Africa History


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Africa History

  1. 1. African Societies and Kingdoms 400-1450 Joe Spina
  2. 2. African Movie
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Africa is immense </li></ul><ul><li>African peoples have never been isolated from other peoples </li></ul><ul><li>5 climate zones that divide the continent </li></ul><ul><li>Sahara-3.5 mil. Sq. miles, Savanna-flat-grassland, Tropical rainforests stretch along coastal W. Africa </li></ul>
  4. 4. Early African Societies <ul><li>Cultivation arrived in the Nile Delta in Egypt about the 5 th millennium before Christ </li></ul><ul><li>By 1 st Cent. B.C.E., settled agriculture existed in W. Africa </li></ul><ul><li>African farmers learned to domesticate plants, millet, sorghum, and yams </li></ul><ul><li>Cleared land by burning </li></ul>
  5. 5. East Africa 1500-1000B.C.E <ul><li>Agriculture spread southward from Ethiopia along Rift Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Grew cereal, raised cattle, stone tools, wood tools </li></ul><ul><li>Cattle prized </li></ul>
  6. 6. Evolution to a Settled Life <ul><li>Traders from S.E. Asia brought bananas, yams, sugar cane, coconut palms </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal condition for banana trees in rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Donkeys, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks domesticated </li></ul><ul><li>KEY: Settled societies created a culture that believed in the common need- no more nomadic ways </li></ul>
  7. 7. Great Trans-Saharan Trade Routes between 700-900, Berbers <ul><li>Trade routes may have carried ironworking south from the Mediterranean coast, ex. Jos Plateau </li></ul><ul><li>Tuareg pirates </li></ul><ul><li>Use of the Camel </li></ul><ul><li>Arab-Berber merchants from N. Africa traded silk, cotton, cloth, beads, and mirrors </li></ul><ul><li>W. African Savanna traded gold, ivory, gum kola nuts, captive slaves </li></ul>
  8. 8. Kingdoms of Western Sudan 1000-200 C.E. <ul><li>People of W. Sudan made the shift from nomadic hunting to settled agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Savanna is rich and fertile </li></ul><ul><li>Rice, millet, sorghum </li></ul><ul><li>Population explodes around lake Chad </li></ul><ul><li>Sm. City-states, some villages form kingdoms w/ chiefs, provincial governors </li></ul><ul><li>Animistic/polytheistic </li></ul><ul><li>Trade expanded sm. Kingdoms into formidable powers, camel and trade routes aided </li></ul>
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Kingdom of Ghana 900-1100 C.E. <ul><li>One of the most remarkable kingdoms during the age of Africa’s great empires </li></ul><ul><li>Inhabited by the Soninke people who called their ruler Ghana or war chief </li></ul><ul><li>Skilled farmers/irrigation was key to their success in farming </li></ul><ul><li>As many as 200,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial system led by king </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ghana Politics <ul><li>$ needed because of elaborate court/administrations/extensive territories </li></ul><ul><li>4 main sources for $ or support: </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Estates </li></ul><ul><li>Subordinate chiefs and tribes </li></ul><ul><li>Custom duties on goods coming or going </li></ul><ul><li>Gold industry monopoly </li></ul>
  12. 12. Social Structures <ul><li>King, his court, Muslim administration </li></ul><ul><li>Merchant class </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers, cattle breeders </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves- household, mines, and farms </li></ul><ul><li>Army class (separate) 200,000 warriors </li></ul>
  13. 13. Kingdom of Mali 1200-1450 <ul><li>A better organized and more powerful state than Ghana </li></ul><ul><li>Ghana split into several kingdoms </li></ul><ul><li>2 key aspects of Mali: </li></ul><ul><li>Strong agriculture provided for a lg. pop. </li></ul><ul><li>2 rulers, Sundiata/Mansa Musa who combined military success </li></ul>
  14. 14. Timbuktu <ul><li>Timbuktu began as a campsite for desert nomads </li></ul><ul><li>Under Musa it grew and attracted merchants and traders from all over the Mediterranean </li></ul><ul><li>Developed into a center for scholarship and learning </li></ul>
  15. 15. Axum or Ethiopia <ul><li>Between the 1 st and 8 th cent. Christianity is spread to Ethiopia or Axum </li></ul><ul><li>King of Ethiopia ruled a uniquely Christian state </li></ul><ul><li>Trade with Egypt, Arabia, E. African city-states- ivory, gold, emeralds, rhino horns, shells, and slaves </li></ul>
  16. 16. Axum Society <ul><li>Farming is key </li></ul><ul><li>King, warrior, nobles, peasant farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Most striking feature of Axum society in 500-1500 was the close relationship between church and state </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity inspired fierce devotion </li></ul><ul><li>Mountains protect Axum and keep culture insular </li></ul>
  17. 17. Most important idea is to keep in mind the enormous diversity of African peoples and culture
  18. 18. Bibliography <ul><li>McKay, John. A History of World Societies . Hartford, 7 th edition. 2007. </li></ul>