Nowadays, Africa is considered to be an undeveloped continent. Out of all the reasons Africa grew out to be this way. In this period, there were many different types of currency in Africa; unlike in other parts of the world where one type of currency was more used than others. For this study have chosen four different types of currency, which are cloth, cowries, gold and slaves. We will see how their nature influenced the economy of precolonial Africa. The conclusion reached is that the nature of the currencies had a great impact in the underdevelopment, their nature being especially relevant when the external trade started, because of the contrast between hard currencies with the African currencies, provoking the latter to become soft …show more content…
There are difficulties in the study of this topic. The first one is the view of the historiography. Many economist and historians have considered Africa to be underdeveloped even before the colonialism period, which recent studies have proved to be wrong. Africa had a well-developed economic system, where the monetization of the economy had created a class society . There needs to be more investigation about this topic, which hopefully will bring some light to this interesting period in time. Secondly, the lack of primary sources is another obstacle to the study of this topic, many of the ones available are biased because they are from a European perspective. However, it is possible to find other material in archaeology, documents and oral stories. Thirdly, the continent of Africa is huge, and in its study, we should try to avoid generalizations, because it erases the particularities of each territory. Therefore, as said, we are going to focus on West and Central Africa, so the study will be more focused and specific.
There were many different types of currency in precolonial Africa. Among them the most used ones were cowries, copper, cloth, slaves, gold, silver and salt. Different areas preferred different kinds of currency, however, their value was recognized in all West Africa. The multiplicity of currency indicates a lack of centralization, as well as many connections between zones. One important characteristic
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All this is a little too close to what A. G. Hopkins called, in the Introduction to his brilliant Economic History of West Africa, the 'Myth of Merrie Africa'. This myth, and any static picture of the African past, does an injustice to the dynamic and innovative features in African society.
Africa has had a long and tumultuous road of colonization and decolonization the rush to colonize Africa started in the 17th century with the discovery of the vast amounts of gold, diamonds, and rubber with colonization hitting a fever pitch during World War I. However, the repercussions of colonization have left deep wounds that still remain unhealed in the 21st century. Early on, European nations such as Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium scrambled for territories. Countries wanted land so they could harvest the resources, increase trade, and gain power. The European colonization of Africa brought racism, civil unrest, and insatiable greed; all of which have had lasting impacts on Africa.
Between the period from 1880 to 1914, European powers went after overseas empires in Africa. The governments and political leaders of the European powers believed that this colonization of the African empires was necessary to maintain their global influence. A second group of people supposed that African colonization was the result of the greedy Capitalists who \only cared for new resources and markets. The third group of people claimed it to be their job to enlighten and educate the uncivilized people of Africa. Although the political leaders of European powers encouraged colonization of African empires to advance their nation’s global influence, others argued that it was only for the profiteering of the Capitalists who sought new
The history of West Africa has its inhabitant traces is almost 6000 years ancient, but the earliest human beings who came here first were almost 12000 BCE. The enhancement in the farming took place after the arrival of a modern ancestor in the fifth millennium. After making connections with other civilizations like Mediterranean ones, the development of iron industry took place in every use of daily life. The common or traditional business of trade for them consisted of cotton, leather, metals, gold against horses, clothes, copper, salt, etc. They were modifying their lifestyles and politics as more as they were coming closer to other communities of the world (Ajayi, 1970).
Imperialism influenced the Europeans in many ways, for example they advanced in technology, they took over African colonies and their imports and exports. Europeans traded for slaves, gold, and ivory along the west coast of Africa. In the 1800’s it all changed when the European explorers advanced their way to the interiors of central and western Africa resulting to be under full attack as the European nations fought with one another for control. The Europeans expanded for power and resources such as rubber, slaves, ivory, and any goods Africa held. Technology and imperialism took a big part in Africa.
