DBQ Essay

Topics: Mali Empire, Africa, Songhai Empire Pages: 5 (1448 words) Published: May 5, 2015
Emily Mussio
Period 8
11/12/13

DBQ Essay 
Prompt: Using the following documents, characterize the achievements of the African kingdoms, empires, and cities before the arrival of Europeans. All around the world, from continent to continent, civilizations were annexing by form of expansion into other and further areas of the world during the 1400’s and 1500’s. Some civilizations were successful, and others were not with the addition of other cultures to a preexisting culture already forged in that area. African civilizations flourished greatly before the arrival of Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Powerful wealthy empires in Africa included Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The wealth of these civilizations grew when they began trading with each other. (doc.1, doc.3, doc.8) Roles that the people of African societies had were substantial and maintained. (doc.5, doc. 7, doc. 4) And the people had security in their civilizations because of no tolerance of injustice. (doc.6, doc.2, doc.3)

In Africa, trade amongst empires, kingdoms, and cities helped the economies prosper and gain the wealth for these societies as shown in documents one, three, and eight. One of Africa’s cities, Aksum, became a valuable trading center in Africa because of it’s location (doc.1). The wealth of these societies is also clearly stated through Ghana where traders had to pass (doc.3). The coastal city, Kilwa, delighted in wealth because of the trade with ships

(doc.8). Because Aksum was at the center of trade in Africa, merchants and other traders traveled through trade routes and traded at Aksum. Throughout the years 325 and 360, Aksum became an important and wealthy city in Africa. Because of the trade that was occurring, the city prospered and became very successful. The point of view if someone trading must have been that Aksum is a very good place to go to because of it's connecting routes to other places. Ghana was a very powerful empire in Africa as well because of the substantial trade. Traders also frequently passed through Ghana, and this ensured the empire’s wealth and peace was maintained. In the East Africa coast, the city Kilwa flourished because of trade. Trade with ships occurred very frequently and this resulted in the wealth and success of Kilwa quickly occurring. Those traveling by sea must have viewed Kilwa as a great place to trade because of the wealth and that ships could dock there. All of these documents (doc.1,3,8) relate to each other because they all show the success of empires and cities that largely traded, which lead to their wealth growing and the success of the empire or city. An additional document that would reinforce the importance of trade in African civilizations is a description of a marketplace or trading area told in the account of a merchant. This could help because it would demonstrate how successful these merchants were in these markets and that there were many who traded there. There point of view would also help me understand how others felt about the abundant trading.

Roles that the people in African societies had also contributed to the success of the African empires, societies, and cities which is proved by documents five, seven, and four. Many of the African people had jobs such as

doctors, judges, priests and other educated jobs (doc.5). Artisans were greatly valued because of their religious sculptures (doc.7). People, officers of the court, and people in office were given gold from Mansa Musa, who expanded the Mali empire (doc.4). Many cities in Africa, such as Timbuktu, had many educated people. They held professions and were paid by the king. Because of the highly educated people, literature was often traded there and sold on the market for high prices. The view that these educated people had was that they probably wanted to benefit their society by using there intelligence, and because so many were educated, they probably viewed others as inferior. Another job that was...
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