List of Sultans of Zanzibar

List Of Sultans Of Zanzibar

The Sultans of Zanzibar were the rulers of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, which was created on 19 October 1856 after the death of Said bin Sultan, who had ruled Oman and Zanzibar as the Sultan of Oman since 1804. The Sultans of Zanzibar were of a cadet branch of the Al Said Dynasty of Oman.

In 1698, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman. In 1832, or 1840 (the date varies among sources), Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat in Oman to Stone Town. He established a ruling Arab elite and encouraged the development of clove plantations, using the island's slave labour. Zanzibar's commerce fell increasingly into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, whom Said encouraged to settle on the island. After his death in 1856, two of his sons, Majid bin Said and Thuwaini bin Said, struggled over the succession, so Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities; Thuwaini became the Sultan of Oman while Majid became the first Sultan of Zanzibar. During his 14-year reign as Sultan, Majid consolidated his power around the East African slave trade. His successor, Barghash bin Said, helped abolish the slave trade in Zanzibar and largely developed the country's infrastructure. The third Sultan, Khalifa bin Said, also furthered the country's progress toward abolishing slavery.

Until 1886, the Sultan of Zanzibar controlled a substantial portion of the east African coast, known as Zanj, and trading routes extending further into the continent, as far as Kindu on the Congo River. That year, the British and Germans secretly met and re-established the area under the Sultan's rule. Over the next few years, most of the mainland possessions of the Sultanate were taken by European imperial powers. With the signing of the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty in 1890 during Ali bin Said's reign, Zanzibar became a British protectorate. In August 1896, Britain and Zanzibar fought a 38-minute war, the shortest in recorded history, after Khalid bin Barghash had taken power after Hamid bin Thuwaini's death. The British had wanted Hamoud bin Mohammed to become Sultan, believing that he would be much easier to work with. The British gave Khalid an hour to vacate the Sultan's palace in Stone Town. Khalid failed to do so, and instead assembled an army of 2,800 men to fight the British. The British launched an attack on the palace and other locations around the city. Khalid retreated and later went into exile. Hamoud was then installed as Sultan.

In December 1963, Zanzibar was granted independence by the United Kingdom and became a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah was overthrown a month later during the Zanzibar Revolution. Jamshid fled into exile, and the Sultanate was replaced by the People's Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. In April 1964, the republic was united with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which became known as Tanzania six months later.

Read more about List Of Sultans Of Zanzibar:  Sultans of Zanzibar, Pretenders To The Throne of Zanzibar, Footnotes

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