Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa. StefaniGoglia A period. Africa’s Geography. Africa is the second largest continent. It has five climate zones: The Rain Forest, the Savanna, the Desert, The Mediterranean, and Dry Woodlands. . The most populated is the savanna, or grassy plains.
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Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa
Africa is the second largest continent
It has five climate zones: The Rain Forest, the Savanna, the Desert, The Mediterranean, and Dry Woodlands.
The most populated is the savanna, or grassy plains
The varied regions offer a variety of mineral resources including salt, gold, iron, copper, diamonds, and oil.
By 2500 B.C. the process of desertification devoured thousands of acres of fertile cropland that used to be in the Sahara.
Desertification caused people to migrate, contributing to the rich diversity. West African farmers migrated south and east between 1000 B.C and A.D 1000. The root of their diverse languages was Bantu.
The ancient kingdom of Nubia, also called Kush, was located in present day Sudan.
In 750 B.C they conquered Egypt but were invaded by the Assyrians and forced to retreat south.
By 500 B.C, Nubian rulers have moved their capitol to Meroe. They controlled a large trade network and was rich in iron ore
Eventually the Nubians were overwhelmed by the Kingdom of Axum in about 350 B.C
Early African civilizations had strong ties with the Mediterranean world. Carthage dominated trade in this region. They forged a vast empire and created outposts in England and France. Rome Eventually Crushed Carthage in The Punic Wars.
Under Roman rule, Christianity spread to North Africa. They developed roads, dams, aqueducts, and cities there. They developed its farmlands and North Africa also provided soldiers for the Roman Army.
In the 600s, Arab armies carried Islam into North Africa. It replaced Christianity and Arabic replaced Latin as it’s language. Muslim Traders in North Africa carried Islam into West Africa.
Mali, Ghana, and Songhai were among the richest of the West African states. They dominated the Sahara trade.
Two products that dominated the Sahara trade were gold and salt. These commodities, or valuable products, were plentiful.
Sahara Trade Routes
In A.D. 800 the rulers of the Soninke people united many farming villages to create Ghana. It was called “the land of gold.” The capitol of Ghana was Kumbi Saleh which was comprised of two separate towns. Muslim merchants brought their Islamic faith to Ghana. They also introduced their written language coinage, buisness methods, and architecture. In time Ghana was overtaken by Mali.
Sundiata founded the kingdom of Mali. Mali’s kings were called mansas. The greatest emporer of Mali, Mansa Musa, expanded Mali’s borders and worked to keep peace. He converted to Islam and actuallly fulfilled one of the five pillars of Islam by making the hajj. He formed diplomatic and economic ties with other Muslim states, increasing Mali’s renown.
Gao, a wealthy trading state became the capital of Songhai. It’s leader, Sonni Ali, made it the largest stateto have ever existed in West Africa. He followed traditional beliefs. After his dead Askia Mohammed set up a Muslim dynasty and set up a bureaucracy. He also completed the hajj which improved histies with the Muslim world. After the fall of Songhai this part of West Africa splintered into many small kingdoms
The fertile Northern Lands of Modern day Nigeria were home to the Hausa people. By the 1300’s they had built a number of clay-walled cities/ Their city-states remained independent but expanded into thriving commercial centers. Kano was the most prosperous. Kano’s greatest king was Muslim. The Hausa developed a written language based on Arabic. Many Hausa rulers were women.
Benin rose in the rainforests of the Guinea coast. They carved out farming villages and traded goods such as pepper, ivory, and, later, slaves to their neighbors in the savannah. An oba, or king, was both political and a religious leader. Other figures, such as a queen mother, had power also. Benin city was the capitol. It was decorated elaborately with brass sculptures and plaques.
Axum extended from the mountains of present day Ethiopia to the shores of The Red sea. The people of Axum were descendants of African farmers and traders who brought Judaism through Arabia. This merging of cultures introduced another religion to Axum. It also gave rise to the spoken language of Geez. Axum Commanded a triangular trade network that connected Africa and India and the Mediterranean world.
In the 300’s Axum’s king converted to Christianity and the religion took hold among the people. When Islam began spreading Axum became isolated from its own trade network. Axum’s political and economic power faded but its cultural and religions influences did not. Their descendants, Ethiopian Christians, kept ties with the Holy Land despite their isolation. They saw their country as a Christian outpost.They adopted East African drum music and dances that are still in Church services today.
Commercial cities, including Kilwa, Mogadishu, Mombasa, and Sofala, rose along the East African Coast.
Phoncecian, Greek, Roman, and Indian traders visited the coast and under the protection of local rulers, Arab and Persian Merchants set up Muslim Communities
Offshore islands were ideally located for trade with Asia.
East African rulers saw the advantages of trade and welcomed ships from Arabia, Persia, and China. Traders acquired ivory, leopard skins, iron, copper, and gold. A thriving slave trade also developed.Trade helped rulers build strong city-states and created a varied mix of cultures. The blend of cultures gave rise to Swahili, a new language that fused Arabic words onto a Bantu base and was written in Arabic script.
Europeans came upon massive stone ruins in the 188’s which, they thought, were created by ancient Phonecians.
The builders were actually a number of Bantu-speaking people who settled in the region between 900 and 1500 and brought there improved farming skills, iron, and mining methods.
Very little is known about the government in Great Zimbabwe. Some suggest that their ruler was god-king who presided over a large court. There may have been a queen mother. Under the king was most likely a central bureaucracy
Little is known about how this civilization developed. The capital probably reached its height about 1300. Great Zimbabwe was part of a trade network that reached across the Indian ocean. It was also a center for manufacturing. Weaving cotton cloth also seemed to be important.
Great Zimbabwe went into decline when over farming had exhausted the land. Civil war and dwindling trade also contributed to the decline.
Farming communities practiced slash and burn agriculture. Their governments were usually run by a set of people rather then a single leader. Villages often made decisions by a process called consensus. Nuclear families were common. Families could be both matrilineal and patrilinieal. Each family belonged to a lineage.
Religious beliefs across Africa were varied and complex.
Bantu-speaking people migrated across Africa for thousands of years. They carried farming skills and knowledge of iron working with them. Everywhere they went they adapted to local environments and absorbed ideas from people they encountered. As a result African society varied greatly from place to place. In Fringe areas the people were hunter gatherers while on parts of the savannah some herded cattle. Along the coasts and rivers were fishermen.
African artists created works in ivory, wood, and bronze. Art strengthened bonds in communities. Often their art had important meaning, usually religious. They preserved history through oral and written literature.
a)spread of Islam
b)Gold and salt trade
c) Growth of Timbuktu
d) Pilgrimage of Mansa Musa
3) Which civilization best completes the heading of the partial outline
4) Which description best characterizes the city of Timbuktu
5) Which economic activity was the basis for most of the wealth and power of the West African empires of Ghana and Mali