Essay question in reuirements

I’m studying and need help with a History question to help me learn.

– 5 pages

-Using THE 5 W’s!!!!

ANCIENT GHANA @200 CE – @1100 CE.

OUT OF THE MIST OF TIME IN WEST AFRICA, 3 GREAT NATIONS AROSE, PROSPERED AND THEN ALL FADED AWAY FROM GLORY. THE 3 WERE ‘SUCCESSOR’ STATES. THAT IS, ONE FOLLOWED THE OTHER IN TIME. HOWEVER, ALL 3 SHARED THE SAME SPACE. THE AREA AROUND THE BEND IN THE LARGEST WEST AFRICAN RIVER, THE FAMOUS NIGER RIVER. THIS AREA BECAME THE MEETING LOCATION FOR TWO SEPARATE CULTURES; SUB SAHARA AFRICA FROM THE SOUTH, AND ARABIC/JUDEO/CHRISTIAN RELIGION FROM THE NORTH. WHERE THESE TWO CULTURES MET, ON THE SOUTHERN BRINK OF THE SAHARA DESERT, IS WHERE THESE 3 GREAT EMPIRES AROSE, WAXED PROSPEROUS, AND THEN FADED AWAY. GHANA, MALI, AND SONGHAI.

THE WESTERN SUDAN

THE WORD SUDAN IS ARABIC. IT COMES FROM ‘BILAL AS SUAN; IN ARABIC. THE LAND OF THE BLACKS. THIS IS THE SOUTHERN VERGE OF THE SAHARA DESERT, A BELT OF LAND THAT RUNS CLEAR ACROSS THE CONTINENT FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE RED SEA. THIS BELT OF LAND IS ALL GRASSLANDS, SAVANNAH AS ITS CALLED IN AFRICA, AND THEREFORE MOVEMENT WITHIN THIS LAND IN AN EAST-WEST FASHION IS ACTUALLY VERY SIMPLY DONE BY USE OF THE UBIQUITOUS CAMEL, THE SHIP OF THE DESERT AS THEY’RE CALLED. THE CAMEL IS NOT NATIVE TO AFRICA, ONLY BEING INTRODUCED INTO THE AFRICAN CONTINENT AROUND 200 CE BY ARABIC MERCHANTS, NO DOUBT. HORSES AND OXEN ARE NOT AS HARDY IN THE VASTNESS OF THE DESERT AS ARE CAMELS. ONCE THE CAMEL CAME TO AFRICA, DISTANCES MELTED AWAY WHERE THEY COULD BE USED.

THE SUDAN IS A VAST AREA, SO MUCH SO THAT ITS HISTORY IS SUB-DIVIDED INTO 3 REGIONS. IN THE EASTERN SUDAN, ONE STILL FINDS THE NAME ON 2 AFRICAN NATIONS TODAY; THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN, AND AFRICA’S NEWEST NATION, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN. IF YOU LOOK AT A MAP OF AFRICA AND CAN FIND THE AFRICAN NATION OF ‘CHAD’, THAT IS IN CENTRAL SUDAN. THEREFORE, THE AREA WE ARE INTERESTED IN HERE NOW IS THE FAMOUS WESTERN SUDAN, WHERE ANCIENT GHANA, MALI AND SONGHAI WERE LOCATED. WEST AFRICA.

THE PEOPLE WHO FOUNDED THE ANCIENT GHANA EMPIRE WERE THE SONINKE. THE PEOPLE WHO ESTABLISHED ANCIENT MALI WERE THE MANDINGO (MALINKE), AND THE PEOPLE WHO ESTABLISHED ANCIENT SONGHAI WERE FROM THE ‘SONGHAI’ ETHNIC GROUP. THEY ARE ALL CLOSELY RELATED PEOPLES, CULTURALLY SPEAKING. TODAY, FOR EXAMPLE, ALL ARE MUSLIMS.

NIGER RIVER = WIKI ‘NIGER RIVER’ BEFORE YOU READ THIS FOR GEOGRAPHICAL DETAILS.

——THE NIGER RIVER IS WEST AFRICA’S LONGEST RIVER. IT COVERS MOST OF WEST AFRICA, WHEN ONE CONSIDERS ITS FEEDER RIVERS AND THE LAKES IT FILLS. IT IS COLOSSAL! ON A SCALE OF THE LARGEST RIVERS OF THE WORLD. AND IT WAS THE LIFE LINE FOR THE 3 GREAT WESTERN SUDAN EMPIRES OF GHANA, MALI, AND SONGHAI. IT SATISFIED THE MOST ESSENTIAL HUMAN NEED; FRESH WATER. WITH FRESH WATER, AGRICULTURE AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY ARE POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHY HUMAN LIFE IS SO TEEMING IN THE REGION. FRESH WATER.

