The Major Empires Of West Africa From 1200-1500

Decent Essays
1) What were the major empires of West Africa from 1200-1500? What were their major industries, modes of social organization? What were their standards of living and lifespans compared to Europe?
The Mali empire was established in 1235. It was the largest and the richest empire in the African Middle Ages. During this time Malian emperors relied on a small central administration, which was primarily concerned with finances and justice. (Patterns of World History pg. 400) The empire financed itself through tributes and taxes, but their main source of income relied on trade. The Mali would often trade long distance through merchants and scholars. In Timbuktu, the Mali would produce or mine for salt, creating a Salt Trade Hub in Timbuktu. Timbuktu was also important because it was one of the most important scholarly cities in the world that held massive libraries.
Mansa Musa the Malian ruler who annexed Timbuktu. He wanted to share his wealth with his people, so he founded a college, a library, and part of Sankore Mosque. Mansa Musa lived a very lavish and luxurious life and tried to share that life with his people. This actually put in the gold markets in relapse because he put too much gold into circulation, but it influenced Malians to become scholars and at a higher standard of living.
The Great Zimbabwe was a kingdom that was established in 1250. This kingdom was a culmination of various southern African kingdoms. While most settlements within the kingdom were dedicated to
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