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West African Empires Ghana, Mali, Songhai
Ghana and trans-Saharan trade routes
Mali and Songhai
I. Ghana Controls Trade A. Soninke—banded together for protection
B. People of Ghana grew in strength---learned to use iron tools for farming. C. Silent Barter Trade---traded 2 main resources (gold and salt) using this peaceful trading system. D. Ghana controlled trade and became very wealthy—built up an army.
II. Ghana Builds an Empire
All trade through north and south Africa passed through Ghana. A. Taxes and Gold 1. Every trader entering Ghana had to pay a tax 2. Gold was traded, but most was kept by the king 3. Common people could only own gold dust
II. Ghana Builds an Empire
B. Expansion of the Empire 1. Part of Ghana’s wealth went to support the army 2. The empire reached its peak under Tunka Manin—king of Ghana
III. Ghana’s Decline A. Invasion
The Almoravids attacked and weakened trade in Ghana. B. Overgrazing Destroyed Ghana’s farmland C. Internal Rebellion People that Ghana had conquered rose up in rebellion
I. Mali Mali began under the ruler, Sundiata
A. Sundiata Makes Mali and Empire 1. Built up an army and conquered Ghana in 1230. 2. Took over gold and salt trade (introduced a new crop—cotton) 3. Took power away from local leaders---took the new title of Mansa 4. Died in 1255; new rulers of Mali were now called Mansas
I. Mali B. Mansa Musa 1. Mali reached its height under the ruler, Mansa Musa. Islam spread through West Africa because of his influence. 2. Ruled from He added Timbuktu to the Mali empire —left on pilgrimage to Mecca to complete one of the pillars of Islam. He gave out large amounts of gold along the way. 4. Supported education, the spread of the Arabic language, and the spread of Islam
I. Mali C. The Fall of Mali 1. Raiders from the southeast took over
—Timbuktu was seized
II. Songhai Songhai---a nearby rival kingdom, grew in power.
A. The Building of an Empire 1. Songhai gained independence from Mali in the 1400’s. 2. Songhai leaders traded with other N. African Muslims 3. In 1464, Sunni Ali took over and expanded the empire 4. Sunni Ali encouraged Islam and local religions
II. Songhai B. Askia the Great
1. Songhai people rebelled against Sunni Baru (Sunni Ali’s son)---he was not a Muslim 2. Askia the Great became the new ruler of Songhai after the rebellion 3. Askia the Great supported education 4. Encouraged the growth of Islam 5. Set up 5 provinces in Songhai
II. Songhai C. Songhai Falls to Morocco
1. Morocco wanted control of the salt mines 2. Used the arquebus—early form of a gun---to take over in 1591. 3. Trading in West Africa declined as Atlantic port cities became more important to Africans south of Songhai and European merchants.
1. How did Timbuktu’s location help it develop into a major trading city?
It was a crossroads of trade routes in the Sahara Desert.
2. What brought Muslim traders to the kingdom of Ghana?
3. What other items besides gold and salt were traded in the markets of Timbuktu?
Slaves, cloth, horses, spices, silks, ivory
4. What did Muslim traders bring with them to sell in Timbuktu?
North African cloth and horses, salt
5. What religion was brought to western Africa by Muslim traders?
6. Who was the most famous and powerful king of Mali
6. Who was the most famous and powerful king of Mali? Where did he go on a year-long journey? Mansa Musa. He made a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca to complete one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
7. How did it become widely known that Mali was a wealthy kingdom?
On Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca, he brought 60,000 people from West Africa with him. They gave out and left behind enough gold that would be worth over 100 million dollars today!
8. How did Mansa Musa spread Islam?
He had many mosques built in Timbuktu and around Mali. He brought Muslim scholars to Mali to teach in the schools he had built in Timbuktu. He encouraged the spread of the Arabic language as well.
Ghana 770-1230 AD Location Major Sources of Wealth Important Leader
Sub-Saharan West Africa In between the Senegal and Niger Rivers Gold Trade Trade of sheep, cattle, honey, salt Controlled all trade routes through the Sahara Desert Tunka Manin (1060’s) “Tunka Manin was a Ghanan”
Mali 1230’s-(ish)---1464 Location Major Sources of Wealth
Important Leaders In the area where Ghana is and expanded west to the Atlantic Ocean Controlled gold and salt trade routes Traded beans, rice, onions, and cotton Timbuktu is the center of trading Sundiata: conquered Ghana; Mali’s first ruler Mansa Musa: -Most famous ruler of Mali -Spread Islam -Pilgrimage to Mecca -Encouraged the Arabic language -Supported education
Songhai: 1464-1591 Location Major Sources of Wealth Important Leaders
-Expanded from Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad -included the Mali empire -Controlled the gold and salt trade routes -Timbuktu was center of trade and Islamic culture---schools and libraries were built Sunni Ali: -First leader of the Songhai empire -Strengthened empire Askia the Great: -encouraged education and the spread of Islam -Had schools, universities, libraries, and mosques built in Timbuktu -Hired Muslim scholars to teach in Timbuktu
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