However, due to various reasons, most of Tewodros’s ideas were not materialized. Since the very beginning of his rule, rebellions broke out frequently. Especially in his last years in power, it was even difficult for him to rule his last stronghold, Maqdala, and its surroundings let alone the whole country. It seemed that everything and everybody was against him in his final days. It was against this backdrop of despair and disbelief that the British expedition reached Maqdala. At that juncture, the ruler was left with two options: surrender to the British forces or commit suicide. He chose the latter option when he shot himself on April 13, 1868. With that act, his reign came to an end. But his act, with its undertones of heroicity and pride, was to become one of the most iconic moments of the African continent at the eve of colonial expansion. Moreover, Tewodros’s ideas and vision were not buried with him. His successors implemented them to create the present day Ethiopia.

Figure 3: A Punjabi infantry unit attacking the army of Tewodros II