africa: beginnings to 1800s ap world history. what is the geography of africa? how might this...
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Africa: Beginnings to 1800sAP World History
What is the geography of Africa? How might this geography impact Africans?
A Land of Geographic Contrasts this explains everything!Large continent but coastline has few ports, harbors, or inlets ****Challenging EnvironmentsAfrica has many deserts, including huge SaharaThe southern edge of the expanding Sahara is called the SahelRainforests found near central part of continent Northern coast and southern tip of Africa have Mediterranean climatesSavannas, or grasslands, cover almost half of Africa
The topography and climate of Africa has limited migration and economic development.The presence of waterfalls (cataracts) and rapids slowed river travel.Highlands and steep cliffs limited exploration.The large deserts that dominate the landscape of northern (the Sahara desert) and southern (the Kalahari desert) Africa slowed land travel.These areas receive less than ten inches of rainfall annually!These barriers (waterfalls, rapids, highlands, steep cliffs, deserts) delayed European colonization of central Africa (European investors were attracted to southern Africa and southeast Asia because of their NATURAL RESOURCES.)The variety of geographic barriers has also served to promote cultural diversity.
Geography of AfricaAfricas geography was very diverse & Africans were lived differently based on where they lived
Geography of AfricaThe Sahara is the worlds largest desert & acted as a barrier to separate North Africa from sub-Saharan Africa
Early Societies of AfricaBy 750, North Africans were part of the Islamic Empire, converted to Islam, & shared Arabic cultureEarly societies of North Africa were influenced by Mediterranean cultures such as the Phoenicians & Romans
Early Societies of AfricaAfrican societies south of the Sahara were isolated & missed out on the cultural diffusion of the Classical Era
How did early people in Sub-Saharan Africa live?
Characteristics of Sub-Saharan AfricaWhile the societies of sub-Saharan Africa were diverse, they shared some similarities:Most societies lived in farming villages in family-based clansFew societies had written languages; Histories were shared orally by storytellers (griots)Made iron tools
Characteristics of AfricaSub-Saharan people were polytheistic:Practiced animism, a religion in which spirits exist in nature & play a role in daily life
The Bantu MigrationOver the course of 4,000 years, Bantu peoples of central Africa migrated south in search of farmland These Bantu migrations helped spread new farming & ironworking techniques
What factors shaped the culture of East Africa?
East AfricaThe societies of East African participated in the Indian Ocean trade network & were shaped by cultural diffusion:The kingdom of Aksum trade with Persia, India, Arabia, & Rome; Aksum became a Christian kingdom
East AfricaArab merchants introduced Islam to East African trade citiesThe mix of African & Arab cultures led to a new Swahili languageTowns had mosques & were ruled by a Muslim sultanBut many people kept their traditional religious beliefs
What factors shaped the culture of West Africa?
AFRICAN TRADING KINGDOMSTRADE! - Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Mogadishu / Gold and salt / trans-Saharan trade [caravan] routes As a result of Mansa Musas [the king of Mali] pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, Islamic learning and culture expanded in MaliThe spread of Islam is an example of cultural diffusion During the reign of Mansa Musa, Mali experienced a golden age [a period of prosperity and artistic creativity] Africans had centralized governments during the age of European feudalismAfrican societies achieved a high level of economic and cultural development before the arrival of Europeans (e.g. Timbuktu [in Mali] was a center of learning and trade [a commercial and cultural center], the walls of Great Zimbabwe reveal a powerful and rich society, brass sculptures and plaques in Benin, Kilwas Great Mosque, tribal masks, and polyrhythmic music [tension drums and rattles])
West AfricaWest Africa was shaped by the trans-Saharan trade network:West Africans had large deposits of gold, but lacked saltThe gold-salt trade connected North & West Africa
West AfricaThe gold-salt trade increased cultural diffusion with Muslim merchants:Islam was introduced in West Africa & slowed gained convertsMany Africans blended Islam with animism or never converted
West AfricaThe gold-salt trade led to wealth & empires in West AfricaBy 800, Ghana became an empire by taxing merchants, building a large army, & conquering surrounding peopleGhana kings served as religious leaders, judges, & generals
West AfricaEventually Ghana was overthrown & the Mali empire emergedMalis King Sundiata took over the Ghana kingdom & trade cities in West AfricaSundiata created an efficient govt, promoted farming, & controlled trade
West AfricaThe kings who ruled Mali after Sundiata converted to IslamThe most important king was Mansa Musa:He built a 100,000 man army to keep control over MaliHe divided Mali into provinces ruled by appointed governors
Mansa MusaMansa Musa was a devout Muslim & went on a hajj to Mecca in 1324Mansa Musa passed out gold nuggets to the people he met along the way
This is a European map of Africa. Very little was known about Africa below the Sahara, but Mansa Musa is on the map. Based on his image on the map, what did Europeans know about Mansa Musa?
West AfricaWhen he returned from Mecca, Mansa Musa built mosques throughout Mali, including TimbuktuThis trade city attracted scholars, doctors, religious leadersIt had a university & became an important center for learning
Travels of Ibn BattutaIn 1352, Ibn Battuta Muslim scholar and travelervisits MaliBy 1400, Mali begins to decline
AP College Board loves this guy!!!!! Huge Cultural Diffusion use one guy who travels throughout the Indian Ocean world, and writes down all of his observations, foods tasted, etc? Some of the cultures that will be lost due to war or Imperialism the only thing we know about them is due to his journals.
West AfricaAfter Mansa Musa, Mali declined & was replaced by Songhai Kings gained control of trade cities along the gold-salt routes Songhai grew into the largest of the West African empiresIts fall in 1591 ended a 1,000 year era of empires in West Africa
Conclusions African societies were transformed by two powerful forces:Trade with outsiders Introduction of Islam
Closure ActivityCompare the impact of geography on the development of Greece, China & AfricaHow are Greek myths similar to the myths and folk stories told by Africans?Why would someone say that trade is the most important factor in the development of East African and Roman culture? What comparisons could you make between African animism and Indian Hinduism? How are Swahili and Hellenistic cultures similar? How are they different?