EI+05+Africa+1453-1914 - HISTORY 1020(Rowley WORLD...

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H ISTORY 1020 (Rowley) W ORLD C IVILIZATION II E SSENTIAL I NFORMATION Week 5: Africa, 1453-1914 AFRICA to 1453 Africa is a continent, not a nation or civilization, and, like the continent of Asia, has been the home of a great number of varied civilizations. Early History Beginning around 3000 B . C . E . agriculture began to replace hunting and gathering, spreading from north to south. Horses and cattle were brought to Africa via the Middle East around 1500 B . C . E ., and iron smelting (for tools and weapons) first appeared in West Africa (northern Nigeria) around 1000 B . C . E . The spread of ironworking throughout Africa was probably associated with migrations of the Bantu people throughout Subsaharan Africa from 500 B . C . E . to 1000 C . E . About 90% of all sub-Saharan Africans speak a language descended from Bantu. North Africa North Africa refers to the territory on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea north of the Saharan Desert. In classical times, North Africa was a part of the Roman Empire. In the seventh century, it was conquered by invading Muslim Arab armies. The population converted to Islam, and it has remained in the Islamic Arabic cultural sphere until today. Morocco, on the Western end of North Africa, was the first part of the world to experience the effects of European expansionism. In the mid-1400s, Portuguese explorers began to sail southward along the coast of Africa, searching for a sea route around Africa to India. They seized a number of ports on the coast of Morocco. The Sudan The Sudan, as a geographical region, is a broad band of savannah (grassland with occasional trees) that runs across Africa just south of the Sahara Desert. “Sudan” comes from Arabic and means “land of the black people.” [Do not confuse “the Sudan” with the contemporary nation called “Sudan” which is on the eastern end of this geographical region.] The region was first drawn into trade contact with the Mediterranean world by Muslim traders after the Muslim Arab conquest of Northern Africa after 650. In the western Sudan in the late 700s, the Kingdom of Ghana (in what is now Mauritania) was the first African kingdom to benefit from trade with the Arab world. The rulers of Ghana traded gold, ivory, and slaves for horses, textiles, and salt. After 900, the kings of Ghana converted to Islam, and the religion began to spread among the general population. The Kingdom of Ghana fell in 1235 when it was absorbed into the Mali Empire. The Mali Empire ruled all of west Africa until the middle of the 1400s. Mansa Musa (1312-1337) was king of the Mali Empire at its height. He controlled (and taxed) all west African trade and became immensely wealthy. He promoted the spread of Islam, sponsoring religious schools and building mosques. His pilgrimage to Mecca, where he gave lavish gifts to his hosts, made him famous in the Arab world.
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