The British destroyed Benin City and incorporated the monarchy into British Nigeria (which became Nigeria after the country gained independence in 1960). After it, the monarchy was no longer in charge of West Africa.
Benin's power had already begun to decline before it was destroyed. The Portuguese first reached Benin in 1472, but they didn't establish a permanent colony there until 1825. By this time, other countries were beginning to take advantage of the kingdom's weakness and begin to colonize its territory. In 1897, France invaded Benin and forced the end of the royal dynasty. Then in 1900, Belgium did the same thing. In 1966, Niger invaded Benin to get back some gold that had been taken by French colonists.
After these events, the city of Benin fell into total ruin. All the great buildings were burned down, and only the churches remain today as evidence of the former greatness of this African kingdom.
The Benin Kingdom was "one of the oldest and most established nations in West Africa's coastal hinterland." It was founded in the 11th century AD and existed until 1897, when it was acquired by the British Empire... Kingdom of Benin.
|Kingdom of Benin Edo|
|• Annexed by the United Kingdom||1897|
Benin's empire originated in the 900s, when the Edo people settled in West African rainforests. Benin was no longer powerful or unified by the 1800s. The kingdom was abruptly ended in 1897, when a British army invaded and incorporated it into the British Empire.
Nowadays, Benin is one of Nigeria's most stable regions. It is also one of the country's poorest areas. About 2 million people live here, mostly farmers who grow cocoa beans for sale on international markets.
During its period of independence from France in 1960 until its annexation by Nigeria in 1897, Benin had six kings. Although they called themselves "kings," they were actually warlords who ruled by using violence and intimidation against their opponents. The last king, Oba Ewuare, died in exile in Cuba in 1918 without having children. His brother became ruler under the name Oba Adeyeye Enyi.
In 1957, King Adeyeye Enyi was forced to give up his throne because there was no heir to it. A government led by Prime Minister Leon M'boli decided what role the kingdom would play in the future of Benin. They wanted to break away from France and England, and sign agreements with the Soviet Union and China. But after M'boli's death in 1967, this plan was abandoned.
The Kingdom of Benin began to lose authority by the 1800s, and the Obas struggled to control their people. Britain also posed a danger to Benin. The British want control of Benin in order to profit from its palm oil and rubber. In 1897, a British captain named Henry Morton Stanley while traveling in Africa came across an old man who told him that his grandson was living in Sistan-Baluchestan, Iran. The grandson was called Prince Jokola and he was the son of King Emeneya. Because of this discovery, Britain declared war on Benin and destroyed much of the country's military force in two wars.
King Emmanuel II was responsible for bringing peace back to Benin. Before he took power there had been fighting between the kings of Benin. Under his rule, there were no more wars between the nations of Benin.
He made sure to listen to everyone who had a concern or issue to bring to his attention. Then he would decide what role he wanted to play with regard to these issues. Once decisions had been made, they never changed unless something new and unexpected happened. This means he was always listening to his people and trying to better himself and Benin at the same time.