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African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The States of West Africa Chapter 19 – Ghana and its successor Mali were large empires in West Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The States of West Africa Chapter 19 – Ghana and its successor Mali were large empires in West Africa."— Presentation transcript:

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2 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The States of West Africa Chapter 19 – Ghana and its successor Mali were large empires in West Africa in the 15 th and 16 th centuries. When Mali weakened, the small kingdom of Songhay took over and began to dominate West Africa. Dominated the Upper Niger River valley and eventually expanded to Lake Chad. Prosperity from trans-Sahara trade made the Songhay extraordinarily wealthy until 1591 when they were defeated by Moroccans Small kingdoms and city states again prospered in West Africa, but never united into a kingdom again.

3 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The States of East Africa Chapter 19 – Swahili states dominated Indian Ocean trade on the East African coast After Vasco da Gama’s exploration of the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese sent naval forces to conquer the city states of the Swahili and set up governmental buildings and forts to secure trade routes for themselves. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the Swahili states suffered a mortal blow and never recovered their dominance in Indian Ocean trade.

4 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The Kingdoms of Central Africa and South Africa Central Africa Kingdom of Kongo Emerged in the fourteenth century as a strongly centralized state with a large bureaucracy. So successful by the late fifteenth century that it encompassed what is present day Republic of Congo, as well Angola. Traded closely with Portugal and rulers often adopted Christianity from the Portuguese. Disputes over slave trade (the biggest trading commodity in the Kongo) led to Portuguese to ally with others to defeat the kingdom of Kongo in 1665.

5 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times The Kingdoms of Central Africa and South Africa South Africa Angola Grew in power by trading directly with the Portuguese Attractive in the slave trade because of their large number of war captives. Queen Nzinga Warrior Queen of Angola who helped hold off the Portuguese attempts to overtake Angola. After Queen Nzinga’s death her successors were not able to lead as she had and as a result Angola became the first European Colony in Africa. By 1652, the Dutch had built a trading post in Capetown (South Africa) and Europeans were flooding in to South Africa and destroying indigenous populations.

6 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times Islam and Christianity in Early Modern Africa Animism – Traditional African Religious belief in the spirits of nature and ancestors. Many African societies adopted teachings from Christianity and Islam and blended them with their traditional beliefs to form a syncretic faith.

7 African Politics and Society in Early Modern Times Social Change in Early Modern Africa Although there was considerable nation-building in Africa, kinship groups (discussed in previous chapters) still remained important for political and social organization. Europeans influenced African life and culture as trade between Europeans and Africans became more frequent. Food introduced by Europeans led to huge population growth. Forced migration of millions of Africans to the Americas

8 The Atlantic Slave Trade The key link in the Atlantic trade world of the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries was the African slave trade which provided millions of workers for large plantations in the Americas. The Africans received manufactured products, primarily firearms, in return for their slaves, and the weapons were often used to dominate other societies while seeking more slaves.

9 The Atlantic Slave Trade Foundations of the Slave Trade Slavery appeared in African society following the Bantu Migrations of pre-history. Africans enslaving Africans Most slaves were obtained through warfare but criminals and peoples rejected by their clans could also make up the ranks of slaves. Lost all legal rights and could be sold or punished at will. After the eight century the Islamic slave trade began as Muslim merchants purchased African slaves for distribution in the Meditterranean and Middle East. Therefore, a system of slavery was already in place by the time the first Europeans ventured into Africa.

10 The Atlantic Slave Trade Human Cargoes By the 1520s the Portuguese were importing about two thousand slaves per year into the fields, mines, parlors and islands controlled by the Iberian nations. Columbian Exchange As the Columbian exchange grew and indigenous populations in the Americas died off b/c of disease, African slavery was introduced into the Americas – First shipment to Americas, 1619 – First shipment to the American colonies Triangular Trade First leg – Manufactured goods from Europe to Africa Second leg – Slaves to the Americas Third leg – American Commodities taken back to Europe Middle Passage – Africa to Americas… Horrific conditions with death rates as high as 50%.

11 The Atlantic Slave Trade The Impact of the Slave Trade in Africa At the height of the slave trade, 55,000 slaves per year made the middle passage Around 12 million total made voyage, 4 million died. Impact of the slave trade varied according to society Central Africa – largely protected Asante, Oyo, Dahomey – Built Powerful kingdoms with the firearms they obtained from the slave trade. West Africa significant impact Large imbalance in gender ratios

12 The African Diaspora Diaspora – Dispersal of Africans across the western hemisphere. Plantation Societies South America Required constant importation of slaves from Africa because so many slaves died due to disease and harsh working conditions. Very few women North America Not as many slaves imported because more women were imported allowing slaves to reproduce Life Cash crop production dependent upon slaves – tobacco, cotton, coffee, rice, indigo, sugar, etc. Maroons – Runaway slaves Haitian Revolution and Other slave revolts led to harsh treatment.

13 The African Diaspora The Making of African-American Cultural Traditions Creole Languages – Combination of African and European languages. Haitian Vodou- Religious practices based on magic, sorcery, and spiritual possession. African food and music infused into American culture.

14 The African Diaspora The End of the Slave Trade and the Abolition of Slavery American and French revolutions, slave revolts, and slave narratives (Olaudah Equiano) eventually led to strong abolition movements Slave trade was first abolished, and slavery itself followed. Slave trade abolished in Denmark (1803), Great Britain (1807), United States (1808), France (1814), Spain (1845). Abolition of slavery followed (U.S. 1865) Largely due to expenses associated with slavery. Slavery trade persists in Africa to this day.


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