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New Challenges for Africa and the Islamic World Essay

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* Songhai flourished during the 1400s and 1500s, with an empire stretching 1500 miles east to west. (from Gao to the Niger River) a. Timbuktu
* Timbuktu became a major center for trans-Saharan trade. Large supplies of gold, ivory, and slaves were sent abroad. * Timbuktu was a major center of Islamic scholarship, in particular because of the Islamic University of Sankore. * Civil war over succession weakened the empire which was then destroyed by Moroccan forces. B. Other West African States

* The small Sudanic kingdoms that formed after the fall of Songhai were parts of a closely linked commercial network.

* For example, the Dyula moved goods by donkey and canoe, dominating the regional trade. * A few non-Muslim states, including those of the Guinea Coast, had a matrilineal social structure. a. The Kanem-Bornu Kingdom

* The Islamic kingdom of Kanem-Bornu prospered from trans-Saharan trade and reached its height under king Idrus Aloma. a. The Hausa and the Trans-Saharan Trade
* The Hausa had trade-oriented states in modern-day Chad, eastern Niger, and Nigeria where cotton cloth and leatherwork were manufactured for export.

* Islam became dominant, but women continued to play vital social and political roles. b. Trade on the Guinea Coast

* A few non-Muslim states, including those of the Guinea Coast and Volta River basin, had a matrilineal social structure, and prospered from mining and trading in gold to the north. c. Europeans in West Africa

* Portuguese encountered such large trading centers as the one at Guinala, (Guinea Bissau), where 12,000 men and women met weekly to trade. C. Bantu Trading Cities and Kingdoms (East)

* Bantu settlers and Arab immigrants formed the Swahili culture. * The Swahili city-states grew wealthy by trading in African goods to peoples from around the Indian Ocean. a. Trade on the East African Coast

* Swahili city-states were parts of the great trading network generally dominated by seafaring Arabs and Indian Muslims. d. The Shona and the Ganda
* The Shona exported gold and ivory through the city of Sofala to the Middle East and India. * The Ganda people established the kingdom of Buganda west of Lake Victoria and Buganda dominated the region by the 1700s. e. The Kingdom of Kongo

* In the Congo River basin, the Bantu kingdom of Kongo became one of the first great African states to be visited by European explorers. * The kingdoms of Luba and Lunda resisted European power into the nineteenth century. f. The Xhosa and the Zulu

* The Xhosa and Zulu were the main Bantu-speaking groups to migrate into southern Africa. D. Africa in the Hemispheric System
* Sub-Saharan Africans lacked interregional connections. * Sub-Saharan African was cut off from European and Asian trade. * Marginally fertile soils, scarce exploitable minerals, and few good harbors impeded development in Sub-Saharan Africa. a. Africa the Unknown

* West and East Africa supplied gold, ivory, and other commodities to the Middle East and Europe for centuries. * The remaining Amharic Christians in modern-day Ethiopia were surrounded by Muslims and essentially cut off from contact with Europe. g. The Opening of Africa

* Europeans set out to penetrate “Darkest Africa” with the “light” of the West, while also looking for direct routes to Asian spices and silk. * Africans were shocked and dismayed upon first sighting Europeans. h. The Beginning of the African Slave Trade

* Europeans looked for slaves after setting up in the Americas. * Slavery had a long tradition in Africa, which involved Muslim traders. * Europeans already had enslaved their own peoples, though not with a racialized reason.

II. EUROPEAN IMPERIALISM AND THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE * Racism developed from early exploitative relationships forged by Portuguese and Dutch adventurers along the two coasts of Africa and in its southern reaches. A. The Portuguese and African Encounters

* By the late 1400s the Portuguese had colonized the Cape Verde Islands and the nearby coastal region of Guinea-Bissau. * They also established a long relationship of cooperation with the prosperous Kongo kingdom of south central Africa and sent Catholic missionaries. a. Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco de Gama

* In 1487 Bartholomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean. Vasco da Gama established relations with East African Swahili trading cities. * In India, European goods could not compete with more valuable and finer products from India, China, Indonesia, and Persia. Da Gama had finally located the sea route to the east. * The Portuguese set up a network of trading bases around the Indian Ocean, and tried to limit the activity of their Arab, Ottoman, Persian, and Indian rivals. i. The Portuguese and the Kongo

