Africa Before European Arrival Whitfield History

935 words - 4 pages

Anya Long
History 10: Section 4
October 20, 2017
Africa before European Arrival
All around the world, from continent to continent, civilizations were annexing by form of expansion into other and further areas of the world during the 1400s and 1500s. Some civilizations were successful, and others were not, with the addition of other cultures to a preexisting culture already forged in that area. African civilizations flourished greatly before the arrival of Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Powerful, wealthy empires in Africa included Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The wealth of these civilizations grew when they began trading with each other as shown in documents one, three and eight. Roles that the people of African societies had were established and maintained, which is demonstrated in documents five, seven, and four. Also, the people had security in their civilizations because as documents six, three and two illustrate, there was no tolerance of injustice.
In Africa, trade among empires, kingdoms, and cities helped the economies prosper and gain wealth for these societies as shown in documents one, three, and eight. One of Africa’s cities, Aksum, became a valuable trading center because of its location on several trading routes and major water ports (doc.1, Aksum). Because Aksum was at the center of trade in Africa, merchants and other traders traveled through trade routes and traded at Aksum. The wealth of these societies is also clearly demonstrated in the kingdom of Ghana, whose military forces helped guarantee safety for traders who had to pass through it (doc.3, Leon E. Clark). The coastal city Kilwa delighted in wealth because it controlled trade between the ships that came to its ports, and the people who lived further inland (doc.8, Ibn Battuta).
Roles that the people in African societies had also contributed to the success of the African empires and cities as shown in documents five, seven, and four. Many of the African people had educated jobs such as doctors, judges and priests (doc.5, Leo Africanus). Artisans were greatly valued because of their religious sculptures (doc.7, Henry Balfour). Many cities in Africa, such as Timbuktu, had a great number of educated people. They held professions and were paid by the king. Because of the highly educated population, literature was often traded and sold on the market for high prices.
Leaders such as Mansa Musa were generous with the people in African societies, and gave officers of the court and people in office gold when he traveled through Egypt (doc.4, Mansa Musa). Documents five seven and four all clearly show that because of the important roles that people in African kingdoms and cities had, the wealth of Africa was greater, making it more successful. A document that could help show the importance of these people’s job and their influence on Africa’s success would be one that described how the jobs that these people had helped their societies.
Because injustice in Afr...


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