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Africa - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Africa. Early Civilizations. Geography of Africa. Three major geographic features: Rivers (Nile, Congo, Niger) Sahara Desert Congo Rain Forest Remaining country plains, small mountain ranges, and lakes. Heterogeneous population made up of nomadic tribes and settled kingdoms.

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Early Civilizations

Geography of africa
Geography of Africa

  • Three major geographic features:

    • Rivers (Nile, Congo, Niger)

    • Sahara Desert

    • Congo Rain Forest

  • Remaining country plains, small mountain ranges, and lakes.

  • Heterogeneous population made up of nomadic tribes and settled kingdoms.


Civilizations and kingdoms of ancient Africa. Why do large swaths of land appear unorganized or unclaimed?

More than egypt
More than Egypt swaths of land appear unorganized or unclaimed?

  • Ancient Africa contained numerous civilizations that were literate, lived in elaborate walled cities, and had mastered iron tools.

  • Nilotic Civilizations:

    • Nubia/Kush

    • Axum and Ethiopia

  • Sahelian Civilizations along Niger River:

    • Ghana, Mali, Songhai

Nubia kush
Nubia/Kush swaths of land appear unorganized or unclaimed?

  • Possibly predates Egyptian civilization.

  • Developed agriculture around 11,000 B.C.E.

  • Separated from Egyptian empire around 2000 B.C.E.

  • Borrowed much of Egypt’s political and class structure.

Axum and ethiopia
Axum and Ethiopia Egypt.

  • Conquered Kush around 1000 B.C.E.

  • Originated from Saba (Sheba) in southern Arabia.

  • Claimed descent from King Solomon of Israel.

  • Converted to Coptic Christianity in 4th c. C.E. from Egyptians.

Islam in sub saharan africa
Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa Jesus.

  • Islam entered into Sub-Saharan Africa in the 8th c. C.E.

  • Unlike in other areas, the spread of Islam was peaceful, gradual, and partial.

  • Islam fused with indigenous beliefs and failed to penetrate into the upper classes for several centuries.

  • Islam still brought massive change to Africa.

Islamic change
Islamic Change Jesus.

  • Islam brought to the region by traders, thus opening up new trade networks between Africa and the Middle East

  • Creation of a literate culture and political system based on the ability read and write.

  • Architecture and technology changed and developed with Islamic influence.

Ghana empire
Ghana Empire Jesus.

  • Emerged around 1000 C.E. as a regional power in West Africa

  • Capital city of Kumbi was part of Saharan trade network—gold and slaves

  • Ghanian rulers were matrilineally descended and acted as supreme judge.

  • Tribute system with lesser kingdoms and chieftains

  • King and court did not convert to Islam.

Ghana class structure
Ghana Class Structure Jesus.

  • King, court, and nobility were at the top

    • Muslim legists sometimes advised the king and the court sometimes included prominent Muslim traders and administrators

  • Merchants, mostly Muslim converts

  • Farmers, some Muslim converts

  • Slaves, some Muslims, mostly captives from rival kingdoms and tribes

Mali empire
Mali Empire Jesus.

  • Ghana Empire collapsed around 1200 C.E., replaced by Mali Empire in 1300

  • Former tribute kingdom of the Ghana

  • Mali kings were Muslim (since 1100)

  • Economic system based on former Ghanaian system—control of gold and slave trade

  • Agriculture was the basis of the economy

  • Captive slave trade

Mansa musa
Mansa Musa Jesus.

  • Male emperors known as mansas

  • Most important was Mansa Musa (r. 1312-1337)

  • Pilgrimage to Mecca through Egypt destabilized entire North African economy

  • Timbuktu became a center of Islamic learning—scholars, madrasas, libraries

  • Mali Empire slowly withered after his reign

Songhai empire
Songhai Empire Jesus.

  • Songhai Empire created around 11th c. C.E., but came under control of Mali under Mansa Musa in 1325.

  • Two powerful rulers: Sonni Ali (r. 1464-1492) and Askia Muhammad al-Turi (r. 1493-1528)

  • Both expanded the territory of the Songhai and dominated the caravan routes of North Africa

Askia muhammad al turi
Askia Muhammad al-Turi Jesus.

  • Sonni Ali maintained indigenous religious practices, but al-Turi was an enthusiastic Muslim

  • Brought Muslim reform to Songhai, modeled after the Islamic Empire of Mali

  • Attracted more scholars to Timbuktu and Jenne

  • Muslim judges placed in courts across empire

  • Arab Muslims made governors over provinces

  • Still failed to Islamicize majority of the population

  • Songhai eventually collapsed in 1590s, West Africa dominated by Morocco

West africa after 1440
West Africa after 1440 Jesus.

  • Portuguese explorers arrive around 1440

  • Initiate trade with various kingdoms along Atlantic coast of Africa

  • Portuguese exchange guns and alcohol for gold and slaves

  • European insertion into Africa begins with “factories” along coast that transform into colonies.