Africa Before European Arrival
People of the early African kingdoms were able to create successful trade routes with Europe and Asia, become very wealthy from conquering and gaining land, and were able to have a strong central government. All of this was done before the Europeans had reached Africa. Trade flourished on the East African coast, especially when trading was established with India and Arabia. African kingdoms were prosperous, because of their success with not only trading but also with their ability to conquer land. A governmental structure is key to allowing any kingdom to thrive, and the African people were able to achieve this. Once Africa got involved with the major trading centers, trade improved and they were able to share ideas and items with other cultures. According to document 1, Aksum became an “international trading center” during 325-360 B.C. The kingdom of Axum soon became very culturally diverse because of all of the trading completed. The Red Sea was a big contributor to the sea route of African trade, because it allowed a way for Northern Africa to trade with India without having to trade over land. The sea routes were much more extensive then the land routes (Document 8). Some traders were deceiving, hence why Ghana became so protective of their traders and the commerce being done. The kingdom of Ghana was a very advanced and strong kingdom that had many of the qualities that important and powerful countries today have. “Ghana controlled land…it had the military forces…to maintain peace in the area, thereby assuring safe trade for the Arabs and the Wangara,” (Document 3). Salt and gold trade was being performed in the Ghana kingdom; therefore the government believed that they were responsible for all of the trades that were completed within their borders. Timbuktu was not only a major trading center for Africa, but it also became a major learning center with one of the most famous libraries in Africa. A Moroccan...
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