in Jerusalem

After further debate as to whether Haile Selassie should go to Gore or accompany his family into exile, it was agreed that Haile Selassie should leave Ethiopia with his family and present the case of Ethiopia to the League of Nations at Geneva. The decision was not unanimous and several participants, including the nobleman Page (Blatta) Tekle Wolde Hawariat, objected to the idea of an Ethiopian monarch fleeing before an invading force.[68] Haile Selassie appointed his cousin Ras Imru Haile Selassie as Prince Regent in his absence, departing with his family for Djibouti on 2 May 1936.

On 5 May, Marshal Pietro Badoglio led Italian troops into Addis Ababa, and Mussolini declared Ethiopia an Italian province. Victor Emanuel III was proclaimed as the new Emperor of Ethiopia. However, on the previous day, the Ethiopian exiles had left Djibouti aboard the British cruiser HMS Enterprise. They were bound for Jerusalem in the British Mandate of Palestine, where the Ethiopian royal family maintained a residence. The Imperial family disembarked at Haifa and then went on to Jerusalem. Once there, Haile Selassie and his retinue prepared to make their case at Geneva. The choice of Jerusalem was highly symbolic, since the Solomonic Dynasty claimed descent from the House of David. Leaving the Holy Land, Haile Selassie and his entourage sailed for Gibraltar aboard the British cruiser HMS Capetown. From Gibraltar, the exiles were transferred to an ordinary liner. By doing this, the government of the United Kingdom was spared the expense of a state reception.[69]

Collective security and the League of Nations, 1936

Mussolini, upon invading Ethiopia, had promptly declared his own "Italian Empire"; because the League of Nations afforded Haile Selassie the opportunity to address the assembly, Italy even withdrew its League delegation, on 12 May 1936.[70] It was in this context that Haile Selassie walked into the hall of the League of Nations, introduced by the President of the Assembly as "His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Ethiopia" (Sa Majesté Imperiale, l'Empereur d'Ethiopie). The introduction caused a great many Italian journalists in the galleries to erupt into jeering, heckling, and whistling. As it turned out, they had earlier been issued whistles by Mussolini's son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano.[71] Haile Selassie waited calmly for the hall to be cleared, and responded "majestically"[72] with a speech sometimes considered among the most stirring of the 20th century.[5]

Although fluent in French, the working language of the League, Haile Selassie chose to deliver his historic speech in his native Amharic. He asserted that, because his "confidence in the League was absolute", his people were now being slaughtered. He pointed out that the same European states that found in Ethiopia's favor at the League of Nations were refusing Ethiopia credit and war matériel while aiding Italy, which was employing chemical weapons on military and civilian targets alike.

It was at the time when the operations for the encircling of Makale were taking place that the Italian command, fearing a rout, followed the procedure which it is now my duty to denounce to the world. Special sprayers were installed on board aircraft so that they could vaporize, over vast areas of territory, a fine, death-dealing rain. Groups of nine, fifteen, eighteen aircraft followed one another so that the fog issuing from them formed a continuous sheet. It was thus that, as from the end of January 1936, soldiers, women, children, cattle, rivers, lakes, and pastures were drenched continually with this deadly rain. In order to kill off systematically all living creatures, in order to more surely poison waters and pastures, the Italian command made its aircraft pass over and over again. That was its chief method of warfare.[73]

Noting that his own "small people of 12 million inhabitants, without arms, without resources" could never withstand an attack by a large power such as Italy, with its 42 million people and "unlimited quantities of the most death-dealing weapons", he contended that all small states were threatened by the aggression, and that all small states were in effect reduced to vassal states in the absence of collective action. He admonished the League that "God and history will remember your judgment."[74]

It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties... In a word, it is international morality that is at stake. Have the signatures appended to a Treaty value only in so far as the signatory Powers have a personal, direct and immediate interest involved?

The speech made the Emperor an icon for anti-Fascists around the world, and Time Magazine named him "Man of the Year".[75] He failed, however, to get what he most needed: the League agreed to only partial and ineffective sanctions on Italy, and several members even recognized the Italian conquest.[60]

Exile

Haile Selassie in 1942

Haile Selassie spent his exile years (1936–1941) in Bath, United Kingdom, in Fairfield House, which he bought. The Emperor and Ras Kassa took morning walks together behind the high walls of the 14-room Georgian house. Haile Selassie's favorite reading was "diplomatic history." But most of his serious hours were occupied with the 90,000-word story of his life which he was laboriously writing in Amharic.[76]

Prior to Fairfield House, he briefly stayed at Warne's Hotel in Worthing[77] and in Parkside, Wimbledon[78] A bust of Haile Selassie is in nearby Cannizaro Park to commemorate this time and is a popular place of pilgrimage for London's Rastafarian community.

Haile Selassie's activity in this period was focused on countering Italian propaganda as to the state of Ethiopian resistance and the legality of the occupation.[79] He spoke out against the desecration of houses of worship and historical artifacts (including the theft of a 1,600-year old imperial obelisk), and condemned the atrocities suffered by the Ethiopian civilian population.[80] He continued to plead for League intervention and to voice his certainty that "God's judgment will eventually visit the weak and the mighty alike",[81] though his attempts to gain support for the struggle against Italy were largely unsuccessful until Italy entered World War II on the German side in June 1940.[82]

The Emperor's pleas for international support did take root in the United States, particularly among African American organizations sympathetic to the Ethiopian cause.[83] In 1937, Haile Selassie was to give a Christmas Day radio address to the American people to thank his supporters when his taxi was involved in a traffic accident, leaving him with a fractured knee.[84] Rather than canceling the radio appearance, he proceeded in much pain to complete the address, in which he linked Christianity and goodwill with the Covenant of the League of Nations, and asserted that "War is not the only means to stop war":[84]

With the birth of the Son of God, an unprecedented, an unrepeatable, and a long-anticipated phenomenon occurred. He was born in a stable instead of a palace, in a manger instead of a crib. The hearts of the Wise men were struck by fear and wonder due to His Majestic Humbleness. The kings prostrated themselves before Him and worshipped Him. 'Peace be to those who have good will'. This became the first message.

[...] Although the toils of wise people may earn them respect, it is a fact of life that the spirit of the wicked continues to cast its shadow on this world. The arrogant are seen visibly leading their people into crime and destruction. The laws of the League of Nations are constantly violated and wars and acts of aggression repeatedly take place... So that the spirit of the cursed will not gain predominance over the human race whom Christ redeemed with his blood, all peace-loving people should cooperate to stand firm in order to preserve and promote lawfulness and peace.[84]

During this period, Haile Selassie suffered several personal tragedies. His two sons-in-law, Ras Desta Damtew and Dejazmach Beyene Merid, were both executed by the Italians.[81] The Emperor's daughter, Princess Romanework, wife of Dejazmach Beyene Merid, was herself taken into captivity with her children, and she died in Italy in 1941.[85] His daughter Tsehai died during childbirth shortly after the restoration in 1942.[86]

After his return to Ethiopia, he donated Fairfield House to the city of Bath as a residence for the aged, and it remains so to this day.[87]

1940s and 1950s

British forces, which consisted primarily of Ethiopian-backed African and South African colonial troops under the "Gideon Force" of Colonel Orde Wingate, coordinated the military effort to liberate Ethiopia. The Emperor himself issued several imperial proclamations in this period, demonstrating that, while authority was not divided up in any formal way, British military might and the Emperor's populist appeal could be joined in the concerted effort to liberate Ethiopia.[82]

On 18 January 1941, during the East African Campaign, Haile Selassie crossed the border between Sudan and Ethiopia near the village of Um Iddla. The standard of the Lion of Judah was raised again. Two days later, he and a force of Ethiopian patriots joined Gideon Force which was already in Ethiopia and preparing the way.[88] Italy was defeated by a force of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Nations, Free France, Free Belgium, and Ethiopian patriots. On 5 May 1941, Haile Selassie entered Addis Ababa and personally addressed the Ethiopian people, five years to the day since his 1936 exile:

Today is the day on which we defeated our enemy. Therefore, when We say let us rejoice with our hearts, let not our rejoicing be in any other way but in the spirit of Christ. Do not return evil for evil. Do not indulge in the atrocities which the enemy has been practicing in his usual way, even to the last.

