EYEGAMBIA

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How the city of Benin was looted and burnt to the ground by British soldiers

The Kingdom of Benin was known to be one of the strongest and most successful kingdoms in history. The success of this kingdom was very consistent from the start of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. Aside the influence and success, Benin was a beautiful city, especially the residence of the leaders.

The people of Benin at the time used to produce palm oil and rubber which they traded with some Europeans. The British, whom were very powerful during that period decided to use their power to take over the kingdom and get rich by selling their rubber and palm oil and also diffuse their influence.

On several occasions, they sent their officials to pay a visit to the kingdom to establish a trade relationship but the leaders denied them entry because they knew of the dealings of the British power at the time being. In 1897, the British again sent another set of representatives to the kingdom who were driven away. In the heat of the encounter, there was violence attacks between the Benin warriors and the British representatives who were warned severally for their unwanted visits.

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Some Benin warriors lost their lives, same as the British. This made the British officials angry. In return, they deployed over a thousand soldiers whom invaded the kingdom, burnt it to the ground and looted the city. Afterward, Benin city was seized and made part of the British Empire until it was released in 1960.

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