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History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond. Chapter 13

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1 History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond. Chapter 13
West Africa Kingdoms History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond. Chapter 13


3 Ghana 500 C.E. – 1200 C.E. Ghana was the first of the African Empires.
Most of the information we know about Ghana is from Arab scholars and traders. Located in present day Mauritania and Mali (The current country of Ghana is located south of the empire and only shares the same name.) Ghana was referred to by Arabs as “The Land of Gold.” Ghana had become very rich controlling the gold and salt trade. It is believed they may have been the first to use iron weapons in Africa.

4 Ghana’s government and Military
Ghana was ruled by powerful kings. These kings were the head of the military, courts, and religion. These kings became powerful by taxing the gold and salt trade that passed through their kingdom. All gold found in his kingdom had to be given to the king. Inheritance of the throne was matrilineal. The son of the king’s sister took over the throne. Ghana had a regular army, but also had the power to have every man in the empire join the army if needed. Stories claim they could raise up to 200,000 soldiers.

5 Ghana’s Decline Ghana reached it’s height around 1000 C.E.
Islam was introduced to Ghana around the year 900, but people were tolerant of traditional African religions. In 1076, the Almoravids attacked Ghana forcing all to convert to Islam or die. By 1087 Ghana regained control over their empire, but the damage was done. Ghana also had a lack of natural resources. Trees were cut down to make charcoal to make iron. Water became scarce so farmers could not grow crops. People left in search of a better place to live.

6 Mali After Ghana’s decline the Kingdom of Mali took over Ghana’s old territory. They too became wealthy from controlling the trade routes. All gold nuggets had to be given to the emperor, which in return people would receive gold dust. Salt was also used as currency. Mali often had an army of 100,000 soldiers equipped with poisoned arrows, spears, and other weapons. Mansa Musa is Mali’s most famous ruler. He was the first devote Muslim African leader. His Hajj to Mecca impressed the world with his great wealth and power. He brought up to 80,000 individuals with him while giving gold as gifts to those he encountered.

7 Mali’s decline In the 1300s, 50 years after Mansa Musa died; Mali’s power began to fade. Raiders attacked from the north Fighting broke out within the kingdom Several provinces broke away and became independent

8 Songhai Songhai was a province of Mali, but ruled with relative autonomy. When Mali started to decline, Songhai started asserting it’s own power. Arabs and Europeans flocked to Songhai to trade. Salt once again was valued as much as gold. Most people of Songhai were farmers. Developed a caste system. Law was based off of Islamic law.

9 songhai’s decline Late 1500s
People of Songhai began fighting among themselves Kingdom became weaker Easily fell to an army from Morocco that was using guns and cannons

10 Work Cited History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond. Chapter 13
g Ramses-chariot100.jpg /800px-MALI_empire_map.PNG .PNG/800px-SONGHAI_empire_map.PNG

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