The early civilizations of Africa were different in many of their cultural traits. One common trait they did have in common was the importance of trade in their society. Although trade was good for the African civilizations, there was consequences that followed trading. I will be using documents B, F, and D to support how early African civilizations had consequences from trading. In document B it states that, “The door of the pavilion is guarded by dogs on an excellent breed… who wear collars of gold and silver,” this quote helps support the idea that Ghana had lots of gold and wealth.
Regional trade in early africa was important because it laid a basis in many ways for a high class society. The unique sources of africa allowed people to trade with each other for things they need but couldn't make themselves. People in africa sold Ivory, Gold, iron, and salt which were all valued very high by traders. The iron allowed the Africans to make tools allowing them to make a surplus of crops. This made traders want to come back so that they can get more of the resources not near them that they can sell for a profit. But there was one negative too traders coming so often Ghana decided to jail some of the traders. This affected many other
Based on documents 1 (FOREIGN GOLD & SILVER COINS DISCOVERED AT SWAHILI CITIES: from Classical and Post-Classical Era Trading Civilizations to 1450 C.E.) and 9 (THE HANSA AND ITS TRADE PRODUCTS) it is to see that Hansa and Swahili traded variant items and their demand for certain products in the economy. In document 1, Swahili cities traded mostly gold and silver. On the other hand in Hansa, fur, timber, iron, copper, beer, skins, butter,
Africa nowadays is viewed as a pretty poor continent, but if it were not for a single event, it wouldn’t be in the shape it is today. This event is best known as the scramble for Africa. The European powers had begun taking land after King Léopold the second claimed that initial piece of land. European powers gathered in 1884 to discuss which part of Africa were theirs to avoid fighting, however this was done between European countries, and the thought of even inviting a spokesperson from Africa was beyond them. The people of Africa were enslaved and forced to work the land for natural resources such as rubber and diamond. After the European powers claimed all that they could, two independent countries remained. These two countries were Liberia and Ethiopia. The “Eurocentric” perspective that the European powers had at the time allowed for them to commit these horrible acts and see nothing wrong with what they had
Africa’s persistent poverty interrogates the continent’s past through institutions, government, demography, economics, colonialism, and the impact of the trading. The colonial era affected the variety of Africa’s historical development for it was quite the game changer since it put a halt to the continuous drain of scarce labor and paved the way for the expansion of land concentrated forms of agriculture, and engaging smallholders, estates, and communal farms. The establishment of the colonial rule over the African interior reinforced African commodity growth in export. The colonial control facilitated the construction induced significant inflows of European
Before the Europeans arrived and imperialism took place, Africa was a free continent. There were vast amounts of land, small populations, and a range of different African religious practices. Their life was different before imperialism took place. According to the World Press, “They could be either stateless, state run or kingdoms, but most
The Trans-Saharan gold trade was an important and significant part of Africa’s history. It brought about the Ghana Empire, the use of camels for trading, and the spread of the Muslim religion. It is one of the more important historical trading regimes and led to hundred of years of power for the Ghana Empire. By approximately 300 AD, people in Africa were beginning to see the value in gold, which one part of Africa had a surplus of. The area that held this surplus is modern day Mali and Mauritania, but became known from 300-1200 AD as the Empire of Ghana.
The Atlantic slave trade existed in Africa for over three hundred years and introduced to the African continent to systems of European trading methods. Although, these markets existed before, increase in trading brought about by European demand for slaves in the Americas encouraged their development. One of the biggest results of the increase in trade was the African economy. It started to become subject to the whims of Europe. The slave trading system did this by substituting cheap European manufactured products for those products which would have been made locally. This started the development of a pattern of Africa as a source of raw materials, in this case labor, and as only a consumer of goods.
In the past, research of Africa was not prioritized because it was believed that Africa had not influenced society and that it was not worth studying. Recently, however, more and more people are realizing the value of studying Africa. Studying different aspects of Africa help us understand Africans, ourselves, and the world as a whole. One field of study that should recognize what there is to learn from Africa is economics.