Africa Before European Arrival Essay Sample

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Instructions: Complete the chart below. Ensure that your thesis statement is measurably provable and that it is clear what you are setting out to prove. In the “key evidence & support” section, simply list the key areas of support that you would use to prove your thesis. In the “group” sections, explain how you would organize and use the documents in order to prove your thesis. Finally, answer each of the questions related to each document in order by document number.

Week Number & Essay Topic: Week 12 African Society before European Arrival Thesis Statement: Before the arrival of Europeans, African empires, kingdoms, and cities were very wealthy, well educated, and had protection. Key Evidence & Support

The gold and salt trade. Kingdom of Ghana gaining power and wealth, Mansa musa and his generosity. Benin figures were considered wonders; Leo Africanus described the well educated men in Timbuktu. Ibn Battuta writes about Mali’s no mercy to unjust people and their complete security.

Group 1
Arab scholar, Al-Bakri writes about the ancient Ghana kingdoms rise to power and wealth by controlling the Saharan gold and salt trade between 700 and 1067. He tells about the kings of his country and their sons all wearing gold which is a sign of wealth. Ancient Ghana Ancient Ghana made wealth off of trade, sufficient food, and income from taxes, social organization, and a strong army with advanced weapons. Mansa Musa also played a part in wealth; he was very generous and gave every Egyptian official a sum of his gold. Group 2

Benin figures were considered wonders because of how they were so magnificently made. They are made with copper, zinc, lead, fire, clay and wax. Leo Africanus described the well educated men in Timbuktu. He says “Here are many doctors, judges, priests, and other learned men that are well maintained at the king’s costs.” This tells how not only could these people living in Africa make beautiful art, but they were also advanced in the intelligence sense. Group 3

Ibn Battuta wrote about Mali and their no mercy to unjust people. He says “Their sultan shows no mercy to anyone who is guilty of the least act of it” He also says how Mali had a greater hatred of injustice than any other people. Mali protected their country at all costs, and no one who was visiting would have to worry about protection. This tells of how high security African cities were before European arrival. Document Analysis (list in order by number)

1. Aksum’s location enabled it to become a trading center because Aksum had trading routes to many big cities and on the coast of sea trade routes. 2. Wealth is described by all of things made and used with gold. Evidence is shown of political structure because the document references kings, governors, and ministers. 3. Ghana controlled land while also providing military protection making trading safe between the Arabs and Wangara. Ancient Ghana and the civilization made wealth off of trade, sufficient food, and income from taxes, social organization, and a strong army with advanced weapons. 4. Mansa Musa impressed the Egyptian official by his generosity; he gave every official a sum of his gold. 5. The writer was impressed by Timbuktu’s well educated men he had and maintained. 6. Two things that impressed Ibn Battuta about Mali were that Mali provided complete security in their country and they showed no mercy to anyone who was guilty of even the least injustice. 7. This bronze statue is described as a wonder because it is made with clay, wax, copper, zinc, lead, and fire. 8. The sea routes connected Aksum, Zeila, Lalibela, Sotala, Zimbabwe, and Kilwa. Animal skins, gold, and ivory were brought from the interior of Africa to Kilwa by the land route.

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