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SOCIETIES OF WEST AFRICA U.S. History
The World in 1500 Beginnings-1500 Chapter 1 Overview: Crossing to the Americas Ancient peoples came from Asia to the Americas and over time developed complex civilizations. Societies of North America By 1500, a variety of Native American groups-each with a distinct culture- lived in North America. Societies of West Africa The peoples of West Africa developed sophisticated kingdoms, trade networks, and artistic achievements. Societies of Europe By 1500, Europe was going through a period of social change that sparked interest in learning and exploration. Early European Explorers As Europeans searched for sea routes to Asia, Christopher Columbus reached the Americas.
Societies of West Africa Main Idea: The peoples of West Africa developed sophisticated kingdoms, trade networks, and artistic achievements. Why It Matters Now: It was from this region that many Africans were brought to the Americas. Terms and Names: Songhai Hausa Yoruba Benin Ghana Muslims Islam Mali
African Geography and World Trade Second largest continent after Asia. Variety of landforms and climates, ¾ of Africa lies within the tropics. Dense rainforests stretch along the equator in central and western Africa. North and south of the rain forests lie broad savannas, which are grassy plains with thorny bushes and scattered trees. In the north is the Sahara, the worlds largest desert. In the south lies the smaller Kalahari desert. Rain forests along the equator and savanna to the north. The Niger river arcs across the grasslands and forests then dumps into the Atlantic. borders the Sahara to the north. 2 Deserts: West Africa:
Physical Map of Africa Sahara Kalahari West Africa
African Geography and World Trade By 1500 CE, coastal ports had linked Africa with the rest of the world, for many centuries. Ports on the Mediterranean and red sea linked to Arabia and Persia. East coast Africa carried out trade through the Indian ocean.
Ghana Grows Wealthy Camels made it possible to link Ghana across the Sahara. Ghana the first to grow wealthy from trade. Ghana became wealthy by controlling the trade of gold and salt. (Salt helps the body retain water in hot weather.) Ghanaian kings imposed taxes on goods. taxes had to be paid in gold. Used the wealth to pay for an army and to build an empire.
Islam Enters Ghana Many traders who came to Ghana from North Africa were Muslim. Muslims are the followers of the religion of Islam. Islam: Founded by the prophet Mohammad in the 600s CE. One God, Allah. Must perform five prayers daily. Must make a pilgrimage to Mecca. As Islam was brought to Ghana, its rulers allowed Muslims to build Mosques in the capital Kumbi Saleh. Eventually, Ghana’s rulers began to employ Muslims as advisors. Muslims wanted to convert Ghana to Islam to control the trade of gold. By 1076 CE a Muslim army had conquered the capital Kumbi Saleh, lessening Ghana’s power.
Islam Enters Ghana A weakened Ghana allowed local leaders to build up small states on the edges of a once mighty empire. Over the next several centuries, more and more West Africans converted to Islam. Why could this be important for the future of America? Because many of the enslaved Africans who were brought to America were Muslim. Of course, with the movement of people you also have the movement of culture and ideas.
Mali Replaces Ghana By 1200 CE, Mali had taken over most of Ghana’s territory. It was better able to control the trade with the use of the Niger River. Mali’s first great ruler, Sundiata reigned from 1230-1255. Conquered many important trading sites. Sundiata was Muslim but did not force his subjects to convert. Most of the people in Mali retained their African beliefs. It’s wealth came from the Gold and Salt Trade.
Mali Mansa Musa ruled Mali beginning in 1312. Under his leadership, the empire became one of the largest in the world. Mansa Musa made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324-1325 CE. Along the way he stopped in the Egyptian city Cairo. His caravan contained over 500 servants and 80 camels strapped with sacks full of gold. This extravagant display cause the legend of Mali’s wealth to spread. How might this have had an affect on the way Mali traded their gold and salt? Word spread in major trading cities and is a major reason Europe would begin trading with Mali later.
Mali When Mansa Musa returned to Mali, he brought many Muslim scholars, architects, and artists. This helped the spread of Islamic learning and culture throughout the empire. The City of Timbuktu became a center of trade and Islamic learning.
The Empire of Songhai As Mali’s power decreased, the Songhai people living by the Niger River broke away from its control Under the leader Sunni Ali they built an empire beginning around 1464. Captured the great city of Timbuktu and the city of Djenné. In addition to conquering trade territories, Sunni Ali set up an organized system of government..
Songhai After the death of Sunni Ali in 1492, Conflicts arose and a rebellion broke out. Led by Muslims, they wanted Islam to be the only religion of the Songhai. The leader of the revolt was Askia Muhammad, a devoted Muslim. Became Songhai’s second great emperor and ruled for around 35 years. 1.Chose capable officials to run the government. 2.Expanded trade and set up an efficient tax system 3.Used wealth to build mosques and support Muslim scholars.
Songhai By 1591, The Songhai were defeated by Northern African fighting force from Morocco. Despite its wealth and learning, Songhai lacked modern weapons to compete with the gunpowder and cannons. The Songhai were armed with spears and swords.
Other West African Kingdoms As empires rose and fell is parts of West Africa, Small city-states arose in other parts of the region. The Hausa emerged after 1000 CE in what is now northern Nigeria. City-states like Katsina and Kato thrived on trade. They shared a common language but their city-states were independent of each other. The Yoruba lived in the forests southwest of the Niger River. Ife and Oyo were the largest Yoruba states, who had kings considered to be partly divine. The Yoruba were mostly farmers, but had gifted artists who carved wood, ivory, and cast metal sculptures.
Other West African Kingdoms The Benin located near the delta of the Niger River. Prospered in trade because of its location. The capital, Benin City, was large and surrounded by thick earthen walls. In the late 1400s, Europeans reached Benin. Portuguese ships arrived and set up a trade center. Benin traders sold the Portuguese pepper, ivory, and leopard skins in exchange for copper and guns. **In time the Portuguese and other Europeans began to trade for enslaved Africans. Traders had no interest in the rich history of the region, they just wanted a supply of laborers to work on large farms called plantations.
Review of Main Ideas Gold and Salt trade. West African Kingdoms
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