Take care not to spoil the good name of Ethiopia by acts which are worthy of the enemy. We shall see that our enemies are disarmed and sent out the same way they came. As St. George who killed the dragon is the Patron Saint of our army as well as of our allies, let us unite with our allies in everlasting friendship and amity in order to be able to stand against the godless and cruel dragon which has newly risen and which is oppressing mankind.[89]

After World War II, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations. In 1948, the Ogaden, a region disputed with Somalia, was granted to Ethiopia.[90] On 2 December 1950, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 390 (V), establishing the federation of Eritrea (the former Italian colony) into Ethiopia.[91] Eritrea was to have its own constitution, which would provide for ethnic, linguistic, and cultural balance, while Ethiopia was to manage its finances, defense, and foreign policy.[91]

Despite his centralization policies that had been made before World War II, Haile Selassie still found himself unable to push for all the programs he wanted. In 1942, he attempted to institute a progressive tax scheme, but this failed due to opposition from the nobility, and only a flat tax was passed; in 1951, he agreed to reduce this as well.[92] Ethiopia was still "semi-feudal",[93] and the Emperor's attempts to alter its social and economic form by reforming its modes of taxation met with resistance from the nobility and clergy, which were eager to resume their privileges in the postwar era.[92] Where Haile Selassie actually did succeed in effecting new land taxes, the burdens were often passed by the landowners to the peasants.[92] Despite his wishes, the tax burden remained primarily on the peasants.

Between 1941 and 1959, Haile Selassie worked to establish the autocephaly of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.[94] The Ethiopian Orthodox Church had been headed by the abuna, a bishop who answered to the Partriarchate in Egypt. Haile Selassie applied to Egypt's Holy Synod in 1942 and 1945 to establish the independence of Ethiopian bishops, and when his appeals were denied he threatened to sever relations with the See of St. Mark.[94] Finally, in 1959, Pope Kyrillos VI elevated the Abuna to Patriarch-Catholicos.[94] The Ethiopian Church remained affiliated with the Alexandrian Church.[92] In addition to these efforts, Haile Selassie changed the Ethiopian church-state relationship by introducing taxation of church lands, and by restricting the legal privileges of the clergy, who had formerly been tried in their own courts for civil offenses.[92]

In keeping with the principle of collective security, for which he was an outspoken proponent, he sent a contingent under General Mulugueta Bulli, known as the Kagnew Battalion, to take part in the UN Conflict in Korea. It was attached to the American 7th Infantry Division, and fought in a number of engagements including the Battle of Pork Chop Hill.[95] In a 1954 speech, the Emperor spoke of Ethiopian participation in the Korean conflict as a redemption of the principles of collective security:

Nearly two decades ago, I personally assumed before history the responsibility of placing the fate of my beloved people on the issue of collective security, for surely, at that time and for the first time in world history, that issue was posed in all its clarity. My searching of conscience convinced me of the rightness of my course and if, after untold sufferings and, indeed, unaided resistance at the time of aggression, we now see the final vindication of that principle in our joint action in Korea, I can only be thankful that God gave me strength to persist in our faith until the moment of its recent glorious vindication.[96]

Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, photographed during a radio broadcast

During the celebrations of his Silver Jubilee in November 1955, Haile Selassie introduced a revised constitution,[97] whereby he retained effective power, while extending political participation to the people by allowing the lower house of parliament to become an elected body. Party politics were not provided for. Modern educational methods were more widely spread throughout the Empire, and the country embarked on a development scheme and plans for modernization, tempered by Ethiopian traditions, and within the framework of the ancient monarchical structure of the state.

Haile Selassie compromised when practical with the traditionalists in the nobility and church. He also tried to improve relations between the state and ethnic groups, and granted autonomy to Afar lands that were difficult to control. Still, his reforms to end feudalism were slow and weakened by the compromises he made with the entrenched aristocracy. The Revised Constitution of 1955 has been criticized for reasserting "the indisputable power of the monarch" and maintaining the relative powerlessness of the peasants.[98]

His international fame and acceptance also grew. In 1954 he visited West Germany, becoming the first head of state to do so after the end of World War II.[citation needed] Many elderly Germans still vividly recall the Emperor's visit, as it signaled their acceptance back into the world, as a peaceful nation. He donated blankets produced by the Debre Birhan Blanket Factory, in Ethiopia, to the war-ravaged German people.

Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen attending Mass on their Silver Jubilee day, November 2, 1955 at the Orthodox Cathedral of St. George

1960s

Haile Selassie contributed Ethiopian troops to the United Nations Operation in the Congo peacekeeping force during the 1960 Congo Crisis, to consolidate Congolese integrity and independence from Belgian troops, per United Nations Security Council Resolution 143. On 13 December 1960, while Haile Selassie was on a state visit to Brazil, his Imperial Guard forces staged an unsuccessful coup attempt, briefly proclaiming Haile Selassie's eldest son Asfa Wossen as Emperor. The coup d'état was crushed by the regular Army and police forces. The coup attempt lacked broad popular support, was denounced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and was unpopular among the Army, Air and Police forces. Nonetheless, the effort to depose the Emperor had support among students and the educated classes.[99] The coup attempt has been characterized as a pivotal moment in Ethiopian history, the point at which Ethiopians "for the first time questioned the power of the king to rule without the people's consent".[100] Student populations began to empathize with the peasantry and poor, and to advocate on their behalf.[100] The coup spurred Haile Selassie to accelerate reform, which manifested in the form of land grants to military and police officials.

The Emperor continued to be a staunch ally of the West, while pursuing a firm policy of decolonization in Africa, which was still largely under European colonial rule. The United Nations conducted a lengthy inquiry regarding the status of Eritrea, with the superpowers each vying for a stake in the state's future. Britain, the administrator at the time, suggested the partition of Eritrea between Sudan and Ethiopia, separating Christians and Muslims. The idea was instantly rejected by Eritrean political parties, as well as the UN.

A UN plebiscite voted 46 to 10 to have Eritrea be federated with Ethiopia, which was later stipulated on 2 December 1950 in resolution 390 (V). Eritrea would have its own parliament and administration and would be represented in what had been the Ethiopian parliament and would become the federal parliament.[101] However, Haile Selassie would have none of European attempts to draft a separate Constitution under which Eritrea would be governed, and wanted his own 1955 Constitution protecting families to apply in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 1961 the 30-year Eritrean Struggle for Independence began, followed by Haile Selassie's dissolution of the federation and shutting down of Eritrea's parliament.

In 1961, tensions between independence-minded Eritreans and Ethiopian forces culminated in the Eritrean War of Independence. The Emperor declared Eritrea the fourteenth province of Ethiopia in 1962.[102] The war would continue for 30 years, as first Haile Selassie, then the Soviet-backed junta that succeeded him, attempted to retain Eritrea by force.

