The Formation Of West African History

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Darien Wellman West African History Dr. Hargrove March 8, 2015 The Formation of West African States In the recent decades, West Africa has been studied and analyzed by multiple geographers and historians. Combined with history of the rise of early civilizations, religious influences and conquests, this region continues to open more dialogue on how these events from its past took place. One subject in particular has also become part of that discussion. That subject happens to deal with the rise and creation of West African states. In this essay, I will discuss how these states were created as well as the multiple ways in which the use of both inside and outside influences helped to shape these various states. After much research, it is clear that many of what would become West African states began with the kingdom of Ghana. According to Roger Gocking, who wrote the book called The History of Ghana, the reason why states started here was because of evidence from the time when Ghana’s kingdom existed. He stated “archaeological evidence indicates that much of the early Iron Age activity was located in the Volta Basin of northern Ghana. The common occurrence of low-grade iron ore and wood for fuel stimulated iron-smelting industries in this region. As a result, it was not surprising that it was here that centralized states first developed.” As important as the Iron Age was to the early development of these states, it was not the only reason. During this period, Gocking said

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