Change over Time: Africa

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West Africa, a striving center of trade and commerce was born in the Post Classical world. The society was morphed by the way people traded. Between 600 and 1450, West Africa went from a society dominated by the beliefs of Animism and trading with east to one in which Islam influenced their culture and traded with the dar-al-Islam. The dominance of their own culture and its influence on their religion, and the production of bananas, however, remained constant. Before the introduction of Islam to West Africa, their cultural religion dominated the region. Because Africa was so big and widely diverse, its religion was hard to categorize under one term. Their religion was based on “animism”, in which they believed everything had souls, and it was associated with nature and the workings of the world. It could be generally assumed that they had one creator god, and lesser gods under it. West Africa has prosperous trade; they traded with India very often through maritime trade and occasionally made dangerous attempts across the Sahara with camel caravans. They used India as a “middle-man” for trade to China, and they also had limited trade with the Islamic nations. Islamic traders were to the north of the Saharan Desert; but since it was rather dangerous to trade, they didn’t do trans-Saharan trade as often. The introduction of Islam in around 800 C.E. changed Western Africa. Islam entered Africa through a variety of ways; traders came in Africa from the Saharan desert and sometimes through the coast, and also, the Islamic Empire was yet still expanding throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Western Europe. Earlier on, around the mid-7th century C.E., Islam arrived in northern Africa. This progressively spread into Africa, then slowly, it trickled down into the west. It was accepted in Western Africa a while later due to the late arrival. The religion also increased the bonds with the dar-al-Islam and led them to more trade.

After the introduction of...
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