GOLD-SALT TRADE = Going back into the very beginning of human history in the region known today as the Western Sudan, humans there have engaged in an ancient commercial trade. Salt for Gold. Gold for salt.. The location in the Western Sudan where the demand for gold, from the north, met the demand for salt from the south. WHERE SUPPLY MEETS DEMAND is called a MARKET. The bend in the Niger River became a geographically natural place for a great commercially based empire to arise. And it did. Where the demand for salt met the supply of salt. Where the demand for gold met the supply of gold. This is what made that region so famous. Yes, around this great economic activity in the western Sudan arose great military powers like Ghana. Mali and Songhai. Yes, they all became great centers of Islamic learning and scholarship. But what made these 3 empires so great in history was their enormous economic might.

When ancient Ghana fell in 1076 CE, it was replaced by ancient Mali. When Mali fell in the mid- 16th century, it was replaced by ancient Songhai. And all 3 of these great western Sudanic ‘successor’ states were based upon the economic power given to this region by the GOLD/SALT TRADE OF THE SAHARA DESERT. RIGHT WHERE THE NIGER RIVER BENDS FROM ITS NORTHEAST PATH AND BEGINS TO CURVE SOUTH IS WHERE THE GREAT TRADE CITY OF TIMBUCKTU..((GO AND WIKI: TIMBUCKTU, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE BOOKS FOR THE COURSE.))!!!

*********SLAVE TRADE NORTH (TRANS-SAHARA) = One of the faactors which helped the 3 western Sudanic empires to grow so rich was the TRANS-SAHARAN SLAVE TRADE. If you look at the map of western Africa you will see that the Sahara Desert, the world’s largest sand based desert, lies just to the north of the northern bulge of the NIGER RIVER. This location is exactly where the great commercial center of the western Sudanic empires, TIMBUCKTO AROSE in the 11th century. The TRANS-SAHRAN TRADE MOVED FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AND BACK AGAIN FROM TIMBUCKTO to COMMERCIAL CENTERS IN NORTH AFRICA, SUCH AS FES AND RABAT IN MOROCCO. THE PEOPLE OF THE NORTH WANTED THE VAST QUANTITIES OF GOLD THE PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN SUDANIC EMPIRES POSSESSED. CONVERSELY, THE PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN SUDAN CRAVED A COMMODITY FROM THE PEOPLE OF NORTH AFRICA. IT MAY SEEM SURPRISING TODAY, BUT IN THE MIDDLE AGES IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, SALT WAS LITERALLY WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD TO THE PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN SUDAN. THIS MADE FOR A PERFECT BUSINESS MARRIAGE BETWEEN THE 2 REGIONS WHICH LASTED FOR 1000 YEARS.

THE TRANS-SAHARA TRADE EXPLAINS HOW IT IS TODAY THAT SO MANY PEOPLE OF OBVIOUS SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN ORIGINS ARE TO BE FOUND THROUGH NORTH AFRICA TO THIS VERY DAY. PEOPLE OF BLACK AFRICAN PHENOTYPE ARE TO BE FOUND THROUGHOUT THE NORTH AFRICAN NATIONS OF MOROCCO, TUNISIA, EGYPT, ALGERIA AND LIBYA. THE BLACK AFRICANS THERE TODAY ARE NATIVE BORN, THERE ANCESTORS HAVING BEEN THERE SINCE ANTIQUITY.

THE TRANS-ATLANTIC or TRIANGLE TRADE—–1510 – 1869:

COMPARED TO THE QUANTITATIVE MAGNITUDE OF THE TRANS-SAHARAN SLAVE TRADE, THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE, OR TRIANGLE SLAVE TRADE, HAD A FAR LARGER NEGATIVE IMPACT UPON THE PEOPLES OF THE WESTERN SUDAN. THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE FAR OUTSTRIPPED THE TRANS-SHARAN SLAVE TRADE IN TERMS OF NUMBERS. THE NUMBER DIFFERENCE IS ASTOUNDING. THE TRANS-SAHARA TRADE PRODUCED ABOUT 10% ONLY OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SLAVES SENT OUT OF THE WESTERN SUDAN DURING THE PERIOD FROM ABOUT 1000 CE TO ABOUT 1860 CE. ABOUT 90% OF THE AFRICANS WHO WERE ENSLAVED IN THIS PERIOD WERE SENT TO THE AMERICAS! MILLIONS OF MANDINGO, WOLOFF, FULANI AND SCORES OF OTHER WESTERN SUDANIC PEOPLES WERE SOON DRAGGED INTO THE VORTEX OF THE TRANS-ATLANTIC . HOW MANY? 10 MILLION? 20 MILLION? EVEN MORE THAN THAT? ITS HARD TO BE PRECISE, BUT MOST EXPERTS AGREE ON ABOUT 20 MILLION, MORE OR LESS! FROM ABOUT 1510 TO ABOUT 1860, THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE PERSISTED.

