Emperor of Ethiopia (1889–1913). Originally ruler of Shoa (1863–89), with Italian support he seized the throne after Emperor John IV died. He made the Treaty of Ucciali (1889) with Italy, but when he learnt that the Italian wording of the treaty made Ethiopia a protectorate of Italy, he denounced the agreement. Italy's invasion and subsequent defeat at Adowa greatly strengthened Menelik's position. He modernized Ethiopia, initiated public education, attempted to abolish slavery, and gave France a railway concession from Djibouti, which opened up commerce. His conquests doubled the size of the country, and brought south Ethiopia into his domain.
Subjects: African Studies — World History.