Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Middle Eastern and African History Middle Eastern and African History Forum - Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and all nations of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 4th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #11
MrM
Academician
 
Joined: Jul 2012
From: U.S
Posts: 75

Can someone here tell me the issue with guns and the Zulu nation? In other parts of Africa they traded guns and were many times given crappy weapons and faulty equipment while they exchanged much for that. Basically so it was easier to take them over later rather than a more or less fair fight Example: Ashanti weapons trade deal and Ethiopia getting denied weapons supplies by British during Assyria-Italian war.

So can someone tell me what prevented the Zulu's from getting their hands on more guns?
MrM is offline  
Remove Ads
Old November 4th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #12

WeisSaul's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: New Amsterdam
Posts: 2,408

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrM View Post
Can someone here tell me the issue with guns and the Zulu nation? In other parts of Africa they traded guns and were many times given crappy weapons and faulty equipment while they exchanged much for that. Basically so it was easier to take them over later rather than a more or less fair fight Example: Ashanti weapons trade deal and Ethiopia getting denied weapons supplies by British during Assyria-Italian war.

So can someone tell me what prevented the Zulu's from getting their hands on more guns?
I may be wrong, but didn't the Zulu (or Shaka at least) look down upon the use of guns?
WeisSaul is online now  
Old November 5th, 2012, 04:55 AM   #13

Minksterella's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: New York
Posts: 598

The guns Shaka saw were still muskets. He thought that his warriors could be in melee range after the first one or two volleys. He never experienced the martini henrys the Zulus would face in the Anflo-Zulu war.
Minksterella is offline  
Old November 20th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #14

The Cell's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Following the breeze
Posts: 1,379

I have read some of your comments here and, to be honest, I don't know where to start in terms of explaining everything.

Your question, certainly, sounds as though it is coming from the right place. However I think your conclusions a very incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
I came across an interesting quote attributed to Shaka:

"Terror is the only thing they understand, and you can only rule the Zulus by killing them. Who are the Zulus? They are the parts of two hundred or more unruly clans which I had to break up and reshape, and only the fear of death will hold them together. The time will come when they will be as one nation, and the clans will only be remembered as their izibongo (surnames). In the meantime my very name must inspire them with terror."

It seems that Shaka not only forged a unified state by striking at traditional social structures and loyalties, but also created a truly totalitarian state (as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa) through his absolute monopoly on the use of force...
Here you are, sort of, correct, in that Shaka did indeed exert total control over the Zulu's through fear. However, I must caution you because most people forget that by the time of Shaka's rise, The Cape Colony was already a well established and thriving "colony" and was very much a part of Africa. My point being, to say; "a truly totalitarian state (as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa)"...
Would not be correct...

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
I cannot think of any other polity in African history where the political head exercised such pervasive control over his people. The Zulus were clearly capable of mobilizing far more resources than a typical African tribe or chiefdom, and this was made possible by the Zulus' more advanced form of political organization.
Again, you are incorrect here.
Moshweshwe_I Moshweshwe_I
:
Click the image to open in full size.
This man not only succeeded in rallying a host of people to his side during
Mfecane Mfecane
, but also managed to establish a nation that would remain independent to date, against all the odds, Lesotho.
The Cell is offline  
Old November 20th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #15

Kevinmeath's Avatar
Acting Corporal
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Navan, Ireland
Posts: 7,686

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrM View Post
Can someone here tell me the issue with guns and the Zulu nation? In other parts of Africa they traded guns and were many times given crappy weapons and faulty equipment while they exchanged much for that. Basically so it was easier to take them over later rather than a more or less fair fight Example: Ashanti weapons trade deal and Ethiopia getting denied weapons supplies by British during Assyria-Italian war.

So can someone tell me what prevented the Zulu's from getting their hands on more guns?

In the war of 1879 its estimated that about 20-25% of the Zulu had guns of one sort or another. They got these by trade in the main.

They were not great quality but nevertheless they were guns and most casualties of the redcoats ot Rorkes Drift were caused by gunfire.

