Anglo-Zulu War

The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Following Lord Carnarvon's successful introduction of federation in Canada, it was thought that similar political effort, coupled with military campaigns, might succeed with the African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa. In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring such plans into being. Among the obstacles were the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic and the Kingdom of Zululand and its army. Frere, on his own initiative, without the approval of the British government and with the intent of instigating a war with the Zulu, had presented an ultimatum on 11 December 1878, to the Zulu king Cetshwayo with which the Zulu king could not comply, including disbanding his army and abandoning key cultural traditions. Bartle Frere sent Lord Chelmsford to invade Zululand after this ultimatum was not met.

The war is notable for several bloody battles, including an opening victory of the Zulu at the Battle of Isandlwana, followed by the defeat of a large Zulu army at Rorke's Drift by a small force of British troops. The war resulted in a British victory and the end of the Zulu nation's dominance of the region. By the 1850s the British Empire had colonies in southern Africa bordering on various Boer settlements, native African kingdoms such as the Zulus, the Basotho and numerous indigenous tribal areas and states. Various interactions with these followed an expansionist policy. Cape Colony had been formed after the Anglo–Dutch Treaty of 1814 permanently ceded the Dutch colony of Cape Town to Britain, its territory expanded substantially through the 19th century. Natal in south-eastern Africa was proclaimed a British colony on 4 May 1843 after the British government had annexed the Boer Republic of Natalia. Matters were brought to a head when three sons and a brother of the Zulu chief Sirayo organized a raid into Natal and carried off two women who were under British protection.

The discovery of diamonds in 1867 near the Vaal River, some 550 miles northeast of Cape Town, ended the isolation of the Boers in the interior and changed South African history. The discovery triggered a diamond rush that attracted people from all over the world, which turned Kimberley into a town of 50,000 within five years and drew the attention of British imperial interests. In the 1870s, the British annexed site of the Kimberley diamond discoveries. In 1874 Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of State for the Colonies, who had brought about federation in Canada in 1867, thought that a similar scheme might work in South Africa; the South African plan called for a ruling white minority over a black majority, which would provide a large pool of cheap labour for the British sugar plantations and mines. Carnarvon, in an attempt to extend British influence in 1875, approached the Boer states of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic and tried to organize a federation of the British and Boer territories, but the Boer leaders turned him down.

In 1877, Sir Bartle Frere was made High Commissioner for Southern Africa by Lord Carnarvon. Carnarvon appointed Frere to the position on the understanding that he would work to enforce Carnarvon's confederation plan and, in return, Frere could become the first British governor of a federated southern African dominion. Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner to bring this plan about. One of the obstacles to such a scheme was the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic, informally known as the Transvaal Republic, the Kingdom of Zululand. Bartle Frere wasted no time in putting the scheme forward and manufacturing a casus belli against the Zulu by exaggerating the significance of a number of recent incidents. By 1877, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, the British Secretary for Native Affairs in Natal, annexed the Transvaal Republic for Britain using a special warrant; the Transvaal Boers objected but as long as the Zulu threat remained, found themselves between two threats.

However, the successive British annexations, in particular the annexation of West Griqualand, caused a climate of simmering unease for the Boer republics. Shepstone railed against the disruptive effect of allowing Cetshwayo's regime to remain in place. "Zulu power", he said, "is the root and real strength of all native difficulties in South Africa". In December 1877, he wrote to Carnarvon "Cetshwayo is the secret hope of every petty independent chief hundreds of miles from him who feels a desire that his color shall prevail, it will not be until this hope is destroyed that they will make up their minds to submit to the rule of civilization". Earlier in October 1877, Shepstone had attended a meeting with Zulu leaders near the Blood River to resolve the land dispute between the Zulus and the Boers, he suggested a compromise with the Boers and the meeting broke up without clear resolutions. He turned against the Zulus with vengeance, saying he had come into possession of "the most incontrovertible and clear evidence" never disclosed, for supporting the claims of the Boers.

He rejected Zulu claims as "characterized by lying and treachery to an extent that I could not have believed savages are capable of". Shepstone, in his capacity as British governor of Natal, had expressed concerns about the Zulu army under King Cetshwayo and the potential threat to Natal — given the adoption by some of the Zulus of old muskets and other out-of-date firearms. In his new role of Administrator of the Transvaal, he was now responsible for prote

Lha-bzang Khan

Lha-bzang Khan was the ruler of the Khoshut tribe of the Oirats. He was the son of Tenzin Dalai Khan and grandson of Güshi Khan, being the last khan of the Khoshut Khanate and Oirat King of Tibet, he acquired effective power as ruler of Tibet by eliminating the regent Sangye Gyatso and the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, but his rule was cut short by an invasion by another group of Oirats, the Dzungar people. At length, this led to the direct involvement of the Chinese Qing Dynasty in the Tibetan politics. Since the Khoshut invasion of Central Tibet in 1641-42, Tibet had been governed through a tripartite division of power. While the Dalai Lama was the supreme spiritual ruler, the Khoshut khan controlled the armed forces and carried the title of "Dharma king, Protector of the Faith". Executive power was delegated to a regent or desi, a formal appointee of the Khoshut king. After 1655 the Khoshut kings were, rather weak figures who enabled the Fifth Dalai Lama to wield great personal influence.

