The kingdom of eSwatini (previously known as Swaziland) is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. The kingdom rose to prominence early in the 19th century, especially under the leadership of King Mswati II, who was able to develop a powerful military force that ensured the country’s independence for over a century. But, the competing pressure of the Boer republic and British power caused the gradual contraction of Swazi territorial and political authority. Hence, from 1894 until 1902 the country was administered by the Boer republic, and after its defeat, Eswatini came under British control. When the Kingdom of eSwatini gained back its independence, king Sobhuza II soon repealed the constitution, restoring the traditional system of government and abolishing parliament and all political parties. Although under his rule, Swaziland enjoyed a certain degree of stability and economic progress, with emphasis placed on education, health, and other human resource developments, his death was followed by a power struggle within the royal family that finally empowered King Mswati III. His autocratic rule of corruption and excess was strongly beset with demands for democratic reform represented by strikes and demonstrations during the 1990s and 2000s along with periods of ignored drought and starvation.
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