At Isandlwana the Rocket battery was not over-run as shown in film but rather cut down by a massive volley.

They had a problem with ammunition and often used too little powder which had an effect on performance.
Kevinmeath is offline  
Old November 20th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #16

civfanatic's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 791
Blog Entries: 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cell View Post
Here you are, sort of, correct, in that Shaka did indeed exert total control over the Zulu's through fear. However, I must caution you because most people forget that by the time of Shaka's rise, The Cape Colony was already a well established and thriving "colony" and was very much a part of Africa. My point being, to say; "a truly totalitarian state (as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa)"...
Would not be correct...
So, the Cape Colony was more totalitarian than the Zulu kingdom?

btw, I am not using the term "totalitarian" in a negative sense. In fact, I think Shaka's ruthlessness was needed at that time in order to create a strong African state capable of resisting European encroachment. I honestly think that if the Zulus possessed modern military resources, they could have not only overrun all of South Africa (including the Cape) but also forged a national identity that superceded tribal/clan affiliations and served as a basis for a lasting political entity.


Quote:
Again, you are incorrect here. Moshweshwe I:
Click the image to open in full size.
This man not only succeeded in rallying a host of people to his side during Difaqane, but also managed to establish a nation that would remain independent to date, against all the odds, Lesotho.
It seems to me that the Basuto successes were based on their adoption of horses and guns, and more importantly on the exceptional diplomatic skills of Moshweshwe, rather than on their ability to mobilize resources. And Moshweshwe clearly exercised far less control over his nation than Shaka and his successors exercised over the Zulu. Moshweshwe was a paramount chief, a "first among equals", while Shaka was a king.

Regardless, the fact that Basutoland still exists today as an independent country (Lesotho) is indeed impressive.

Last edited by civfanatic; November 20th, 2012 at 07:28 AM.
civfanatic is offline  
Old November 20th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #17

The Cell's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Following the breeze
Posts: 1,379

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
So, the Cape Colony was more totalitarian than the Zulu kingdom?

btw, I am not using the term "totalitarian" in a negative sense...
It is not your use of the term "totalitarian" that I am addressing, but rather your reference to;"(as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa)". The problem I find in it is that, this statement implies, to me, that you are neglecting "The Cape Colony" as being part of 19th century Africa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
...In fact, I think Shaka's ruthlessness was needed at that time in order to create a strong African state capable of resisting European encroachment. I honestly think that if the Zulus possessed modern military resources, they could have not only overrun all of South Africa (including the Cape) but also forged a national identity that superceded tribal/clan affiliations and served as a basis for a lasting political entity.
I can only say, thank God this did not happen. However, I doubt it would have happened anyway, even if they had the resources. The reason being, they still had the Boers to contend with...

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
It seems to me that the Basuto successes were based on their adoption of horses and guns, and more importantly on the exceptional diplomatic skills of Moshweshwe, rather than on their ability to mobilize resources.
I agree with you here, but I must remind you that Moshweshwe and his men not only had the resources and skills to repeal other warring tribes, like the Venda's, etc, they also managed to repeal the British. It was after their engagement with the British that Moshweshwe's true genius showed. Even after achieving victory against the British, Moshweshwe withdrew his men because he knew, beyond doubt, that it would be impossible to win a full scale war against them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
And Moshweshwe clearly exercised far less control over his nation than Shaka and his successors exercised over the Zulu. Moshweshwe was a paramount chief, a "first among equals", while Shaka was a king.
Make no mistake, Moshweshwe was very much a "King", the current crowned King of Lesotho is his descendant if I am not mistaken. The term "Paramount Chief", is a British term, given in reference to the British crown being the only true "King/Queen". We must remember that Lesotho, or Basutoland as it was named then, became a protectorate of the British Empire, thus it would have been rather odd for British to refer to Moshweshwe as the "King", don't you think???