CAPITAL CITY: IN THE HISTORY OF THE WESTERN SUDANIC EMPIRES, EACH SUCCEEDING EMPIRE, GHANA, MALI, SONGHAI, MOVED THE CAPITAL CITY TO SUIT THEIR OWN IMPERIAL NEEDS. ALL, OF COURSE WERE BASED UPON THE NIGER RIVER, BUT WITH THE SUCCEEDING EMPIRES THE CAPITAL CITIES TENDED TO MOVE EVER MORE EASTWARD. ANCIENT GHANA’S CAPITAL ADMINISTRATIVE CITY WAS KUMBI SALEH. THIS IS WHERE TENKA MENIN, GHANA’S GREATEST KING, DWELT. THE CAPITAL CITY OF ANCIENT MALI WAS NIANE. THIS IS WHERE MANSA MUSA, MALI’S GREATEST KING RESIDED IN HIS PALACE. AND THE 3RD OF OUR GREAT WESTERN SUDANIC EMPIRES, ANCIENT SONGHAI, HAD ITS CAPITAL CITY, WHERE ASKIA MUHAMMED, SONGHAI’S GREATEST KING, RESIDED.

THE CAPITAL CITY OF ANCIENT SONGHAI WAS GAO (RHYMES WITH “COW”). THESE WERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITALS, LIKE OUR OWN WASHINGTON, DC. HOWEVER, FOR EACH OF THE 3 MAJOR WESTERN SUDANIC EMPIRES, THE BUSINESS CENTER OF THE REGION WAS THE NOW LEGENDARY, FABLED CITY OF TIMBUCKTO. THIS IS WHERE THE SALT FOR GOLD TRADE DEMAND MET. THIS WAS THE PRIMARY MARKET, IN OTHER WORDS, OF THIS REGION FOR 1000 YEARS. IF YOU HAVE NOT AS YET DONE A GOGGLE SEARCH (START WITH WIKI) ON THE FAMOUS CITY OF TIMBUCKTO, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO SO.

ISLAM COMMON DENOMINATOR: THE RELIGION OF ISLAM WAS ONLY BORN IN THE YEAR 622 CE. AS A RELIGION IT IS THEREFORE 600 YEARS YOUNGER THAN CHRISTIANITY, AND ABOUT 2000 YEARS YOUNGER THAN THE JEWISH RELIGION. NEVERTHELESS, IN THE WESTERN SUDAN REGION OF AFRICA, ISLAM HAS BEEN THE DOMINATE RELIGION THERE SINCE ABOUT THE YEAR 1000 CE. AROUND 1000 CE THE ADHERENTS TO ISLAM STAGES SEVERAL ‘JIHADS’, OR HOLY WARS, DESIGNED TO SPREAD THE RELIGION OF ISLAM THROUGHOUT THE REGION. THIS EFFORT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL; TODAY ABOUT 80% OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN SUDAN ARE MUSLIMS.

THE FIRST ARAB MUSLIM TRADERS ARRIVED IN THE WESTERN SUDAN ABOUT THE YEAR 700 CE. THEY WERE SEEKING GOLD. THEY BROUGHT SALT. A HAPPY COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIP SOON DEVELOPED. SOON AFTER THAT, ABOUT 1000 CE, THE FIRST WESTERN SUDANIC PEOPLE BEGAN TO CONVERT, EN MASS, TO ISLAM. SONINKE, MANDINGO, FULANI, BAMBARA, AND SCORES OF OTHERS CONVERTED TO ISLAM BACK THEN, AND THEIR ANCESTORS TODAY STILL HOLD ON TO THE RELIGION. THE WESTERN SUDAN IS A FULLY INTEGRATED PART OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD, AND ALL OF THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS THAT OCCUR IN THE REST OF THAT WORLD ARE TODAY PRESENT IN THE WESTERN SUDAN.

THE CITIES OF THE WESTERN SUDAN MANIFEST THEIR ISLAMIC INFLUENCE IN OBVIOUS WAYS. ARCHITECTURE. WESTERN SUDAN IS WORLD FAMOUS FOR ITS ANCIENT MOSQUES (ISLAMIC HOUSE OF WORSHIP, LIKE A CHURCH OR SYNAGOGU)E.. MANY OF THE MOSQUES OF THE WESTERN SUDAN ARE NOW HELD AS ‘WORLD HERITAGE SITES’. THE MOSQUES IN TIMBUCKTO, DJENNE, GAO, NIANE AND KANO ARE ALL WORLD HERITAGE PROTECTED SITES. SOME DAY, WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR CAREERS, TAKE YOUR VACATION TIME AND VISIT ONE OF THESE PLACES.

HERE IS A FOOTNOTE: I WANT EVERYONE HERE TO GO WIKI THIS: OLMEC HEADS. YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ. THE ISSUE HERE IS THIS: DID VISITORS FROM THE WESTERN SUDAN, SPECIFICALLY MANDINGO FROM ANCIENT MALI UNDER IT MOST FAMOUS KING, MANSA MUSA,

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