SONGHAISocial Studies for 10th E.G.B.Teacher: Mauricio Torres
AFTER MALI With the decline of Mali, Songhai took advantage of it, and asserted it’s independence. Their capital was Gao. The Songhai expansion moved across the Sahel. By the year 1420, they were the most powerful force in the area.
SUNNI ALI Reigned from 1463 to 1493. He was Muslim. He conquered neighboring states, including MALI. His conquests are the biggest there have even been in the history of Africa, and were bigger than Western Europe. He was described as an intolerant tyrant.
ASKIA MUHAMMAD THE GREAT He was not in line to take the throne. He had Soninke lineage. Askia bypassed the law and took the throne on his own in 1493. He allied himself with the scholars of Timbuktu to secure the legitimacy of his usurpation of the throne. The territory he conquered, was done more through alliances than by using military force. He was a devout Muslim.
ASKIA’S ACHIEVEMENTS Standardized measures and regulations. Policing of trade routes. Organized Tax System. Encouraged learning and literacy. The building of canals to improve agriculture.
TIMBUKTU Even though it was not the capital, it was a center for trade Arabs, Italians and Jews gathered here to trade. A revival of Islamic scholarship took place here.
ECONOMY Clans were the cell of the social structre. They decided what everyone’s function was. The most common were: metalworkers, fishermen and carpenters. The clans resembled modern day unions.
DECLINE: THE COWS TOPPLE ANEMPIRE Succession disputes weakened the empire. Finally, the Sultan of Morocco invaded from the north, in a desperate measure to gain riches fast. At a battle, the fire of guns and cannons, provoked an stampede that routed the whole Sonhgai army. The Arabs couldn’t hold the Empire together, and it began to fragment into smaller kingdoms.
ASK YOURSELF How are the kingdoms of the rulers of Songhai alike with Mansa Musa’s? What led to the decline of Songhai? Why was Timbuktu given such an importance? Is there a pattern in the rise and fall of West-African Empires?
ASSIGNMENT Make a table comparing the three empires from Western Africa that we have studied. Use the following fields: How it rose to power. Source of strength of each empire. Most important leader of each. Greatest achievements (at least 2). Important facts, of any kind (at least two). Make a first draft, and bring a clean and final version next class. In a paragraph, draw a conclusion, how alike or different where they?
BIBLIOGRAPHY Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. Wikipedia. (n.d.). Songhai Empire. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songhai_Empire Wikipedia. (n.d.). Askia Mohammad I. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askia_the_Great Images taken from Google.