In 1963, Haile Selassie presided over the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity, with the new organization establishing its headquarters in Addis Ababa. As more African states won their independence, he played an important role as Pan-Africanist, and along with Modibo Keïta of Mali was successful in negotiating the Bamako Accords, which brought an end to the border conflict between Morocco and Algeria. Also in 1963, on October 4, Selassie addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations, referring in his address to his earlier speech to the League of Nations:

Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenceless nation, by the Fascist invader. I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936. Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best — perhaps the last — hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.[103]

On 25 November 1963, the Emperor was among other heads-of-state, including French President Charles de Gaulle, who traveled to Washington D.C. and attended the burial of assassinated American President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1966, Haile Selassie attempted to create a modern, progressive tax[citation needed] that included registration of land, which would significantly weaken the nobility. Even with alterations, this law led to a revolt in Gojjam, which was repressed although enforcement of the tax was abandoned. The revolt, having achieved its design in undermining the tax, encouraged other landowners to defy Haile Selassie.

Haile Selassie on a state visit to Washington, 1963

Student unrest became a regular feature of Ethiopian life in the 1960s and 1970s. Marxism took root in large segments of the Ethiopian intelligentsia, particularly among those who had studied abroad and had thus been exposed to radical and left-wing sentiments that were becoming popular in other parts of the globe.[99] Resistance by conservative elements at the Imperial Court and Parliament, and by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, made Haile Selassie's land reform proposals difficult to implement, and also damaged the standing of the government, costing Haile Selassie much of the goodwill he had once enjoyed. This bred resentment among the peasant population. Efforts to weaken unions also hurt his image. As these issues began to pile up, Haile Selassie left much of domestic governance to his Prime Minister, Aklilu Habte Wold, and concentrated more on foreign affairs.

1970s

Outside of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie continued to enjoy enormous prestige and respect. As the longest serving Head of State in power, Haile Selassie was often given precedence over other leaders at state events, such as the state funerals of John F. Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle, the summits of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the 1971 celebration of the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire. His high profile and frequent travels around the world raised Ethiopia's international image.[citation needed]

Wollo Famine

Famine mostly in Wollo, northeastern Ethiopia, as well as in some parts of Tigray is estimated to have killed 40,000 to 80,000 Ethiopians[8][104] between 1972-74.[105] Although the region is infamous for recurrent crop failures and continuous food shortage and starvation risk, this episode was remarkably severe. It led to the 1973 production of the ITV programme The Unknown Famine by Jonathan Dimbleby.[106][107] Dimbleby's report suggested a far higher death toll than was borne out by the facts,[108] stimulating a massive influx of aid while at the same time destabilizing Haile Selassie's regime.[104]

The 1973 Oil Crisis, the severity of which is demonstrated by this graph, hit Ethiopia amidst a devastating famine, compounding its effect and undermining support for the Emperor.[98]

Some reports suggest that the Emperor was unaware of the extent of the famine,[109] while others assert that he was well aware of it.[110][111] In addition to the exposure of attempts by corrupt local officials to cover up the famine from the Imperial government, the Kremlin's depiction of Haile Selassie's Ethiopia as backwards and inept (relative to the purported utopia of Marxism-Leninism) contributed to the popular uprising that led to its downfall and the rise of Mengistu Haile Mariam.[112] The famine and its image in the media undermined popular support of the government, and Haile Selassie's once unassailable personal popularity fell.

The crisis was exacerbated by military mutinies and high oil prices, the latter a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The international economic crisis triggered by the oil crisis caused the costs of imported goods, gasoline, and food to skyrocket, while unemployment spiked.[98]

Revolution

In February 1974, four days of serious riots in Addis against a sudden economic inflation left five dead. The Emperor responded by announcing on national television a rollback of gasoline prices and a freeze on the cost of basic commodities. This calmed the public, but the promised 33% military wage hike was not substantial enough to pacify the army, which then mutinied, beginning in Asmara and spreading throughout the empire. This mutiny led to the resignation of Prime Minister Aklilu Habte Wold on 27 February 1974.[113] Haile Selassie again went on television to agree to the army's demands for still greater pay, and named Endalkatchew Makonnen as his new Prime Minister. However, despite Endalkatchew's many concessions, discontent continued in March with a four-day general strike that paralyzed the nation.

Imprisonment

The Derg, a committee of low-ranking military officers and enlisted men, set up in June to investigate the military's demands, took advantage of the government's disarray to depose Haile Selassie on 12 September 1974. General Aman Mikael Andom, a Protestant of Eritrean origin,[113] served briefly as provisional head of state pending the return of Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, who was then receiving medical treatment abroad. Haile Selassie was placed under house arrest briefly at the 4th Army Division in Addis Ababa,[113] while most of his family was detained at the late Duke of Harrar's residence in the north of the capital. The last months of the Emperor's life were spent in imprisonment, in the Grand Palace.[114]

Later, most of the Imperial family was imprisoned in the Addis Ababa prison known as "Alem Bekagn", or "I am finished with the world". On 23 November 1974, 60 former high officials of the Imperial government, known as "the Sixty", were executed without trial.[115] The executed included Haile Selassie's grandson and two former Prime Ministers.[114] These killings, known to Ethiopians as "Bloody Saturday", were condemned by Crown Prince Asfa Wossen; the Derg responded to his rebuke by revoking its acknowledgment of his imperial legitimacy, and announcing the end of the Solomonic dynasty.[115]

Death and internment

On 28 August 1975, the state media officially reported publicly that the "ex-monarch" Haile Selassie had died on 27 August of "respiratory failure" following complications from a prostate operation.[116] His doctor, Asrat Woldeyes, denied that complications had occurred and rejected the government version of his death. Some imperial loyalists believed that the Emperor had in fact been assassinated, and this belief remains widely held.[117] One western correspondent in Ethiopia at the time commented, "While it is not known what actually happened, there are strong indications that no efforts were made to save him. It is unlikely that he was actually killed. Such rumors were bound to arise no matter what happened, given the atmosphere of suspicion and distrust prevailing in Addis Ababa at the time."[118]

The Soviet-backed Derg fell in 1991. In 1992, the Emperor's bones were found under a concrete slab on the palace grounds;[117] some reports suggest that his remains were discovered beneath a latrine.[119] For almost a decade thereafter, as Ethiopian courts attempted to sort out the circumstances of his death, his coffin rested in Bhata Church, near his great uncle Menelik II's imperial resting place.[120] On 5 November 2000, Haile Selassie was given an Imperial funeral by the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The post-communist government refused calls to declare the ceremony an official imperial funeral.[120]

Although such prominent Rastafarian figures as Rita Marley and others participated in the grand funeral, most Rastafari rejected the event and refused to accept that the bones were the remains of Haile Selassie. There remains some debate within the Rastafari movement as to whether Haile Selassie actually died in 1975.[121]

Children

Asfaw Wossen, eldest son of Haile Selassie I, on a voyage to Jerusalem in 1923

By Menen Asfaw, Haile Selassie had six children: Princess Tenagnework, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen, Princess Tsehai, Princess Zenebework, Prince Makonnen, and Prince Sahle Selassie.

There is some controversy as to Haile Selassie's eldest daughter, Princess Romanework Haile Selassie. While the living members of the royal family state that Romanework is the eldest daughter of Empress Menen,[122] it has been asserted that Princess Romanework is actually the daughter of a previous union of the emperor with Woizero Altayech.[123] The emperor's own autobiography makes no mention of a previous marriage or having fathered children with anyone other than Empress Menen.

