By Basil Davidson
This article is designed for college kids getting ready for O point heritage, delivering an exam of a few of the foremost tendencies and occasions in West African historical past from advert 1000-1800.
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Extra info for A history of West Africa, 1000-1800
T h i s government may be described, again like that of the Yoruba, as an aristocratic one. It was ruled by privileged m e n or nobles who drew their power from being born into r u l i n g families. T h e i r political strength came from their leadership in warfare, their control of trade, and their close alliance w i t h one another under the rule of the burba. T h e y also had religious power that came from Wolof beliefs about the spiritual character of their rulers. II The Wolof empire and lome neighbouring slates.
T h e early years of his reign read like a list of battles. H e moved o n swift horses from one campaign to the next, shifting his place of residence, reorganising his armies, refashioning his plans. In his long reign of thirty-five years he was never once defeated. H e began by fighting off the M o s s i , who were attacking T i m b u k t u , the second city of the Songhay lands. H e pursued them far into the west, then turned swiftly on the D o g o n and the F u l a n i , who were also raiders, in the h i l l s of Bandiagara.
T h r o u g h these Saharan merchants the caravan trade w i t h the Songhay market-centres prospered and grew. 1 1 Gao lies al the southern endof the route which caravans have followed through rhe central Sahara for more than two thousand years. 69 all M u s l i m s , upon whose caravan skills he and his people greatly relied for their trade. L i k e other M u s l i m kings i n the Western Sudan, then and later, Dia K o s s o i and his successors tried not to let their acceptance of Islam become offensive to their o w n people, who generally continued to believe i n their local r e l i g i o n s .
A history of West Africa, 1000-1800 by Basil Davidson