* The Christian King Alfonso I, a Portuguese ally, controlled the Kongo and attempted to emulate Portugal by expansion and modernization. * Slavery soured Portuguese-Kongolese relations. j. Queen Nzinga and African Resistance

* After Alfonso’s death, the Portuguese conquered Kongo and Ndongo. Kongolese and Ndongo warriors were no match for Portuguese armies. Queen Nzinga of Ndongo strongly resisted the Portuguese. * Kongolese Christian kings appealed to the Pope to halt the slave raids. The Kongolese kings allied with the Dutch to curb Portuguese influence. Kongo endured civil wars, which led to the capture of more slaves. * Portuguese forces occupied several major Swahili trading cities. They eventually controlled several trading ports from the Persian Gulf to China. They used brutal methods to achieve their ends. k. The Decline of Portuguese Influence

* Portuguese influence waned on the East Coast of Africa by the 17th century after they destroyed much of the trade by dissuading merchants to venture to the cities they nominally controlled. * In the late 1600s, Arabs from Oman pushed the Portuguese out. E. New Challenges for the Shona States and Ethiopia (East) * The Portuguese controlled the lower Zambezi Valley in order to dominate the gold trade. * They also moved up the Zambezi River and ended up controlling the largest Shona state of Monomotopa. * They also settled coastal Mozambique and mixed culturally, often through intermarriage. a. Ethiopian Civil War

* The Portuguese forces assisted Ethiopians against their Muslim neighbors. * Jesuit missionaries converted Ethiopian king to Catholicism. * Attempts to change the Ethiopian Church did not succeed, and the missionaries and other Portuguese were expelled. F. South Africa and Dutch Colonization

* Dutch settlers in Cape Town traded with the Khoikhoi, but then seized their land. They enslaved or killed all the Khoikhoi living near the Cape, then imposed white rule over Africans. * Slaves were imported from Madagascar, Mozambique, and Indonesia. * As the economy developed, Africans and Asians outnumbered whites. a. The Boers and “trekking”

* Some Dutch settlers, or Boers, moved eastward to escape governmental control and look for new land to settle. * The Boers tried to take over Xhosa and Zulu lands. G. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

* Europeans enslaved Africans to fulfill their labor needs in the Americas on plantations and in mines. * Physical differences established racial basis of trans-Atlantic slavery. a. The Slave Trade Expands

* West Africa was fragmented, which made it vulnerable to slave trading. The Europeans established trading forts from Senegal to Angola. * The Europeans traded cotton goods, guns, iron, rum, and tobacco for slaves. The Europeans often cooperated with local African chiefs to obtain slaves. * The exact number of enslaved Africans is uncertain, but it probably totaled 25 to 30 million individuals. The trans-Atlantic slave trade reached its peak between 1700 and 1800. l. Horrors of the Middle Passage

* Slaves were branded, chained together, and packed into overcrowded slave ships. * Many slaves committed suicide before reaching the Americas, so slavers installed nets along the sides of slave ships to catch jumpers. There were also many attempted mutinies en route. * The majority of slaves were sold to plantations without regard to personal ties. m. Rationalizing the Slave Trade

* Europeans justified slavery by claiming that Africans were inherently inferior. * Some Westerners argued that slavery benefited Africans by exposing them to Western culture, values, and religion. H. The Slave Trade and African Societies

* Some coastal regions of West and Central Africa succumbed to chronic raiding, kidnapping, and warfare. * Some societies were particularly destabilized when huge numbers were enslaved. * Out
of these patterns of human enslavement emerged the Atlantic System. a. The Impact of the Slave Trade on Africa

* Some African societies prospered by selling neighboring peoples into slavery. The kings of Benin obtained firearms by trading cotton textiles, pepper, ivory, and beads, and prohibited the sale of male slaves. * States such as Dahomey prospered by cooperating with the slave traders. Coastal regions from Senegambia down to Angola suffered the most (ex. family damage.) * The trans-Atlantic slave trade created economic imbalances that hindered the evolution of local industries, though African societies arguably benefited from the introduction of peanuts and corn. n. Early Imperialism and Colonialism in Africa

* Europeans practiced imperialism and colonialism in Africa. * The scramble for Africa intensified with industrialization in Europe. Western industrialization helped end the slave trade, but accelerated the need for African natural resources.

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