Most modern/hardest to conquer subsaharan countries after 1849

Dec 2011
4,199
Iowa USA
#11
Well... Dahomey bought rifles, French mgs and Krupp guns, and took a fairly decent sized French colonial army to overcome.

The 1500 riflemen of king Kabarega of Bunyoro clearly was a force created eyeing the encroaching Europeans in the 1880's (mix of UK Snyder and US Joslyn rifles).

The Azande Federation, not that well armed, and very decentralized under the princes of the house of Avongaraa, but it had a population of several millions and was the size of France. It also had the distinction of being able to defend its borders to the extent that slave hunters had no access, and various well-armed European expeditions were forced to simply skirt their territory. The British quite admired the Azande too, recognizing a kind of kindred spirits as far as empire-building was concerned. And they they took pains to make sure to break the Azande Federation into one Anglo-Egyptian, one French and one Belgian bit so that there would be no resurgence...
Would the French part then be precursor to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.)?
 
Jul 2012
2,408
Benin City, Nigeria
#13
@Ighayere
I don't know a lot about them, I red somewhere Ashanti were the people and Ashantiland the country. So was the country called Asante? Or how is the correct terminology?
I would have written black, when I only wanted to know about those (though I know 98 % or more of those qualifying will be black peoples/tribes/countries). I meant all non-colonial (europeans, americans, arabs and their descendants like Boers and Rashaida) peoples south of the Sahara, so blacks, khoisans and mixed race peoples (like Malagassy).
"Ashanti" is just an alternate spelling of Asante.

"Ashanti" is originally a Ga (the Ga are an ethnic group in the coastal part of modern Ghana) pronunciation (and later spelling) of the name Asante that became popular in western writings. Asante is what the actual people of the Asante subgroup of the Akan peoples called themselves and their state, although they possibly also called it Asanteman (Asanteman = Asante nation, "man" = nation/country in their language) sometimes as well.

So the autonymic pronunciation is Asante, but there is no real difference between using Asante and Ashanti. Both refer to the same thing, but "Ashanti" became a more popular form of spelling and pronunciation than "Asante" for some reason.

"Ashantiland" is basically terminology that some British writers started using in the late 19th century, around the time that Britain annexed the Asante state. This terminology is apparently now used sometimes in modern Ghana itself to refer specifically to the Asante areas in the country.

But the confusion that could arise in using "Ashantiland" (referring to the actual Asante heartlands) as being synonymous with Asante as a state is that the territory controlled by the Asante state went beyond the actual territory of the Asante subgroup of the Akan peoples. So the native territory of the main/leading group in the state was not actually completely synonymous with the entirety of the territory of the state they controlled. That is why the term could be misleading.

Although this is not really an exactly comparable situation, the following comparison should indicate the difference I am talking about: if someones uses the name "Deutschland" they usually intend to refer to the modern country whose territorial area basically coincides with the territory of the German people. However If someone refers to the "Deutsches Kaiserreich" they usually mean to refer to the German Empire, which controlled territory beyond just that of German speaking people - it had some non-German speaking territory in Europe as part of its state, and eventually it even had colonial territory outside of Europe.
 
Last edited:
May 2018
66
On earth.
#14
The states with the best chance to resist colonization are probably those you listed; Ethiopia, the Dervishes, and Asante having the best bet out of them all, in my opinion, along with the aforementioned Wassoulou empire.

Of all of these, Ethiopia likely had the best chances of survival by the time a European power actually tried to colonize them, and I'd attribute this largely to the fact that no one (from Europe) had much interest in conquering Ethiopia until the Italians came around. One could easily make the argument that, if the British had interest in conquering Ethiopia, they would've. They literally sent an army into Ethiopia, caused Emperor Tewodros's death, then left in 1868.
Yet, they were not conquered, and, due to multiple factors, including Ethiopia's good location near multiple HIGHLY IMPORTANT PORTS (the opening of the Suez canal greatly increased the red sea trade), Ethiopia benifited from some of the best weaponry of Pre-colonial armies. While Europeans would record that Sokoto's, or Asante's guns were often poor, Ethiopia managed to get itself top notch, up to date weapons, through trade and the successful defeat of two... less than stellar Egyptian armies in a war in 1875 - 1876. As the Italians moved in, they supplied the Menelik with even more good guns (kinda ironic, I know), hoping that he and they could ally to defeat the Emperor Yohannes. Yohannes died in a war against the Mahdists (Dervishes), Menelik virtually instantly became emperor, and was probably the most well armed native sovereign in Africa, well prepared for a war with the Italians.
 

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