Prince Asfaw Wossen was first married to Princess Wolete Israel Seyoum and then following their divorce to Princess Medferiashwork Abebe. Prince Makonnen was married to Princess Sara Gizaw. Prince Sahle Selassie was married to Princess Mahisente Habte Mariam. Princess Romanework married Dejazmatch Beyene Merid. Princess Tenagnework first married Ras Desta Damtew, and after she was widowed later married Ras Andargachew Messai. Princess Zenebework married Dejazmatch Haile Selassie Gugsa. Princess Tsehai married Lt. General Abiye Abebe.

Rastafari Messiah

Today, Haile Selassie is worshipped as God[124] incarnate among followers of the Rastafari movement (taken from Haile Selassie's pre-imperial name Ras — meaning Head - a title equivalent to Duke — Tafari Makonnen), which emerged in Jamaica during the 1930s under the influence of Marcus Garvey's "Pan Africanism" movement, and as the Messiah who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom.[125] His official titles, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God, and his traditional lineage from Solomon and Sheba,[126] are perceived by Rastafarians as confirmation of the return of the Messiah in the prophetic Book of Revelation in the New Testament: King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and Root of David. Rastafari faith in the incarnate divinity of Haile Selassie[127] began after news reports of his coronation reached Jamaica,[128] particularly via the two Time magazine articles on the coronation the week before and the week after the event. Haile Selassie's own perspectives permeate the philosophy of the movement.[128][129]

In 1961, the Jamaican government sent a delegation composed of both Rastafari and non-Rastafari leaders to Ethiopia to discuss the matter of repatriation, among other issues, with the Emperor. He reportedly told the Rastafarian delegation, which included Mortimer Planno, "Tell the Brethren to be not dismayed, I personally will give my assistance in the matter of repatriation."[130]

When Haile Selassie visited Jamaica on the 21st April 1966, somewhere around one hundred thousand Rastafari from all over Jamaica descended on Palisadoes Airport in Kingston,[128] having heard that the man whom they considered to be their Messiah was coming to visit them. Spliffs[131] and chalices[132] were openly[133] smoked, causing "a haze of ganja smoke" to drift through the air.[134][135][136] When Haile Selassie arrived at the airport, he was unable to come down the mobile steps of the airplane, as the crowd rushed the tarmac. He then returned into the plane, disappearing for several more minutes. Finally Jamaican authorities were obliged to request Ras Mortimer Planno, a well-known Rasta leader, to climb the steps, enter the plane, and negotiate the Emperor's descent.[137] When Planno reemerged, he announced to the crowd: "The Emperor has instructed me to tell you to be calm. Step back and let the Emperor land".[138] This day, widely held by scholars to be a major turning point for the movement,[139][140][141] is still commemorated by Rastafarians as Grounation Day, the anniversary of which is celebrated as the second holiest holiday after 2 November, the Emperor's Coronation Day.

From then on, as a result of Planno's actions, the Jamaican authorities were asked to ensure that Rastafarian representatives were present at all state functions attended by His Majesty,[142][143] and Rastafarian elders also ensured that they obtained a private audience with the Emperor,[144] where he reportedly told them that they should not emigrate to Ethiopia until they had first liberated the people of Jamaica. This dictum came to be known as "liberation before repatriation".

Defying expectations of the Jamaican authorities,[145] Haile Selassie never rebuked the Rastafari for their belief in him as the returned Jesus. Instead, he presented the movement's faithful elders with gold medallions – the only recipients of such an honor on this visit.[146][147] During PNP leader (later Jamaican Prime Minister) Michael Manley's visit to Ethiopia in October 1969, the Emperor allegedly still recalled his 1966 reception with amazement, and stated that he felt he had to be respectful of their beliefs.[148] This was the visit when Manley received as a present from the Emperor, the Rod of Correction or Rod of Joshua that is thought to have helped him to win the 1972 election in Jamaica.

Rita Marley, Bob Marley's wife, converted to the Rastafari faith after seeing Haile Selassie on his Jamaican trip. She claimed, in interviews and in her book No Woman, No Cry that she saw a stigmata print on the palm of Haile Selassie's hand (as he waved to the crowd) that resembled the envisioned markings on Christ's hands from being nailed to the cross—a claim that was not supported by other sources, but was used as evidence for her and other Rastafarians to suggest that Haile Selassie I was indeed their messiah.[149] She was also influential in the conversion of Bob Marley, who then became internationally recognized, and as a result Rastafari became much better known throughout much of the world.[150] Bob Marley's posthumously released song Iron Lion Zion refers to Haile Selassie.[citation needed]

Haile Selassie's attitude to the Rastafari

Haile Selassie I was the titular head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and, until his visit to Jamaica in 1966, he had never confirmed nor denied that he was divine,[151] during his visit he specifically declined to contradict the Rastafari belief that he was God.[152][153] After his return to Ethiopia, he dispatched Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq Mandefro to the Caribbean to help draw Rastafarians and other West Indians to the Ethiopian church and, according to some sources, denied his divinity.[154][155][156][157]

In 1948, Haile Selassie donated a piece of land at Shashamane, 250 km south of Addis Ababa, for the use of Blacks from the West Indies. Numerous Rastafari families settled there and still live as a community to this day.[158][159]

Famous quotations

A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it.
—Preface to My Life and Ethiopia's Progress, Autobiography of H.M. Haile Selassie I (English translation)
That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained and until the ignoble but unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique, and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and goodwill; until all Africans stand and speak as free human beings, equal in the eyes of the Almighty; until that day, the African continent shall not know peace. We Africans will fight if necessary and we know that we shall win as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.
—English translation of 1963 Speech delivered to the United Nations and popularized in a song called War by Bob Marley.
Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.
—Address to the League of Nations, 1936.
We have finished the job. What shall we do with the tools?"
— Telegram to Winston Churchill, 1941.
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
Today I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor.
—In a speech to the United Nations.
Misguided people sometimes create misguided ideas. Some of my ancestors were Oromo. How can I colonize myself?
— in response to accusations by dissidents
I have heard of that idea [i.e., of Haile Selassie being the reincarnation of Jesus Christ]. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal, and that I would be replaced by the oncoming generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity."
— Interview with Bill Mc Neil).

Honours

[162]

Ancestry

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Dejazmatch Wolde Mikael Gudessa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Ras Mäkonnen Wäldä-Mika'él Guddisa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. Sahle Selassie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Princess Tenagnework Sahle Selassie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
11. Woizero Yimegnushal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. Dejazmach Ali Abajifar of Woreilu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Woizero Yeshimebet Ali Abajifar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
14. Ato Yimeru of Gurage
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Ima-Hoy Walatta Ihata Giyorgis Yimeru
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