His death in 1682 was kept secret until 1697, the desi Sangye Gyatso, rumoured to be a son of the Dalai Lama, governed Tibet. He entertained close contacts with Galdan Boshugtu Khan, the ruler of the emerging Dzungar Khanate of Inner Asia, with the aim of countering the role of the Khoshuts in Tibetan affairs, it was only in 1697 that the Sixth Dalai Lama was installed, to the great irritation of the Qing Kangxi Emperor, kept in the dark about the matter, furthermore was an enemy of the Dzungar rulers. It was in this situation. According to the usual version of the events, Lha-bzang succeeded as Dharma king by poisoning his brother Vangjal, who ruled in 1696-1697 or, more in 1701-1703. According to an alternative study, he was peacefully enthroned on the recommendations of the Sixth Dalai Lama, since his brother was sickly. Before his enthronement he had lived his life in the nomadic area at the Kokonor Lake, never visited Lhasa until 1701; the Sixth Dalai Lama turned out to be a talented but boisterous young man who preferred poetry-writing and the company of young women to monastic life.

In 1702 he renounced his monastic vows and returned to lay status but retained his temporal authority. In the next year Sangye Gyatso formally turned over the regent title to his son Ngawang Rinchen, but in fact kept the executive powers. Now, a rift emerged within the Tibetan elite. Lha-bzang was a man of character and energy, not content with the effaced state in which the Khoshut royal power had sunk since the death of Güshi Khan, he set about to change this after an attempt by Sangye Gyatso to poison the king and his chief minister. Matters came to their head during the Monlam Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1705, which followed the Tibetan New Year. During a grand meeting with the clergy, Sangye Gyatso proposed to execute Lha-bzang Khan; this was opposed by the cleric Jamyang Zhepa from the Drepung Monastery, the personal guru of Lha-bzang. Rather, the Dharma king was recommended to leave for Kokonor, the usual abode of the Khoshut elite, he started his journey to the north. However, when he reached the banks of the Nagchu River, he halted and began to gather the Khoshut tribesmen.

In the summer of 1705 he marched on Lhasa and divided his troops in three columns, one under his wife Tsering Tashi. When Sangye Gyatso heard about this he gathered the troops of Central Tibet and Kham close to Lhasa, he was badly defeated with the loss of 400 men. The Panchen Lama Lobsang Yeshe tried to mediate. Realizing that his situation was hopeless, Sangye Gyatso gave up resistance on condition that he was spared and was sent to Gonggar Dzong west of Lhasa. However, the vengeful queen Tsering Tashi arrested the ex-desi and brought him to the Tölung Valley where he was killed on 6 September 1705. With this feat Lha-bzang was acknowledged as gyalpo tripa, he carried the courtesy title of Jingis Khan, is known by that name among European visitors. His position was not secure, he resorted to some acts of violence. Meanwhile, the Kangxi Emperor was eager to gain a degree of influence in Tibet, for the reason that the hostile Dzungar khans adhered to Tibetan Buddhism. If the Dzungar elite secured the support of the Dalai Lama it would affect the loyalty of the Mongols under Qing suzerainty.

Lha-bzang Khan on his side looked for support with the Qing court and sent a report about the civil war of 1705 to the emperor, who approved his actions. As a reward for ridding him of his old enemy the desi, Kangxi appointed Lha-bzang Regent of Tibet; the emperor considered the Sixth Dalai Lama to be spurious and asked Lha-bzang to send him to Beijing. The king realized the possible reaction among the Tibetan population which still adhered to the libertine hierarch, but resolved to comply with the request. Accounts differ as to whether the king was sincerely offended by the Sixth's scandalous behavior, or he used it as an excuse, he summoned a clerical meeting and asked the lamas to disavow the Dalai Lama as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara. The lamas, refused to agree and stated that Tsangyang Gyatso was the true Dalai Lama in spite of his shocking behaviour, they did, however issue a declaration that the spiritual e

The Crossover

The Crossover is a 2015 children's book by American author Kwame Alexander and the winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award Honor. The book, told through verse, was first published in the United States in hardback on March 18, 2014 through HMH Books for Young Readers; the story follows two African-American twin brothers that share a love for basketball but find themselves drifting apart as they head into their junior high school year. They run into many obstacles that they must overcome, like a girl who starts conflict between them, Alexis. Critical reception for The Crossover has been positive. According to Kirkus Reviews, "Poet Alexander deftly reveals the power of the format to pack an emotional punch." In Booklist, Gail Bush called The Crossover "a rare verse novel, fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device." Writing for the Washington Post, Mary Quattlebaum said Alexander was "at the top of his poetic game in this taut, complex tale of the crossover from brash, vulnerable boy to young adult."

Poet Cornelius Eady wrote in The New York Times, "The biggest surprise of'The Crossover' is that, for all the bells and whistles of a young man's game, it is most boldly and a book about tenderness." According to Katrina Hedeen in The Horn Book Magazine, "Alexander brings the novel-in-verse format to a fresh audience with this massively appealing package for reluctant readers, athletes especially." Writing for School Library Journal, Kiera Parrott said, "Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk." Official website