The most acceptable approach to this, and other ‘compare and contrast’ questions, will be a running point by point comparison with reference to different aspects of the aims and achievements of the two rulers. Answers which consist of separate accounts of the achievements of the two rulers and leave the Examiner to identify the similarities and differences will deserve much less credit. A summary of the aims of each ruler would make a good introduction.
These were similar: to revive and consolidate the power of the emperor and unite the country under his control, and to create and maintain a large, well trained and well equipped standing army to protect the country against foreign and domestic enemies. Johannes was much more successful than Tewodros in achieving these basic aims and the fact that he learned much from the mistakes of Tewodros points to contrasts between the two. Johannes favoured a federal rather than a centralised system of government.
He used diplomacy and marriage alliances rather than force to win the support and allegiance of the provincial bases. He avoided confrontations with the church and the clergy and tried to repair the damage done by Tewodros’ church reforms. Above all Johannes used his army successfully against foreign enemies – the Egyptians, the Italians and the Mandists from the Sudan – rather than against opponents from inside Ethiopia.
His handling of Menelik was in stark contrast to that of Tewodros, and the conclusion of the answer might emphasise the relative stability of his legacy to Menelik in contrast to the situation left by Tewodros to his successor. For a mark in one of the three top mark bands answers should be fairly evenly balanced in their treatment of the two rulers. Answers which consist of two separate accounts with no more than a token attempt at comparison/contrast in the conclusion: Maximum 11–13 marks. If such answers are also unbalanced, maximum 8–10 marks.