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Unformatted text preview: An Introduction to African Politics Curtis Bell 11/01/2011 09:39:00 ← 1) What are we going to do this semester ← 2) What was Africa’s physical and human geography before colonial period ← 3) Why were African countries underdeveloped in comparison ← ← Geography • Determines the goods explorers sought and the characteristics of the people they encountered • Forms natural barriers that separate cultures, languages, and religions • Influenced where borders were drawn- or where they should have been drawn • Explain the diverse colonial and post-colonial experiences of African states ← The Mediterranean Coast • Fertile coastal plain stretching from Morocco to Egypt • Integrated into European history for thousands of years • Modern States: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt • This area is also called the Mahgreb ← The Sahara • Spans around 12 countries and 3.5 million square miles • Sparsely populated, but crossed by trade routes and a few oases • Populated by Arabs, Berbers, ect… ← The Sahel • Strip of grasslands on the southern edge of the Sahara • Rapidly disappearing due to desertification • Represents geographic, religious, and ethnic divisions • One of the more conflict-prone areas o The great expanses of the desert could ve traversed by traders, but not by armies or long migrations o South of the Sahel, mosquitoes (malaria) and tsetse flies (sleeping sickness) killed Arabs, horses, and camels o Islam was adopted by nomads and small desert groups, but was resisted in densely-populated forest governments ← Sub-Saharan Africa • There were many names for Africa south of the Sahara, but they all meant “land of the blacks” o In Greek: Ethiopia • West Africa and the Guinea Coast o This forested area populated by black African groups is one of the most diverse of all of Africa o The groups living inland near the Sahel, including the Hausa, were the strongest • Land of the Bantu o Most of SSA is populated by Bantu-speakers o Bantu dominance is the result of the “Bantu-migration” o The Bantu M from modern Cameroon drove other groups out of the most habitable areas of sub-Saharan Africa o “Hottentots”, “Khoi-san”, and ”Bushmen” were driven into dry southwest corner • The Swahili-Arab East o Arabs established trading posts and towns along Africa’s east coast long before Europeans began the slave trade on the west coast o Influence stretched as far south as Zanzibar (Tanzania) and modern Mozambique o Traders dealt with the Swahili speakers on the coast but rarely penetrated the land of Bantu ←...
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2011 for the course PSCI 3082 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Colorado.
- Spring '11
- Heart of Darkness