See also

Notes

Footnotes
  1. ^ Balcha Safo brought an army of ten thousand with him from Sidamo.[41]
  2. ^ Balcha Safo's personal bodyguard numbered about five hundred.[44]
Citations
  1. ^ Gates, Henry Louis and Appiah, Anthony. Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. 1999, page 902.
  2. ^ Melvin Eugene Page, Penny M. Sonnenburg (2003), Colonialism: an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, p. 247, ISBN 9781576073353, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qFTHBoRvQbsC&pg=PA247&dq=Haile+Selassie+I+born+TAFARI&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=Haile%20Selassie%20I%20born%20TAFARI&f=false, retrieved 2009-10-05 
  3. ^ Erlich, Haggai. The Cross and the River: Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Nile. 2002, page 192.
  4. ^ Murrell, Nathaniel Samuel and Spencer, William David and McFarlane, Adrian Anthony. Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader. 1998, page 148.
  5. ^ a b Safire, William. Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. 1997, page 297-8.
  6. ^ Karsh, Efraim. Neutrality and Small States. 1988, page 112.
  7. ^ Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair. 2005, page 212-3.
  8. ^ a b Rebellion and Famine in the North under Haile Selassie, Human Rights Watch
  9. ^ Adherents.com: Major religions ranked by size - Rastafarian
  10. ^ Barrett, Leonard E. Sr (1997) The Rastafarians. Boston: Beacon Press.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Michael, C. In Search of a Perfect World. 2005, page 86
  12. ^ a b Murrell, Nathaniel Samuel and Spencer, William David and McFarlane, Adrian Anthony. Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader. 1998, page 172-3.
  13. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page xiii.
  14. ^ Murrell, Nathaniel Samuel and Spencer, William David and McFarlane, Adrian Anthony. Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader. 1998, page 159.
  15. ^ Ghai, Yash P. Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. 2000, page 176.
  16. ^ a b Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's War. 2003, page 387
  17. ^ de Moor, Jaap and Wesseling, H. L. Imperialism and War: Essays on Colonial Wars in Asia and Africa. 1989, page 189.
  18. ^ Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 265.
  19. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page xii.
  20. ^ a b c Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 193-4.
  21. ^ a b Roberts, Andrew Dunlop. The Cambridge History of Africa. 1986, page 712.
  22. ^ a b White, Timothy. Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley. 2006, page 34-5.
  23. ^ Untitled Document
  24. ^ Rastafari Online Community
  25. ^ Lentakis, Michael B. Ethiopia: Land of the Lotus Eaters. 2004, page 41.
  26. ^ a b Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 228.
  27. ^ Marcus, A History of Ethiopia, page 126
  28. ^ Marcus, A History of Ethiopia, page 127
  29. ^ Marcus, A History of Ethiopia, page 127
  30. ^ Clarence-Smith, W. G. The Economics of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century. 1989, page 103.
  31. ^ Brody, J. Kenneth. The Avoidable War. 2000, page 209.
  32. ^ Marcus, A History of Ethiopia, page 123
  33. ^ Gates, Henry Louis and Appiah, Anthony. Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. 1999, page 698.
  34. ^ Rogers, Joel Augustus. The Real Facts about Ethiopia. 1936, page 27.
  35. ^ a b c Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's War. 2003, page 3-4.
  36. ^ ETHIOPIAN RULER WINS PLAUDITS OF PARISIANS, The New York Times. 17 May 1924.
  37. ^ ETHIOPIAN ROYALTIES DON SHOES IN CAIRO, The New York Times. 5 May 1924.
  38. ^ Mockler, Haile Sellassie's War, p. 4
  39. ^ Aspden Rachel. Swinging Addis. New Statesman, 16 August 2007.
  40. ^ Nidel, Richard. World Music: The Basics. 2005, page 56.
  41. ^ Marcus, p. 127
  42. ^ a b Roberts, Andrew Dunlop. The Cambridge History of Africa. 1986, page 723.
  43. ^ Marcus, p. 129
  44. ^ Marcus, p. 127
  45. ^ Mockler, Haile Sellassie's War, p. 8
  46. ^ Marcus, p. 127
  47. ^ Marcus, pp. 127-128
  48. ^ Roberts, Andrew Dunlop. The Cambridge History of Africa. 1986, page 724.
  49. ^ Sorenson, John. Ghosts and Shadows: Construction of Identity and Community in an African Diaspora. 2001, page 34.
  50. ^ Brockman, Norbert C. An African Biographical Dictionary. 1994, page 381.
  51. ^ Henze, Paul B. Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia. 2000, page 205.
  52. ^ a b Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's War. 2003, page 12.
  53. ^ ABYSSINIAN RULER HONORS AMERICANS. The New York Times. 24 October 1930.
  54. ^ Emperor is Crowned in Regal Splendor at African Capital. The New York Times. 3 November 1930.
  55. ^ ABYSSINIA'S GUESTS RECEIVE COSTLY GIFTS. The New York Times. 12 November 1930.
  56. ^ Emperor of Ethiopia Honors Bishop Freeman; Sends Gold-Encased Bible and Cross for Prayer. The New York Times. 27 January 1931.
  57. ^ Nahum, Fasil. Constitution for a Nation of Nations: The Ethiopian Prospect. 1997, page 17
  58. ^ a b Nahum, Fasil. Constitution for a Nation of Nations: The Ethiopian Prospect. 1997, page 22
  59. ^ Anthony Mockler. Haile Selassie's War at p.61
  60. ^ a b Carlton, Eric. Occupation: The Policies and Practices of Military Conquerors. 1992, page 88-9.
  61. ^ a b Vandervort, Bruce. Wars of Imperial Conquest in Africa, 1830-1914. 1998, page 158.
  62. ^ Churchill, Winston. The Second World War. 1986, page 165.
  63. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress: Chapter 35
  64. ^ Baudendistel, Rainer. Between Bombs And Good Intentions: The Red Cross And the Italo-Ethiopian War. 2006, page 168.
  65. ^ Young, John. Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia. 1997, page 51.
  66. ^ Garvey, Marcus. The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers. 1991, page 685.
  67. ^ Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's War. 2003, page 123.
  68. ^ Spencer, John. Ethiopia at Bay: A Personal Account of the Haile Selassie Years 2006, p. 62.
  69. ^ Barker, A. J. The Rape of Ethiopia 1936, p. 132
  70. ^ Spencer, John. Ethiopia at Bay: A Personal Account of the Haile Selassie Years. 2006, page 72.
  71. ^ Moseley, Ray. Mussolini's Shadow: The Double Life of Count Galeazzo Ciano. 1999, page 27.
  72. ^ Jarrett-Macauley, Delia. The Life of Una Marson, 1905-65. 1998, page 102-3.
  73. ^ Safire, William. Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. 1997, page 318.
  74. ^ Haile Selassie, "Appeal to the League of Nations", June 1936
  75. ^ Time Magazine Man of the Year. 6 January 1936.
  76. ^ Time Magazine, Distressed Negus
  77. ^ Elleray, D. Robert (1998). A Millennium Encyclopaedia of Worthing History. Worthing: Optimus Books. p. 119. ISBN 0-9533132-0-4. 
  78. ^ [1] The Anglo-Ethiopian Society.
  79. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 11-2.
  80. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 26-7.
  81. ^ a b My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 25.
  82. ^ a b Ofcansky, Thomas P. and Berry, Laverle. Ethiopia A Country Study. 2004, page 60-1.
  83. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 27.
  84. ^ a b c My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 40-2.
  85. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 170.
  86. ^ Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 3.
  87. ^ Haber, Lutz. The Emperor Haile Selassie I in Bath 1936 - 1940. The Anglo-Ethiopian Society.
  88. ^ Barker, A. J. The Rape of Ethiopia 1936. page 156
  89. ^ My Life and Ethiopia's Progress. Vol. 2, 1999, page 165.
  90. ^ Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 201.
  91. ^ a b Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 140-1.
  92. ^ a b c d e Ofcansky, Thomas P. and Berry, Laverle. Ethiopia: A Country Study. 2004, page 63-4.
  93. ^ Willcox Seidman, Ann. Apartheid, Militarism, and the U.S. Southeast. 1990, page 78.
  94. ^ a b c Watson, John H. Among the Copts. 2000, page 56.
  95. ^ As described at the Ethiopian Korean War Veterans website.
  96. ^ Nathaniel, Ras. 50th Anniversary of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. 2004, page 30.
  97. ^ Ethiopia Administrative Change and the 1955 Constitution
  98. ^ a b c Mammo, Tirfe. The Paradox of Africa's Poverty. 1999, page 103.
  99. ^ a b Bahru Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia, second edition (Oxford: James Currey, 2001), pp. 220–26.
  100. ^ a b Mammo, Tirfe. The Paradox of Africa's Poverty: The Role of Indigenous Knowledge. 1999, page 100.
  101. ^ "General Assembly Resolutions 5th Session". United Nations. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/5/ares5.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  102. ^ Semere Haile "The Origins and Demise of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Federation", Issue: A Journal of Opinion, 15 (1987), pp. 9-17
  103. ^ "Wikiquote "Selassie's Address to the United Nations"". http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Selassie's_Address_to_the_United_Nations/. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  104. ^ a b De Waal, Alexander. Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia. 1991, page 58.
  105. ^ A BBC report suggests 200,000 deaths, based on a contemporaneous estimate from the Ethiopian Nutrition Institute. While this figure is still repeated in some texts and media sources, it was an estimate that was later found to be "overly pessimistic". See also: De Waal, Alexander. Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia. 1991, page 58.
  106. ^ The Unknown Famine in Ethiopia 1973
  107. ^ Jonathan Dimbleby and the hidden famine
  108. ^ Eldridge, John Eric Thomas. Getting the Message: News, Truth and Power. 1993, page 26.
  109. ^ Dickinson, Daniel. The last of the Ethiopian emperors. BBC. 12 May 2005.
  110. ^ De Waal, Alexander. Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia. 1991, page 61.
  111. ^ Woodward, Peter. The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations. 2003, page 175.
  112. ^ Kumar, Krishna. Postconflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance. 1998, page 114.
  113. ^ a b c Launhardt, Johannes. Evangelicals in Addis Ababa (1919-1991). 2005, page 239-40.
  114. ^ a b Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair. 2005, page 216.
  115. ^ a b Shinn, David Hamilton and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. 2004, page 44.
  116. ^ "Haile Selassie of Ethiopia Dies at 83". New York Times. 28 August 1975. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0723.html. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Haile Selassie, the last emperor in the 3,000-year-old Ethiopian monarchy, who ruled for half a century before he was deposed by military coup last September, died yesterday in a small apartment in his former palace. He was 83 years old. His death was played down by the military rulers who succeeded him in Addis Ababa, who announced it in a normally scheduled radio newscast there at 7 a.m. They said that he had been found dead in his bed by a servant, and that the cause of death was probably related to the effects of a prostate operation Haile Selassie underwent two months ago." 
  117. ^ a b An Imperial Burial for Haile Selassie, 25 Years After Death. New York Times. 6 November 2000.
  118. ^ Marina and David Ottaway, Ethiopia: Empire in Revolution (New York: Africana, 1978), p. 109 n. 22
  119. ^ Ethiopians Celebrate a Mass for Exhumed Haile Selassie. New York Times. 1 March 1992.
  120. ^ a b Lorch, Donatella. Ethiopia Deals With Legacy of Kings and Colonels. The New York Times. 31 December 1995.
  121. ^ Edmonds, Ennis Barrington. Rastafari: From Outcasts to Culture Bearers. 2003, page 55.
  122. ^ Granddaughter Esther Selassie's website genealogy
  123. ^ Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's War. 2003, page xxvii.
  124. ^ Rastafarian beliefs
  125. ^ The African Diaspora, Ethiopianism, and Rastafari
  126. ^ Haile Selassie King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah
  127. ^ Haile Selassie
  128. ^ a b c Dread, The Rastafarians of Jamaica, by Joseph Owens ISBN 0-435-98650-3
  129. ^ The Re-evolution of Rastafari
  130. ^ The Rastafarians by Leonard E. Barrett
  131. ^ Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley by Christopher John Farley, p. 145
  132. ^ People Funny Boy (Lee Perry biography) by David Katz, p. 41.
  133. ^ Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader by Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, William David Spencer, Adrian Anthony McFarlane, p. 64.
  134. ^ Kingston: A Cultural and Literary History, by David Howard p. 176.
  135. ^ The State Visit of Emperor Haile Selassie I
  136. ^ "Commemorating The Royal Visit by Ijahnya Christian", The Anguillian Newspaper, 22 April 2005.
  137. ^ Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White p. 15, 210, 211.
  138. ^ Black Heretics, Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals p. 189 by Anthony Bogues
  139. ^ This Is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaica's Music by Lloyd Bradley, p. 192-193.
  140. ^ Rastafari: From Outcasts to Culture Bearers by Ennis Barrington Edmonds, p. 86.
  141. ^ Verbal Riddim: The Politics and Aesthetics of African-Caribbean Dub Poetry by Christian Habekost, p. 83.
  142. ^ Rastafari: From Outcasts to Culture Bearers Page 86 by Ennis Barrington Edmonds
  143. ^ Verbal Riddim: The Politics and Aesthetics of African-Caribbean Dub Poetry, page 83 by Christian Habekost
  144. ^ Edmonds, p. 86
  145. ^ Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music By Kevin O'Brien, p. 243.
  146. ^ "African Crossroads - Spiritual Kinsmen" Dr. Ikael Tafari, The Daily Nation, Dec. 24 2007
  147. ^ White, p. 211.
  148. ^ Life Is an Excellent Adventure, Jerry Funk, 2003, p. 149
  149. ^ No Woman, No Cry, Rita Marley, p. 43.
  150. ^ Bob Marley the Devoted Rastafarian!
  151. ^ Must God Remain Greek?: Afro Cultures and God-Talk by Robert E. Hood, p. 93 ISBN 0-8006-2449-1
  152. ^ Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music By Kevin O'Brien, p. 243. ISBN 1-56639-629-8
  153. ^ "African Crossroads - Spiritual Kinsmen" The Daily Nation, 24 Dec. 2007
  154. ^ "Ethiopians in D.C. Region Mourn Archbishop's Death". Washington Post, 13 January 2006. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/12/AR2006011201952.html. 
  155. ^ "Bob Marley Anniversary Spotlights Rasta Religion". National Geographic. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0204_050204_bob_marley_2.html. 
  156. ^ "Haile Selassie I - God of the Black race". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/rastafari/beliefs/haileselassie.shtml. 
  157. ^ Mirror, Mirror: Identity, Race and Protest in Jamaica, Rex Nettleford, William Collins and Sangster Ltd., Jamaica (1970)
  158. ^ Jamaican Rastafarian Development Community website
  159. ^ The History and Location of the Shashamane Settlement Community Development Foundation, Inc., USA
  160. ^ Odluka o proglašenju Njegovog Carskog Veličanstva Cara Etiopije Haila Selasija Prvog za počasnog građanina SFRJ ("Službeni list SFRJ", br. 33/72 319-655
  161. ^ Đilas podržao predlog
  162. ^ Shoa6