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
Regardless, the fact that Basutoland still exists today as an independent country (Lesotho) is indeed impressive.
To be honest, I think it has a lot to do with the country being surrounded by another, more powerful, country(South Africa). And we must give Moshweshwe his credit were due, he did a lot to insure that this becomes the case. Not only did he make sure that Lesotho became a protectorate of the British Empire, the most powerful force of the time, but he also did things like placing missionary outposts all around his countries borders, Knowing full well that nobody would attack a missionary outpost.
The Cell is offline  
Old November 20th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #18

civfanatic's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 791
Blog Entries: 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cell View Post
It is not your use of the term "totalitarian" that I am addressing, but rather your reference to;"(as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa)". The problem I find in it is that, this statement implies, to me, that you are neglecting "The Cape Colony" as being part of 19th century Africa.
I was referring to indigenous African societies of the 19th century; maybe I should have been more clear. The Cape Colony's political system was directly imported from Europe and was not a product of Africa.


Quote:
I can only say, thank God this did not happen. However, I doubt it would have happened anyway, even if they had the resources. The reason being, they still had the Boers to contend with...
I don't think the Zulus would have much qualms about decimating the Boer population, had they conquered all of South Africa.

If the Zulus had access to modern military resources (not just rifles, but also horses, artillery, modern logistics, and drill instructors for proper firearm use) and incorporated these resources into their indigenous system, I don't think the Boers would have stood much of a chance. Imagine how devastating a Zulu impi would be if the Zulu incorporated cavalry into their horns and drilled riflemen and field artillery into the chest and loins. Unlike other African societies, the Zulus already had an excellent, well-organized military system; all that was missing was the above-mentioned military resources.


Quote:
Make no mistake, Moshweshwe was very much a "King", the current crowned King of Lesotho is his descendant if I am not mistaken. The term "Paramount Chief", is a British term, given in reference to the British crown being the only true "King/Queen". We must remember that Lesotho, or Basutoland as it was named then, became a protectorate of the British Empire, thus it would have been rather odd for British to refer to Moshweshwe as the "King", don't you think???
Yes, that's a good point. Do you have any good links about the political system and social organization of Basutoland? How did it compare with Zululand?
civfanatic is offline  
Old November 21st, 2012, 03:28 AM   #19
MrM
Academician
 
Joined: Jul 2012
From: U.S
Posts: 75

[QUOTE=The Cell;1263780]It is not your use of the term "totalitarian" that I am addressing, but rather your reference to;"(as much as it was possible in 19th century Africa)". The problem I find in it is that, this statement implies, to me, that you are neglecting "The Cape Colony" as being part of 19th century Africa.



I can only say, thank God this did not happen. However, I doubt it would have happened anyway, even if they had the resources. The reason being, they still had the Boers to contend with...

Your a South African, wouldn't you want the Zulu to have had a strong government in the past that could've stood it's ground against the British and possibly have taken all of South Africa?
MrM is offline  
Old November 21st, 2012, 04:35 AM   #20

The Cell's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Following the breeze
Posts: 1,379

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
I don't think the Zulus would have much qualms about decimating the Boer population, had they conquered all of South Africa.

If the Zulus had access to modern military resources (not just rifles, but also horses, artillery, modern logistics, and drill instructors for proper firearm use) and incorporated these resources into their indigenous system, I don't think the Boers would have stood much of a chance. Imagine how devastating a Zulu impi would be if the Zulu incorporated cavalry into their horns and drilled riflemen and field artillery into the chest and loins. Unlike other African societies, the Zulus already had an excellent, well-organized military system; all that was missing was the above-mentioned military resources.
You have a valid point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
Yes, that's a good point. Do you have any good links about the political system and social organization of Basutoland? How did it compare with Zululand?
Wow, you are going to have to give me sometime to gather theses links for you. The only decent sources I had regarding Lesotho's history were old textbooks...
The Cell is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History

Tags
centralized, state, zululand


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Communist/Socialist policies transferrable to non-centralized economies? throughthepastdarkly European History 36 April 29th, 2011 05:28 AM
a new state. Toltec Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 15 June 20th, 2009 11:33 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.