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"Little Bighorn and Isandlwana: An Interesting Comparison" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 3:58 p.m. PST

"While walking around the Isandlwana battlefield in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, I was in awe at how the Zulu were able to defeat the British at the height of the British Empire. This was the British Empire of Queen Victoria that had around 500 million inhabitants (25% of the world's population) under the Union Jack by the late 19th century. This was arguably the largest and most powerful empire in world history. Remember, "the sun never set on the British Empire." So when this empire went to war with the Zulu Kingdom in 1879 at Isandlwana, it seemed that the Zulu would be easily defeated. What the British did not know, or failed to appreciate, was how powerful the Zulu Kingdom was, both militarily and politically. This is a great story of the resistance that black Africans put up to the colonization of their land by both the Afrikaners and the British in the 19th century. Contrary to the popular belief that the British and Afrikaners easily took over present-day South Africa due to their superior weaponry and superior military training, the Zulu Kingdom's victory in this battle shows us a positive story of people triumphantly and courageously fighting for their homeland and their freedom. This battle was utilized throughout the anti-apartheid movement as evidence of earlier movements where people took up arms to stand up to their oppressors.

It was while walking around the grounds of this historic battlefield that I started to see many comparisons between this battle in 1879 with the Battle of Little Bighorn in the U.S. in 1876. These two battles share many similarities despite occurring in two different nations, and serve as a historical comparison of colonialism and nationalism in the 19th century.

Just three years separate these two battles that saw the mighty nations of Britain and America defeated by indigenous populations…"
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MDDriessen17 Oct 2020 7:43 p.m. PST

The Battle of the Wabash was a much greater American Indian victory than the Little Big Horn.

42flanker18 Oct 2020 3:02 a.m. PST

The author is a distinguished teacher. It says here.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 1:02 p.m. PST

I think it might be of interest to compare how the Zulu Kingdom was established by Shaka (the Mfecane) versus how the Lakota established their traditional territory

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 3:20 p.m. PST

Good point….


42flanker19 Oct 2020 2:24 p.m. PST

Zulu and Lakota societies were very different, when one considers the centralised empire under Shaka and the loose-knit, anarchic association of small kin-groups whose closer association was restricted to certain seasonal gatherings. The Zulu were essentially Old World, sedentary pastoralists in a conservative material context; the Lakota were New World hunting nomads of the Mesolithic whose society had, in a matter of generations, adapted rapidly to the advent of European horses, metal tools and weaponry.

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