References

  • Fage, J.D., Roberts, A.D., and Oliver, Roland Anthony (1994). The Cambridge History of Africa: From 1905 to 1940, Volume 7. Cambridge: Press Sindicate of the University of Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-22505-1. 
  • Haile Selassie I. My Life and Ethiopia's Progress: The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Sellassie I. Translated from Amharic by Edward Ullendorff. New York: Frontline Books, 1999. ISBN 0-948390-40-9
  • Paul B. Henze. "The Rise of Haile Selassie: Time of Troubles, Regent, Emperor, Exile" and "Ethiopia in the Modern World: Haile Selassie from Triumph to Tragedy" in Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia. New York: Palgrave, 2000. ISBN 0-312-22719-1
  • Ryszard Kapuściński, The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat. 1978. ISBN 0-679-72203-3
  • Marcus, Harold G. (1994). A History of Ethiopia. London: University of California Press. pp. 316. ISBN 0-520-22479-5. 
  • Dread, The Rastafarians of Jamaica, by Joseph Owens ISBN 0-435-98650-3
  • Haile Selassie I : Ethiopia's Lion of Judah, 1979, ISBN 0-88229-342-7
  • Haile Selassie's war : the Italian-Ethiopian Campaign, 1935-1941, 1984, ISBN 0-394-54222-3
  • Haile Selassie, western education, and political revolution in Ethiopia, 2006, ISBN 978-1-934043-20-2

