Menelik II was born in 1844 in Shoa or Ethiopia and was claimed to be a direct descendent of King Solomon. When Menelik II’s father died in 1855 it was time for Menelik to take the throne but Kassai the governor incarcerated Menelik because he wanted the throne. Eventually Menelik escaped and began annexing masses of land to add to the kingdom even though he wasn’t the true ruler but he said he had divine right to rule. In 1888 Emperor Theodore who imprisoned Menelik died and then the next emperor died a year later in battle and then Menelik II took the throne. During Menelik’s first years of Emperor he signed many treaties with Italy which what he thought was helping his empire. However in 1895 he found out that the treaty had a different translation in Italian and it gave Italy power to invade, which they did in 1895. This invasion was crushed by Menelik’s strong army. Thus Italy was forced to renounce its claim to Ethiopia and pay a large sum of money. Menelik then tried to modernize Ethiopia he created many railroads. And he also attempted to end the slave trade. He doubled the size of his empire from the time he came into power and died in 1913.