Political Differences Between East And West Africa

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East and West Africa from 1000 to 1500 CE had profound differences in forms of government, with West Africa being kingdom based, and East Africa city-state based. The conversion of Eastern and Western African ruling elites compacted trading between themselves and Islamic traders from Mesopotamia, China, India, and as far away as Oceania. The relatively stable political environment from 1000-1500 CE in Sub-Saharan Africa attracted displaced peoples from the Abbasid empire in Northern Africa, with West Africa utilizing Trans-Saharan trade, and East Africa utilizing mariner trade routes. The East and West developed in clearly different ways, but paralleled each other in a way in which the political, social, and economic environments facilitated stable trade in the region, as well as a distinct blend between Islamic culture and African tradition. The primary difference in the political organization of both East and West African from 1000-1500 CE comes in the form of government. While all sub-Saharan Africa utilized kin-based groups, West Africa was structured more around kingdoms, and East Africa structured around city-states. Some West African kingdoms had a strong centralized government, such as the Kingdom of Kongo. The government included a king, who controlled military, judicial, and financial affairs, with the help of his officials. When the emergence of formal states came about, the strong kin-based societies of the West survived for centuries later. The

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