Fascist Italy, Adowa and the Conquest of Abyssinia

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Most folks know of fascist Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia in the 1930’s. The conquering of Abyssinia was greeted in Rome with wild celebration culminating in Il Duce’s famous balcony speech from the Palazzo Venezia – “I have given you empire!”.

It was wildly celebrated because the war against Ethiopia was the second conflict between Italy and Abyssinia.

The First Italo-Abyssinia war occurred in 1895 – 1896 when Italy as we know it today was only 35 years old.  Italy, the least of the “great powers” was seeking her “place in the sun”.

The Italy of the late nineteenth century was barely a “nation”.  The northern cities of Turin and Milan cultivated the intellectual elite while south of Rome, Italy was a country of peasants and land owners. The intellectuals didn’t even speak the same language as the peasants. Millions of the destitute were illiterate. Malaria and cholera regularly…

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Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London

Originally posted on The History of London

Garroway's Coffee House

Garroway’s Coffee House

In the latter 17th century and throughout the 18th century a major impact on London life was made by the introduction of coffee houses, which became numerous throughout the city. The forerunner of the modern café, they were used in a similar way to pubs of the 20th century, with many having a particular type of male customer who could socialise or do business with similar-minded men. The best-remembered example is that owned by Edward Lloyd in the 1680s where he successfully built up a clientele consisting of shipping merchants from which developed the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Writers, artists, politicians and businessmen all frequented their own special hostelries.

Coffee originated in Ethiopia in northern Africa and later spread throughout the Muslim world. It reached Europe via Italy from where Venetian merchants traded with North African ports. Arriving in England in the latter 16th century the name was anglicised from the Italian caffé. From the 17th century coffee was being grown in the North American colonies, allowing it to be more easily available in England. Sometimes referred to as ‘politician’s porridge’ it was taken sweetened with sugar but never with milk.

The first coffee house in England was established by a Turkish Jew at Oxford in 1650. Two years later another opened at St.Michael’s Alley off Cornhill, with the coffee probably imported by Daniel Edwards, who traded in Turkish goods, and the establishment managed by…

via Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London.

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