Political Development In Historic Africa

Political Development In Historic Africa
• Prehistoric Africa
• Ancient Africa
• Medieval Africa
• Early Modern Africa
• 19th Century Africa
Continental Drift
Two hundred million years ago all the Earth's continents formed a single land mass
called Pangea.
The continents began to drift apart about 150 million years ago.
Today, the drifting continues. For example, every year North America moves 2-3
centimeters (about 1 inch) farther from Europe.
Prehistoric Africa
Earliest evidence of prehistoric hominid discovered in the Great Rift Valley
Ethiopian girl “Lucy” discovered in 1974 was 3,500,000 years old
Theories suggest small band of hunter/gatherers migrated from Africa to inhabit
By 6200 BC this bands began settling along the Nile
By 4000 BC farming began to yield surplus
By 3500 BC Confederation of Lower and Upper Egypt
Ancient African Kingdoms
• The Kingdoms of Egypt
• Axum
The Kingdoms Of Egypt
• Egypt
Earliest center of food production
Ancient Egypt governed by pharaohs grouped into 30 dynasties (3100 B.C. – 332
Relied on large government and lived in opulence at the expense of the peasants
Farming drive economic prosperity with surplus going to the king
Power waned and fell victim to invaders by 1000 B.C.
• The Old Kingdom (3100 – 2180 BC)
Earliest large-scale political economy
Ruled by Pharaohs
Identified with the Gods Horus and Osiris
The Great Pyramid at Giza (2600 BC)
Built for Khufu
2.5 million 5,000 lb blocks of limestone
Kingdom fell after loss of central authority
Began First Intermediate Period (2180-2080 BC)
• The Middle Kingdom (2080 - 1640 BC)
– Living Pharaohs no longer considered divine
– Commerce and Construction revived
– Conquered by Hyksos
• The New Kingdom (1570-1090 BC)
Began expanding
Became earliest multicultural empire in Africa
King Tutankhamen ruled only a short while
Famous because of tomb discovered in Valley of the Kings in 1922 by Howard
Many people associated with the excavation died suddenly, fueling rumors of a
• Roman Imperial Rule (30 BC)
– Queen Cleopatra negotiated with Roman rulers to keep political autonomy
Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony
She committed suicide to save face
– Rome imposed law and religion until the fourth century
Medieval Africa
Medieval African Kingdom/Empires
• Axum
• Ethiopia
• Ghana
• Mali
• Kongo
• Zimbabwe
• Axum (200 b.c. -700 a.d.)
– Modern day Ethiopia
– One of the earliest Christian kingdoms
– Obelisks are considered buy some to be one of the “Wonders of the World”
Medieval Africa
• The Age of Islam (640 – 1600)
Expanded from Mecca
Inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, conquered and converted most of Egypt and
Maghreb is modern North African countries of Libya, Morocco, Mauritania,
Algeria, and Tunisia
Age of Islam
• Originated in 7th century Arabia
Muhammed assertion of divine revelations
Messages written in Arabic in the Qur’an
After the death of Mohammed, khalifa’s served as political leaders
Children required to memorize the Qur’an by heart
Interpretation of laws varies widely
Sharia law
• Took two basic routes
– Northern Africa where Arabs established themselves as ruling elite
– Sub-Saharan Africa where Muslim traders introduced Islam living in commercial
– Expansion was accompanied by Arabization
– Conquered Northern Africa by mid 9th Century
– Conversion met varying levels of acceptance and resistance
– Altered relations between state, religion and society
– Ottoman Empire united much of north Africa
• Early on, local rulers kept Muslim merchants in exclaves and many African did not
come into contact with Muslims
• Slowly, local merchants were converted
• Kingdom of Mali was first to truly embrace Islam
Mansa Musa made hajj to Mecca
Timbuktu became a center for religious learning
• Islam transformed African societies
• Arabization occurred in the north, but was limited south of the Sahara
• Europeans were able to conquer because Muslims were not politically, religiously or
economically united
• Evolved out of fragmented ancient Axum
• Unification of various kings and Christian monasteries
• Claims lineage from Israel's King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
• Held ties with Egyptian Coptic Christian
• Ark of the Covenant
Kingdoms Of West Africa
– Ghana (700 – 1076 AD)
– Mali (1200-1430 AD)
– Kingdoms eventually fragmented
• Strategically located—able to control the lucrative trans-Saharan trade
– Built large armies
• Reputation of a strong economy (commerce/farming)
– Used Islam to create social cohesion
– Defeated by Songhai Kingdom
– Description of Sudan as a large area and not the country today
Early Modern Africa
• International Slave Trade (1140 – 1870)
– European powers built forts of the west coast of Africa that facilitated the slave
– Europeans traded guns for slaves
– Middle Passage
Route that took slaves to the Americas
Nineteenth Century Africa
• Early modern African states continued to develop and trade between coastal regions
and the interior
• Confederations establish based along commercial, religious and military lines
• Ended with the European “Scramble for Africa” (1880 – 1900)
• North Africa (1800 – 1900)
– Egypt
Muhammad Ali (1805 – 1848)
Modernized Egypt by establishing a a national army, colleges, secular schools,
and factories
– Algeria
Colonized by France in 1830
• West Africa
– By 1800, British were seizing slave ships and returning them to Sierra Leone
– Liberia established in 1847
Freed African American slaves
European “Scramble for Africa
– Berlin Africa Conference of 1884-1885
– Official partitioning occurred by participants from Germany, France, Britain,
Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal
• East Africa
19th Century Developments
Demand for resources increased need for labor
Egypt grew to be a powerful imperial Muslim state
Omani sultans used Zanzibar to run plantations and control the Indian Ocean trade
on the Swahili coast
After the partitioning in the late 19th Century, European relationships with Muslim
elites were complicated
Muslims resisted expansion
– Ethiopia
• Menelik II (1889-1912)
Battle of Adwa
Modernized Ethiopia