West African Kingdoms


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West African Kingdoms

  1. 1. West African Empires
  2. 2. The Empire of Ghana 750-1076 <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Founded by Soninke people (750 CE) </li></ul><ul><li>Led by powerful King who ruled over a splendid court - chose princes and officials to govern – Worshipped as Divine </li></ul><ul><li>Ghana means “War Chief” </li></ul><ul><li>Capital city was Kumbi Saleh </li></ul><ul><li>Had a large army of foot soldiers and cavalry (200,000) – helped to expand kingdom </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Empire of Ghana <ul><li>Economic System </li></ul><ul><li>Commercially based empire. Gold-Salt Trade – led by camel caravans </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled and secured trade routes with Muslim Berbers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also traded in ivory, slaves, horses, cloth, salt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Silent Trade” – dumb barter to protect source of gold </li></ul><ul><li>Koumbi – major trading city </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion by emperors to Islam improved diplomatic and economic relations between West Africa and the Islamic World. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Empire of Ghana <ul><li>Achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by Muslims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Military technology – iron tipped spears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sculptures, gold and silver jewels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arabic writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Royal tombs </li></ul><ul><li>Large armies </li></ul><ul><li>Women had a high status and active role in market place </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Mali Empire 1100-1400
  6. 6. Mali Empire <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Sundiata – founder of Mali in 1230 CE </li></ul><ul><li>Ruled by powerful kings called Mansas - Converted to Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Professional army </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded territory and appointed governors to rule areas and collect taxes – strong local government, somewhat decentralized </li></ul><ul><li>Women could hold government positions </li></ul><ul><li>Laws based on Muslim system of justice (The Quran) </li></ul><ul><li>Mansa Musa: Most powerful leader, converted to Islam and made pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Mali Empire <ul><li>Economic: </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled Gold Salt Trade – seized gold producing areas </li></ul><ul><li>Its wide variety of environments produced a wide variety of goods. – Fixed exchange rates </li></ul><ul><li>The rule of the Mansa (king) created peace and security for merchants to travel and trade freely. </li></ul><ul><li>Niani, Timbuktu, Gao – major trading cities </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, merchants began to establish family firms, with different individuals settling in far-flung parts of the Mali empire to carry on trade. </li></ul><ul><li>Common items of exchange were kola nuts, butter, textiles and metal goods. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Mali Empire <ul><li>Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Developed the city of Timbuktu which became a great trading city and center of Muslim learning. Invited Muslim Scholars to Mali </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion to Islam and Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca brought world wide attention to West Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Made the need of a large population and a large army a permanent necessity for states in West Africa. </li></ul>
  9. 11. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Sunni Ali- 1464 gained power and restored order </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful army used war and force to control region </li></ul><ul><li>Askia Muhammad- great leader who made pilgrimage to Mecca </li></ul><ul><li>Organized provinces and created a bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a code of laws based on Islam </li></ul>
  10. 12. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Economic: </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled Gold Salt trade </li></ul><ul><li>Industrious farmers and skilled craftsmen in iron and copper </li></ul><ul><li>Slave trade developed </li></ul><ul><li>Merchants became very wealthy and influential </li></ul><ul><li>Timbuktu remained a major economic and cultural city </li></ul>Djenne Mosque
  11. 13. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged Muslim Scholars to settle in Timbuktu </li></ul><ul><li>Timbuktu became a cultural and learning center </li></ul><ul><li>University of Sankore - study of medicine, grammar, literature </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded empire with the use of force </li></ul>