Madelyn Lampark, “The Religious Origins of Ethiopian Exceptionalism”
As the only African nation able to successfully resist colonization, Ethiopia’s premodern sovereignty was due to the strength and legitimacy of its central government. I argue that the strength and legitimacy of the Ethiopian state was derived from a national ideology that asserted the divine origin of the Ethiopian state and the Emperor himself. With the modernization of Ethiopia in the 19th century, this ideology declined in validity, weakening the Ethiopian government’s political legitimacy and allowing for the eventual coup d’état that would end the monarchy.
I am currently a Ph.D. student at UWM, studying political history. I received a BA from Carthage College and a MA from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.