In the pre colonial period, the Benin empire is undoubtedly one of the most powerful empires that flourished in Africa, it flourished from the 13th century and ended in the 19th century after meeting a devastating end in what was known as the sack of the Benin empire by the British empire. The Benin empire had for years resisted British domination. As the economy of Benin continued to deteriorate at the end of the 19th century, the Benin empire was not willing to fall into the hands of the British government.
They knew that the goal of the British government was to conquer and dominate their empire but they weren't willing to risk it, although they had already developed a cordial relationship with the British empire. The British colonial masters had for years used many approaches to make the Benin empire to surrender to them but every approach failed. The King of Benin empire at that time whose name was Oba Ovonramwen had earlier been warned by many powerful chiefs that the British government was planning an attack which would bring the fall of the empire. The Oba wasn't willing to take any chances so he he made a declaration, he banned British men from stepping foot into the lands of Benin and that if any white man steps his leg into Benin, that white man shall be killed without hesitation.
As a result of the declaration, the British government found it hard to come into the Benin empire. A British consul whose name was James Philips was willing to go against the Benin empire so he asked for permission from the British government to attack the Benin empire and subdue them but his request was denied. He was so determined that he had to launch an attack without the notice of the British government. When he landed in Benin, Oba Ovonramwen was already warned that James Philips had plans of conquering the empire so he was prepared. James Philips upon his arrival to Benin empire told the Oba that he came to pay a visit to establish a much more stronger economic relationship with him and also look for ways in which they would develop a cordial relationship, the Oba knew he was lying so he ordered his men to kill James Philips and his Soldiers so a war broke out but the Oba won the war against James Philips, Consul James Philips was later killed.
Sir Harry Rawson who was also a British consul heard of the death of his fellow consul and this made him angry that his friend was killed by the Benin empire, in an attempt to avenge the death of Consul James Philips, Harry Rawson launched an expedition of the Benin empire, he brought over 1,200 soldiers with him. The war between Benin empire and British empire took place in the year 1897, this war led to the fall of Benin empire, after the empire was sacked, the British soldiers began to loot all the artifacts which they found in the kingdom and they exported it to their country.
Was this helpful, let us know by commenting.
Don't forget to follow and like for more news.
Content created and supplied by: Sirax (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More