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Africa: South of the Sahara History

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A brief look at the history of Africa: South of the Sahara

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Africa: South of the Sahara History

  1. 1. Africa: South of the Sahara History
  2. 2. Early History ● Early Africans were Hunter-Gatherers. o They moved from place to place to hunt and gather food. ● Began to herd livestock. ● As African climate became drier the people migrated South to more fertile areas.
  3. 3. The Bantu ● Around 3000 BC a people called the Bantu began a migration south and west. ○ Migration from what is modern day Nigeria. ○ Lasted several thousand years. ● Bantu shared a common language, culture, & technology. ○ Farming ○ Ironworking ● Millions of Africans: SOTS still speak Bantu languages
  4. 4. Kush ● Developed in 800 BCE along the Nile in present day Sudan ● Grew wealthy from trade and ironworking ● Traded as far away as Egypt and Southwest Asia o Gold o Ivory o Iron products ● 1100 years after its rise Kush fell to the neighboring kingdom of Axum
  5. 5. Axum ● Lies in what is now Ethiopia ● Was prosperous from trade within Africa and Mediterranean area ● In 300 CE King Ezna Made Christianity the official religion of Axum ● Though Arab muslims gained control of the area in the 600s Axum remained the center of Christianity *It is claimed by Orthodox Christians of Ethiopia that the Ark of the Covenant lies within a chapel in the city of Aksum
  6. 6. Ghana ● West African trading empire ● Flourished between 800 BCE - 1000 BCE ● Controlled trade between the Sahara & West Africa o Salt & Cloth traded for Gold & Ivory ● Ghana became very wealthy by taxing the trade ● Collapsed in the 1000s when invaders from the North disrupted trade.
  7. 7. Mali ● Mali Empire included Timbuktu, Ghana and Mali. ● Mansa Musa was ruler of Mali Empire. o Gained his wealth through Mali’s supply of salt and gold, which was the main source for most of the world during that time. o Educated his countries during his rule, which helped them to maintain sufficiency beyond his years. o Devout Muslim o Timbuktu was center of trade, education and Islamic culture ● Mali fell to the Songhai in the 1400s Mansa Musa *In 2012 it was found that Mansa Musa was the richest man of all time with a net worth of $400 Billion dollars
  8. 8. Europeans ● In the 1400s and 1500s Europeans began trading with Africa. ● The arrival of Europeans in Africa: SOTS drastically changed the region. ● The Portuguese set up trading posts along the West coast of Africa ● In 1518, English traders began sailing south along the Atlantic coast of Africa, seeking gold, ivory, camwood, pepper and wax. ● The French arrived along Africa's Atlantic coast not long after the English, hoping to trade textiles, alcoholic drink and metal goods for pepper, hides, palm oil, gold and ivory.
  9. 9. Slavery ● Europeans did not introduce slavery to Africa but benefited from it. ● African rulers enslaved and traded prisoners ● Arab traders brought slaves to the Islamic world in the 800s. ● Slave trading greatly increased when Europeans started shipping slaves to the America’s. o Between 1500 and 1800 nearly 12 million Africans were shipped to the America’s. o By 1800 many Europeans turned against slavery, thus the slave trade eventually died out.
  10. 10. Colonization ● Though the slave trade may have ceased the Europeans kept a foothold in Africa: SOTS. ● In the late 1800s France, Germany, and Britain staked ● claims to region to extract its natural resources. o These countries created colonies. o By 1914 nearly the whole region fell under European control ● On the positive side railroads were built, farming was improved, and some Africans received education and medical care. ● On the negative side the region remained mainly underdeveloped and Africans had fewer rights and economic opportunities than the Europeans living in Africa.
  11. 11. Independence ● In the early 1900s those Africans who had been educated began to exhibit a desire for African Nationalism. (A people’s desire to rule themselves) ● This feeling spread throughout the continent especially after WWI. ● During WWII the European powers weakened as a result of the war. ● As a result independence movements flourished. ● In the period from the early 1950s through the late 1960s most African territories became independent. *After independence many countries kept their old colonial borders which led to violence and many of these new countries suffered civil wars. Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria and the DRC are just a few of these countries.
  12. 12. South Africa ● In South Africa, white South Africans strengthened their rule through a system known as apartheid. ● Apartheid a.k.a. “apartness” was designed to separate ethnic groups and restrict the rights of black people. o They were forced to live in areas called homelands o Did not have the right to vote ● Many black leaders such as Nelson Mandela were jailed for speaking out. ● The United Nations condemned Apartheid. ● Many countries cut off trade with South Africa. o The pressure from within and outside of South Africa ended apartheid in the early 1990s and Nelson Mandela was released from prison. ● In 1994 the country held its first election in which all people could vote and Mandela was elected the country's first black president.

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