West Africa Vs. Swahili City States

Topics: Africa, Mali Empire, Sahara Pages: 2 (1358 words) Published: October 26, 2014

Bryon Schirner
AP World History – 2nd Period
_____ = Analysis _____ = Similarity or Difference _____ = Historical Fact West Africa vs. Swahili City States
From the 1st Century to the 15th Century, two specific African civilizations were rising up; these two civilizations consisted of West Africa consisting of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai and of the Swahili city states. When looking back at history, we can infer that West Africa and the Swahili city states contained many key events in history that set forward to make what we know present Africa to be today. Unlike its neighbors, these two areas were remembered for their great development that took place in their time. Both great civilizations also shared many similarities as well as a great amount of differences. This can be shown through observing their specific geographical, economical, and religious aspects of their society. The geographical location, features, and climate lead to the development of both African areas. The difference between both the West African civilizations of Ghana, Mali and Songhai and the Swahili city states is that the Swahili city states grew around the coast of the Indian Ocean in East Africa where as Ghana, Mali and Songhai grew around West Africa through nearby tribes. The Swahili city states were a string of ports on the Eastern African coast from Kenya to Mozambique including cities such as Mogadishu, Zanzibar, Mombasa, and Sofala and were completely influenced by Islam to spread trade across the Indian Ocean. West African civilizations were located right under the Sahara which brought difficulty to trade, however they worked through it to trade to Islamic merchants of North Africa and they were also brought together through the formation of multiple African tribes. Their features were a major beneficial factor to their growth, both containing numerous amounts of gold throughout their whole land. In the Swahili city states they contained a plethora of gold mines...
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