Zulu Wars of Empire (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: The Zulu conquest and domination of southern Africa. Result: Zulu victory, the massive population displacements and conflicts of the Mfecane, and the rise of the Zulu state; British partition of Zululand into thirteen British protectorates.
The rise of the Zulu Empire was characterized by nineteenth century historians in terms of the life and times of the Zulu leader Shaka, whose military prowess and innovative and strategically brilliant maneuvers on the battlefield made possible the rise of the Zulu as a power to be reckoned with in southern Africa. The myth of Shaka, and the militaristic Zulu more generally, was greatly enlarged by Europeans whose colonial encroachments and slave raiding activities were seemingly justified by the anticipated military movements of Shaka and his successors. Beginning with the slave raids of Delagoa Bay, traders in the first decades of the nineteenth century in the region of Natal, southern Africa, underwent a period of dramatic social and political upheaval as the result of the disruptions brought to bear by the actions of slavers and their confederates.
Once set in motion, intertribal conflicts escalated with the intensification of slaving activities, periods of drought, and population movements that struck in tandem at the onset of the nineteenth century.
In the midst of this picture arose the Zulu leader Shaka, whose...
(The entire section is 1020 words.)
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