External links

Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Born: 23 July 1892 Died: 27 August 1975
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Zewditu I
Emperor of Ethiopia
2 November 1930 – 12 September 1974
Vacant
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
Emperor of Ethiopia
12 September 1974 – 27 August 1975
Succeeded by
Crown Prince Amha Selassie

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both.

Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (born Tafari Makonnen) (23 July 1892 - 27 August 1975) was de jure Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and de facto from 1916 to 1936 and 1941 to 1974. Though himself a life-long member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church, he became revered as God incarnate by followers of the Rastafari movement founded in Jamaica in the early 1930s.

Contents

Sourced

To win the War, to overcome the enemy upon the fields cannot alone ensure the Victory in Peace.
Imagination, devotion, perseverance, together with divine grace, will assure your success.
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
In the history of the human race, those periods which later appeared as great have been the periods when the men and the women belonging to them had transcended the differences that divided them and had recognized in their membership in the human race a common bond.
This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women.
We wish to recall here the spirit of tolerance shown by Our Lord Jesus Christ when He gave forgiveness to all including those that crucified Him.
What we seek is a new and a different way of life.
  • We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence ... we now demand that the League of Nations should continue its efforts to secure respect for the covenant, and that it should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty, resulting from the illegal recourse to armed force and to numerous other violations of international agreements.
  • May it be taken as Divine significance, that, as We mark the passing of the Nazi Reich, in America at San Francisco, delegates from all United Nations, among whose number Ethiopia stands, are now met together for their long-planned conference to lay foundations for an international pact to banish war and to maintain World Peace. Our Churches pray for the successful triumph of this conference. Without success in this, the Victory, We celebrate today, the suffering that We have all endured will be of no avail.
    To win the War, to overcome the enemy upon the fields cannot alone ensure the Victory in Peace. The cause of War must be removed. Each Nation's rights must be secure from violation. Above all, from the human mind must be erased all thoughts of War as a solution. Then and then only will War cease.
  • One cannot deny that in former times man's life had been one of toil and hardship. It is correct to say, therefore, that modern civilization and the progress of science have greatly improved man's life and have brought comfort and ease in their trail. But civilization can serve man both for good as well as for evil purposes. Experience shows that it has invariably brought great dividends to those who use it for good purposes while it has always brought incalculable harm and damnation to those who use it for evil purposes. To make our wills obedient to good influences and to avoid evil, therefore, is to show the greatest wisdom. In order to follow this aim one must be guided by religion. Progress without religion is just like a life surrounded by unknown perils and can be compared to a body without a soul. All human inventions, from the most primitive tool to the modern atom, can help man greatly in his peaceful endeavours. But if they are put to evil purposes they have the capacity to wipe out the human race from the surface of the earth. It is only when the human mind is guided by religion and morality that man can acquire the necessary vision to put all his ingenuous inventions and contrivances to really useful and beneficial purposes.
  • The progress of science can be said to be harmful to religion only in so far as it is used for evil aims and not because it claims a priority over religion in its revelation to man. It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement. When this comes to be realized man's journey toward higher and more lasting values will show more marked progress while the evil in him recedes into the background. Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both. Only then shall we be able to acquire that absolute inner calm so necessary to our well-being.
    It is only when a people strike an even balance between scientific progress and spiritual and moral advancement that it can be said to possess a wholly perfect and complete personality and not a lopsided one.
    • Interview in The Voice of Ethiopia (5 April 1948)
  • When we consider the time which is necessary to fulfill the needs of an individual it will easily be understood that the needs of a vast country like Ethiopia can only be filled progressively and by stages.
    For the life of the world is such that periods of constructive achievement are followed by periods of destruction: the period of construction brings peace and the period of destruction brings uncertainty. We have always kept in mind that the union of the spiritual strength of the people with the material power of the independent nation provides the firm basis for our people to overcome the hardships and difficulties of life facing them in this world.
  • Imagination, devotion, perseverance, together with divine grace, will assure your success.
    • Address on the 18th anniversary of his coronation (2 November 1948)
  • Spiritual power is the eternal guide, in this life and the life after, for man ranks supreme among all creatures. Led forward by spiritual power, man can reach the summit destined for him by the Great Creator.
  • Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.
    The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations
    • Speech on Leadership in Speeches Delivered on Various Occasions, May 1957-December 1959 (1960), p. 138
  • Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
  • This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women. The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ Our Saviour was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing the good news. Since nobody can interfere in the realm of God we should tolerate and live side by side with those of other faiths.
  • We wish to recall here the spirit of tolerance shown by Our Lord Jesus Christ when He gave forgiveness to all including those that crucified Him.
    • Address to the World Evangelical Congress in Berlin (28 October 1966)
  • What we seek is a new and a different way of life. We search for a way of life in which all men will be treated as responsible human beings, able to participate fully in the political affairs of their government; a way of life in which ignorance and poverty, if not abolished, are at least the exception and are actively combatted; a way of life in which the blessings and benefits of the modern world can be enjoyed by all without the total sacrifice of all that was good and beneficial in the old Ethiopia. We are from and of the people, and our desires derive from and are theirs.
    Can this be achieved from one dusk to the next dawn, by the waving of a magic wand, by slogans or by Imperial declaration? Can this be imposed on our people, or be achieved solely by legislation? We believe not. All that we can do is provide a means for the development of procedures which, if all goes well, will enable an increasing measure and degree of what we seek for our nation to be accomplished.
  • It is obvious that We have been young. We weren't born old! We have been a child, a boy, a youth, an adult, and finally an old man. Like everyone else. Our Lord the Creator made us like everyone else. Maybe you wish to know what kind of youth We were. Well We were a very serious, very diligent, very obedient youth. We were sometimes punished, but do you know why? Because what We were made to study did not seem enough and We wished to study further. We wanted to stay on at school after lessons were over. We were loath to amuse ourselves, to go riding, to play. We didn't want to waste time on games.
  • Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. Besides, one should consider the interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and We believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake.

