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Elizabeth Heath

After his father, Sayyid Sa’id ibn Sultan, died in 1856, Barghash tried to usurp the throne from his older brother, Majid ibn Sa’id. His attempt failed, however, and Barghash was exiled to Bombay. He returned to Zanzibar two years later and ascended the throne peacefully after his brother’s death in 1870.

In 1872 a hurricane destroyed Zanzibar s navy and many of the island s valuable clove and coconut plantations In order to recover from this disaster Barghash allied himself with British forces in the region and signed antislavery treaties in exchange for funding and military equipment This support enabled Barghash to consolidate his hold on the coastal mainland By the late 1870s the tariffs and tributes he collected from mainland possessions substantially increased his revenue and compensated for the loss of the slave trade Although his power never extended far inland agreements with Arab Swahili traders ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

Born in Oman, Sayyid Sa’Īd ibn Sultan became the first Omani sultan to formalize control of the East African coastal islands; he began traveling to Zanzibar in the early eighteenth century. Recognizing Zanzibar’s strategic location for commerce between African, European, and American merchants, Sa’Īd took control of the island and surrounding trade routes, including the Indian Ocean slave trade. Sa’Īd hired traders to bring from the interior caravans of slaves and goods such as ivory and cloth, which he then sold to merchants from Europe. The wealth he accumulated enabled Sa’Īd to extend his empire over the coastal region of modern-day Tanzania. There he allocated part of the revenue from the customs duties and taxes imposed on the local traders to local chiefs of the Swahili People.

During the 1820s however European powers particularly the British and Germans stepped up efforts to abolish the profitable Indian Ocean slave trade Threatening ...