Changes & Continuities in Sub Saharan Africa

7 July 2016

CHART #2: Thematic Organization COMPARISON THEMES (SCRIPTED):1. Politics 2. Social Structure 3.

Economics/Interactions TIME PERIODS: 1. 400-600 CE 2. 600-1000 CE 3. 1000-1450 CE THESIS As the political and social structures of Sub-Saharan Africa developed during the years 400 – 1450 C. E. , hierarchy structures based on kinship were maintained, however self-contained city-states grew into large empires. BEGINNING TIME PERIOD INTERIM TIME PERIOD END TIME PERIOD GLOBAL CONTEXT 1st THEME’S TOPIC SENTENCE Politics During much of the post-classical period, political structures evolved and diversified throughout sub saharan Africa.

Changes & Continuities in Sub Saharan Africa Essay Example

Describe the theme at the beginning of the period People along the Niger River created a distinctive city-based civilization. They were not encompassed in a larger imperial system. Nor were they like the city-states of ancient Mesopotamia, in which each city had its own centralized political structures, embodied in a monarch and his accompanying bureaucracy. They were “cities without citadels,” complex urban centers that operated without the coercive authority of a state. Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous period The Bantu speaking peoples began to create distinct societies.They organized themselves without any formal political specialists at all. They made decisions, resolved conflicts, and maintained order by using kinship structures or lineage principles supplemented by age grades, which joined men of a particular generation together across various lineages.

Elsewhere, lineage heads who acquired a measure of personal wealth or who proved skillful at meditating between the local spirits and the people might evolve into chiefs with a modest political authority. By 700s, a farming group of people called the Soninke built an empire called Ghana.It gained its wealth by taxing the goods that traders brought through. Ghana’s king had control over the gold supply and kept its prices high. The empire thrived due to the king’s impressive army. Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous period By the 1400s, Africa was a virtual museum of political and cultural diversity, encompassing large empires, such as Songhay; smaller kingdoms, such as Kongo; city-states among the Yoruba, Hausa, and Swahili peoples; village-based societies without states at all, as among the Igbo; and nomadic pastoral peoples, such as the Fulbe.Pastoral peoples stayed independent of established empires several centuries longer than the nomads of Inner Asia, for not until the late nineteenth century were they incorporated into European colonial states.

The experience of the Fulbe, West Africa’s largest pastoral society, provides a useful example of an African herding people with a highly significant role in the fifteenth century and beyond. From their homeland in the western fringe of the Sahara along the upper Senegal River, the Fulbe migrated gradually eastward in the centuries after 1000 CE.They generally lived in small communities among agricultural peoples and paid various grazing fees and taxes for the privilege of pasturing their cattle. Mali, during the 11th century, took over Ghana and built an ever bigger empire that gained its wealth from trade. Make a statement about this topic in another region of the world. In China, political structures transformed in the Sui, Tang, and Mongol dynasties. Analyze the reasons for change or continuity Analyze the reasons for change or continuityFar more numerous than hunters and gatherers were those many people who, though fully agricultural, had avoided incorporation into large empires or civilization and had not developed their own city- or state-based societies.

They created societies largely without the oppressive political authority, class inequalities, and seclusion of women that were so common in civilizations. 2nd THEME’S TOPIC SENTENCE Social Structure Despite harsh years of slavery, sub saharan Africa maintained a social hierarchy that was developed through kinship. Describe the theme at the beginning of the periodVillages of cotton weavers, potters, leather workers, and griots grew up around the central towns. Gradually these urban artisan communities became occupational castes, whose members passed their jobs and skills to their children and could only marry within their own group. In other villages, specialization occurred in farming as various ethnic groups focused on fishing, rice cultivation, or some other agricultural pursuit. Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous period Slavery found a way into Africa. Most slaves began as women, working as domestic servants and concubines.

Later, male slaves were put to work as slave officials, porters, craftsmen, miners harvesting salt from desert deposits, and especially agricultural laborers producing for the royal granaries on large estates or plantations. Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous period People usually lived in small village-based communities organized by kinship relations. Dealing with the Fulbes—- Relations with their farming hosts often were tense because the Fulbe resented their subordination to agricultural peoples, whose way of life they despised.That sense of cultural superiority became even more pronounced as the Fulbe, in the course of their eastward movement, slowly adopted Islam. Some of them in fact dropped out of a pastoral life and settled in towns, where they became highly respected religious leaders. Make a statement about this topic in another region of the world. Analyze the reasons for change or continuity Slavery developed as work in fields grew more laborious.

Social hierarchy based on kinship was maintained through these years. Analyze the reasons for change or continuity 3rd THEME’S TOPIC SENTENCE Economics/Interactions Describe the theme at the beginning of the period Several cities emerged as clusters of economically specialized settlements surrounding a larger central town. Accompanying this unique urbanization, and no doubt stimulating it, was a growing network of indigenous West African commerce. The middle Niger flood-plain supported a rich agriculture and had a clay for pottery, but it lacked stone, iron ore, salt, and fuel. This scarcity of resources was the basis for long-distance commerce, which operated by boat along the Niger River and overland by donkey to the north and south.By the 500s C. E.

, there is evidence of an even wider commerce and at least indirect contact, from Mauritania in the west to present-day Mali and Burkina-Faso in the east. The introduction of the camel in 300 to 400 C. E. initiated more long-distance trade. Long-distance trade across the Sahara provided both incentive and resources for the construction of new and larger political structures. Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous period Key Changes and/or Continuities in theme from previous periodEuropean and Chinese maritime expeditions touched on Africa during the 15th century, even as Islam continued to find acceptance in northern half of the continent. Europeans sought the wealth of Africa – gold, spices, silk, and more.

Along the East African coast after 1000 C. E. , dozens of rival city-states linked the African interior with the commerce of the Indian Ocean basin. The kind of society that developed in any particular area depended on a host of local factors, including population density, trading opportunities, and interaction among culturally different peoples.The Swahili city-states were a key aspect to long-distance trade along the east coast of Africa (the Sea Roads). Make a statement about this topic in another region of the world. East Africa contributed raw materials and agricultural products globally.

Swahili’s interaction along the Sea Roads connected Africa to Indian Ocean world. Analyze the reasons for change or continuity A series of distinct and specialized economic groups shared authority and voluntarily used the services of one another, while maintaining their own identities through physical separation. Analyze the reasons for change or continuity CONCLUSION

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