Address to the League of Nations (1936)

At no time, and under no circumstances could sanctions that were intentionally inadequate, intentionally badly applied, stop an aggressor. This is not a case of the impossibility of stopping an aggressor but of the refusal to stop an aggressor.
Addressing the League of Nations on the Abyssinia Crisis and Second Italo-Abyssinian War in Geneva, Switzerland (30 June 1936)
  • I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.
    There is no precedent for a Head of State himself speaking in this assembly. But there is also no precedent for a people being victim of such injustice and being at present threatened by abandonment to its aggressor.
  • It is my duty to inform the Governments assembled in Geneva, responsible as they are for the lives of millions of men, women and children, of the deadly peril which threatens them, by describing to them the fate which has been suffered by Ethiopia. It is not only upon warriors that the Italian Government has made war. It has above all attacked populations far removed from hostilities, in order to terrorize and exterminate them.
  • For 20 years past, either as Heir Apparent, Regent of the Empire, or as Emperor, I have never ceased to use all my efforts to bring my country the benefits of civilization, and in particular to establish relations of good neighbourliness with adjacent powers. In particular I succeeded in concluding with Italy the Treaty of Friendship of 1928, which absolutely prohibited the resort, under any pretext whatsoever, to force of arms, substituting for force and pressure the conciliation and arbitration on which civilized nations have based international order.
  • I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is a much wider one. It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression.
    It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties. It is the value of promises made to small States that their integrity and their independence shall be respected and ensured.
  • Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.
  • I have heard it asserted that the inadequate sanctions already applied have not achieved their object. At no time, and under no circumstances could sanctions that were intentionally inadequate, intentionally badly applied, stop an aggressor. This is not a case of the impossibility of stopping an aggressor but of the refusal to stop an aggressor.
  • I ask the fifty-two nations, who have given the Ethiopian people a promise to help them in their resistance to the aggressor, what are they willing to do for Ethiopia? And the great Powers who have promised the guarantee of collective security to small States on whom weighs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia, I ask what measures do you intend to take?
    Representatives of the World I have come to Geneva to discharge in your midst the most painful of the duties of the head of a State. What reply shall I have to take back to my people?

Address to the United Nations (1963)

Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best — perhaps the last — hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.
The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion.
Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions.
Address to the UN General Assembly (4 October 1963)
  • Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenceless nation, by the Fascist invader.
    I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936. Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best — perhaps the last — hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.
  • The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjugation of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.
    But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honour them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act — and if necessary, to suffer and die — for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.
    These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience.
    This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.
  • The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. It still provides the essential escape valve without which the slow build-up of pressures would have long since resulted in catastrophic explosion.
  • How different in 1963 are the attitudes of men. We then existed in an atmosphere of suffocating pessimism. Today, cautious yet buoyant optimism is the prevailing spirit. But each one of us here knows that what has been accomplished is not enough. The United Nations judgments have been and continue to be subject to frustration, as individual member-states have ignored its pronouncements and disregarded its recommendations. The Organization's sinews have been weakened, as member states have shirked their obligations to it. The authority of the Organization has been mocked, as individual member-states have proceeded, in violation of its commands, to pursue their own aims and ends.
  • There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization's Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek. Peace is a day-to day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an "is", it is a "becoming." We cannot escape the dreadful possibility of catastrophe by miscalculation. But we can reach the right decisions on the myriad subordinate problems which each new day poses, and we can thereby make our contribution and perhaps the most that can be reasonably expected of us in 1963 to the preservation of peace.
    It is here that the United Nations has served us — not perfectly, but well.
  • Disarmament has become the urgent imperative of our time. I do not say this because I equate the absence of arms to peace, or because I believe that bringing an end to the nuclear arms race automatically guarantees the peace, or because the elimination of nuclear warheads from the arsenals of the world will bring in its wake that change in attitude requisite to the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations. Disarmament is vital today, quite simply, because of the immense destructive capacity of which men dispose.
  • Here is our opportunity and our challenge. If the nuclear powers are prepared to declare a truce, let us seize the moment to strengthen the institutions and procedures which will serve as the means for the pacific settlement of disputes among men.
  • Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions. This very Organization itself is the greatest such institution, and it is in a more powerful United Nations that we seek, and it is here that we shall find, the assurance of a peaceful future.
  • Were a real and effective disarmament achieved and the funds now spent in the arms race devoted to the amelioration of man's state; were we to concentrate only on the peaceful uses of nuclear knowledge, how vastly and in how short a time might we change the conditions of mankind. This should be our goal.
  • When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a love of peace.
    The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length.
    Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does.
  • On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:
    That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned:
    That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation;
    That until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes;
    That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;
    That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained;
    And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed;
    Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will;
    Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven;
    Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.

My Life and Ethiopia's Progress (1976)

My Life and Ethiopia's Progress : The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Sellassie I as translated by Edward Ullendorff (1976) ISBN 0197135897
Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy...
  • A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it.
    • Preface
  • In time of war it suits the enemy to aim his guns at adorned shields, ornaments, silver and gold cloaks, silk shirts and all similar things. Whether one possesses a jacket or not, it is best to wear a narrow-sleeved shirt with faded colours. When we return, with God's help, you can wear your gold and silver decorations then. Now it is time to go and fight. We offer you all these words of advice in the hope that no great harm should befall you through lack of caution. At the same time, We are glad to assure you that in time of war We are ready to shed Our blood in your midst for the sake of Ethiopia's freedom...
    • Instructions to military units (19 October 1935)

Disputed

  • No one should question the faith of others, for no human can judge the ways of God.
    • Not reliably sourced, as this has thus far been found only in a Rastafarian publication on the internet which conflates several different statements by Selassie made between 1948 and 1966 with some made by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan which were merely quoted by Selassie in 1965.

Misattributed

  • In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship of humanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by.
    • Words of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, quoted by Selassie in an address during the Indian President's state visit to Ethiopia (13 October 1965), quoted in Foreign Affairs Record Vol. 11-12 (1965-1966) by India Ministry of External Affairs, p. 266; Radhakrishnan is also quoted as having made these remarks in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly Vol. 5 (1939-1940)

External links

Wikipedia

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|250px|Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia]] Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (July 23 1892-August 26, 1975[1]) was the Emperor of Ethiopia. He is also known as the religious symbol for God incarnate (in the flesh) among members of the Rastafari movement, who call themselves by his name before becoming Emperor - Ras Tafari.

Tafari was made into local governor of Sidamo in 1907, and Harar province in 1911. As governor of Harar, he had a huge following, but he agreed not to remove Lij Iyasu from power as regent, in exchange for Lij Iyasu not removing him as governor of Harer. However, Iyasu became a Muslim, and also he did try to remove Tafari as governor, breaking the agreement. Tafari said that now the agreement was broken, he did not have to keep it either, and so he did remove Iyasu as regent. Because Iyasu had gone over to Islam, the nobles replaced him with Empress Zauditu on September 27, 1916 and made Tafari regent. From this time onward, he controlled Ethiopia. He was made negus (king) in 1928, and was crowned "Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God" on November 2, 1930. His coronation was given widespread publicity throughout the world, especially through two TIME Magazine articles in a row. This publicity created interest on the far-away island of Jamaica, where a belief in his divinity (Godliness) soon arose because of his titles, and because they saw him as a symbol of black liberation.

In 1936 he left Ethiopia after the invasion by Mussolini's Italy. He gave a speech at the League of Nations, asking the world to stop the Italians, but they failed to act. With the help of the British in World War Two, he was able to return to Ethiopia in 1941. In 1963, the Emperor did everything he could to help start the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) with its headquarters in Addis Ababa. In 1966, he visited Jamaica, where he met the Rastafarian community of Jamaica. On September 12, 1974, he was overthrown by a Marxist coup, and, they said, died of natural causes the following August. However, there is some disagreement around why he died, and many Rastafarians claim he is still alive.

References

  1. britannica.com








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