Summary: The Early African Kingdoms

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The Early African Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai were established sufficiently and later met their demise. The Early African Kingdoms were able to progress in economy and political structure by the actions of their leaders, location, religious influences, and geographical features. Religion influenced the African economy, political structure, and cultural practices. All Early African Kingdoms took advantage of the gold and salt trade and used it to hike in power. Sundiata Keita, Mansa Musa, Sunni Ali, and Askia the Great abetted their kingdoms, economy, and society. The kingdom of Ghana started to grow into power in the seventh to the thirteenth centuries. The kingdom of Ghana was founded by the Soninke peoples as…show more content…
The backbone of the Songhai Empire was the Niger River. The Niger River benefited the Songhai Empire. The Niger River made transporting goods and products easier. The Niger River also was a way of transportation. Merchants and travelers traveled on the Niger River. The SOnghai Empire saw the opportunity and seized control of the Niger River, thus controlling trade and transportation. The Songhai Empire flourished during the reign of Sunni Ali. He was known as a powerful but ruthless ruler. He conquered the trading centers of Timbuktu and Jenne. Sunni Ali increased the size of the Songhai Empire to include much of Mali. He relied on his highly mobile cavalry and naval control of the Niger River to build the Songhai Empire. Sunni Ali’s government was highly centralized unlike Mali’s. He favored a more traditional balance of power in which the interests of Muslim and non-Muslims were heeded. After Sunni Ali’s death, the Muslim general Askia the Great took over. He created a centralized government and continued the expansion of the Songhai kingdom. Askia the Great, also known as Muhammad Ture, increased the importance of trading, religious, and educational centers. Muslim chroniclers remembered Askia the Great as the famous king of Songhai. He used the message of Islam to rally his followers and expanded the border of Songhai into the east of africa. He connected his empire with the Indian ocean trade…show more content…
The religious influences helped empires to grow more wealthy and powerful. For example in the Mali Empire. Sundiata gained more power by taking religious authority of the mansa. The rulers after Sundiata were mostly Muslims. One of the most powerful and influential Muslim ruler was Mansa Musa. Mansa Musa helped Islam spread by leaving to pilgrimage and introduced the empire to the Islamic World. He encouraged learning to read the Arabic language to read the Qur’an. He hired architects to build mosques as well. Another example is the Songhai empire. Songhai leaders were Muslims as well. The Berbers was willing to trade due to sharing the same religion. Since the Berbers were willing to trade, the empire grew richer. Sunni Ali, an important emperor, partnered in Muslim and local religions to build religious

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