Empires in Africa

the three main empires in Africa, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai
Essential Question: how did trade impact the Empires in Africa?

Ghana was the first dynasty that lasted from the 9th century to the 13th century CE. it was a series of empires that were involved in commercial trade in west Africa. Ghana was called the "land of gold" due to the large gold trade that helped Ghana to become a powerful, centralized kingdom. they traded there gold, copper, and salt to gain, cloth, horses, and guns. Ghana became very rich as a result of the "salt-gold trade" between West and North Africa. Ghana came to control not only gold and salt but also the trade routes that went from North Africa to West Africa, Salt was mined to the northeast of Ghana in the Sahara Desert, and Arab traders from the north loaded their camels and donkeys with salt to trade for gold. the king kept the gold "nuggets" for himself, allowing the people to trade using only gold dust, or small pieces. The greedy  king collected taxes from all traders who traveled through Ghana, thus adding to Ghana's wealth.

In 1203 Ghana had a cruel king called sorcerer he killed all the people who challenged his power, he killed many Malinke people but he did not kill one of the crippled princes named Sundiata. Eventually in 1235 Sundiata crushed Sorcerer's power This victory was the beginning of the empire of Mali. Mali was much larger than Ghana, it dates back to the 13th to the 15th century CE. the ruler of Mali was Sundiata Keita. mali started as a small province in Ghana, and lasted from (800-1550).  The Mali empire stared of the Ghana empire and eventually took over the empire because the Ghana king killed innocent people because he didn't get what he wanted. The king wanted the big chunks of gold just for him he even passed laws that only permitted him to have gold bars. Merchants were only allowed to have small gold coins or they would be killed or fined Because the traders stopped coming to the empire, they didn't want to get killed. The empire suffered a great drought and lost all the crops they had and because the traders stopped coming to the empire people died from hunger. The most important thing people wanted to get by trading was gold and salt. Gold was used as money and salt was used to preserve food, food flavor and heal people. Of the numerous empires that developed and disappeared on the African continent, Mali was one of the first south of the Sahara to capture the attention of both the Islamic and European worlds. The empires manipulation of technology and ecology emphasizes two of the possible means by which smaller polities may be integrated into the structure of a larger empire

the Songhai empire lasted from 1375-1591ca. Asika Muhammad was a military and political genius, he ruled the Songhai Empire from 1492-1528. the empires capital are at ago on the Niger river. Songhai expanded in all directions , all the way from the atlantic ocean to northwest Nigeria. Songhai was ruled by the dynasty or royal family of Sonni, this lasted from the thirteenth century to the late fifteenth century. The capital was at Gao, a city surrounded by a wall. Islam had been introduced to the royal court of Songhai in 1019, but most people stayed truthful to their traditional religion.

When Mansa Musa came to power (1312 AD), Mali already had control of the trade routes to the southern lands of gold and the northern lands of salt. Now Musa brought the lands of the Middle Niger under Mali's rule. He made a magnificent journey through the Egyptian capital of Cairo that was long remembered with admiration and surprise throughout Egypt and Arabia. Musa took with him so much gold, and gave away so many golden gifts, that 'the people of Cairo earned very big sums' thanks to his visit. So generous was Musa with his gifts, indeed, that he upset the value of goods on the Cairo market. To help the gold market, Musa borrowed all the gold he could from money-lenders in Cairo, at high interest.


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EQ: How did trade impact the african empires?

CTQ: how did the Mali Empire fall?

The empire of mali fell due the leaders weakness that took place of mansa mussa, Malis most powerful leader who died in 1337. one of the reasons of why the empire fell was that the size the empire was to big to control by the government. After the death of mansa mussa his son magahn took over the thrown, but he was a weak ruler. people raided the empire, which led to the rise of the empire songhai.


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