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
“West African societies were shaped by competition for wealth and the search for independence from more powerful kingdoms” (History 2011). Most of Africa’s oldest kingdoms originated from West Africa. These old kingdoms contributed to the development and growth of Africa in many ways, especially trade and economic growth. As the new kingdoms replaced the old ones, they experienced a vast change. Conquest and warfare along caused these transformations to occur. It was also influenced by the patterns of trade. The earliest civilizations were in West Africa south of the Sahara desert. These civilisations grew at a time when most of the outside countries were experiencing The Dark Age. “After the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire around
European powers shamelessly exploited the people and resources of Africa in the 19th century. They often tried to justify their actions by using ideology, religion and moralism. After the end of the African slave trade, the development of steam power, and medical discovery, European nations started exploring not only the coast but also the unmapped interior of the continent. In this essay, I will explain the main driving forces behind African Imperialism. The Western europeans countries all competed for land and resources because of their self interest. They sought natural resources, and technology gave them the ability to exploit them. The philosophy of national pride however, was the primary reason. (Main document) (Doc C, D & B)
From the 1500s to the 1700s, African blacks, mainly from the area of West Africa (today's Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Dahomey, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon) were shipped as slaves to North America, Brazil, and the West Indies. For them, local and tribal differences, and even varying cultural backgrounds, soon melded into one common concern for the suffering they all endured. Music, songs, and dances as well as remembered traditional food, helped not only to uplift them but also quite unintentionally added immeasurably to the culture around them. In the approximately 300 years that blacks have made their homes in North America, the West Indies, and Brazil, their highly honed art
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).
The relationship between the geography of West Africa and the development of the Kingdom of Ghana go hand in hand. It was a great place for civilization because it flourished over time. The Kingdom of Ghana’s development was helped because of trade and wealth.
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.
Throughout history, Africa has been a vulnerable player in the eyes of the rest of the world. From the slave trade to various civil right injustices that have taken place over in every century, we have studied in this class, we have been able to see the lasting impact on the continent as a ramification of certain events occurring. Using sources from the text, I will attempt to prove how the western world, exercised their power to capitalize on the African continent, in addition to the exploitation of the African people and land.
The Nature of Ronald CoaseDecember 29, 2014The Ideas That Shaped AfricaJanuary 7, 2015 As protests in Ferguson and elsewhere have brought police militarization to the forefront of public debate, some voices suggest that reigning in police militarization requires stricter gun control laws. For example, Matthew Yglesias argues at Vox that “when civilians are well-armed, police have to be as well.” Yglesias claims, “The officer always has to worry that if he doesn’t reach for and use his own gun, the suspect will.” He further contends that the disproportionate rate at which blacks are shot by police means “Young black men pay the price for gun rights.” While “officer safety” is the common refrain used to justify police violence and police militarization,
Throughout world history, various countries and kingdoms have strived towards achieving power, territory and control. Many rulers would compete against each other at the expense of their armies and civilian population. The largest empires started small, slowly enlarging by engulfing smaller, weaker empires using religious, ethnical, and political strategies. Simply using the aid of technological advancements in machinery and power. During the 16th century, there was a rapid growth of inventions around the world and developments in technology, which helped pave for the Industrial Revolution to occur. This Industrial Revolution was the primary catalyst amongst European nations to conquer others for more power and land. Lack of natural resources in Europe, led the Europeans to Africa in search of lumber, raw materials, and cheap labor. When Europeans went to Africa to look for lumber, raw materials, and cheap labor, they noticed how the natives had a completely different religion than theirs and the Europeans took the opportunity to start a land grab in the African continent to gain more power, territory, and convert the Africans to Christianity. Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, displays the warfare and consequences of European Imperialism in the Niger River region by focusing Nigeria’s early experiences with colonialism, from the first contact with the
How did the polity of Ancient Ghana arise? How did Ghana maintain its strength and what were some of the challenges? The Wagadou Empire was a monarchy, and the king was regarded by the people to be a semi-divine figure who kept order and justice. Ghana was not rich in natural resources as it was located along a major trade route between ivory and gold producing areas and salt miners in the Sahara. Merchants were lured into Ghana by the wealth of gold and prosperity helped the capital, Kumbi Saleh, to be a center of trade. The country will eventually become a prosperous entrepôt. Ancient Ghana derived power and wealth from gold and transportation of camels during the Sub-Saharan trade to increase the quantity of goods that were transported. The traditional Ghanan religions and Islam spread
Consider how Africa’s geography has changed over time. What positive and negative effects would these changes have had on human populations on the continent? As their new homes changed they were able to adapt due to their innovative mindset. This can be attributed to the new found organization thanks to language. Allowing Africans to grow and expand throughout the entire continent. Other factors that can be attributed are the change in geography for some parts such as the Sahara drying out and swamps and lakes disappeared.
Many African Americans were raised with a one-sided racial image of slavery, there were black slaves and white slave masters/owners. In school we were not presented with rationales for why Africans were chosen over other races for manual labor and harsh conditions. Also, the process of Enslavement. Africa in World History and Negros are Masters gave me a new perspective to think about. The idea never dawned on me that there was logic to the selection process.
The histories of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai are not well documented. Much of what we know is a mixture of legend, stories and secondhand accounts. North Africa has small coastal areas, some savanna areas, but it is mostly made up of the sahara desert. It is a very dry and hot region. West Africa has some desert areas, wet and dry grasslands, small rainforest, and long rivers, like the Niger River. It has some vegetation areas, but it also has some dry and hot areas. According to legend, Ghana started when a foreigner named Dhinga had to kill a goblin, and marry the goblins pretty daughters. Their offspring became ancestors of the ruling Soninke clans. After he died, his son Dyabe defeated his brother and founded the empire of Ghana somewhere
In studying the continent of Africa, a person simply cannot underestimate the importance and impact the time period 1770-1875 had on the shaping of pre-colonial Africa’s historical experience. By diving head first into Africa’s past and closely examining several themes and concepts of the time, one can fully comprehend just how much the colonization of Africa changed it forever, both for the better and the worse. The many reasons as to the “how and why” Africa was shaped into what it has become today can be seen within Thomas Getz’s book, Cosmopolitan Africa. Specifically, it is through the examination of the themes of the globalization of Africa in the oceanic era, the practice and belief of religions, and the significance of the Industrial Revolution, that the specific ways Africa was shaped from 1770-1875 can clearly be demonstrated.