By Basil Davidson
This article is designed for college kids getting ready for O point background, supplying an exam of a few of the key traits and occasions in West African background from advert 1000-1800.
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Extra resources for A history of West Africa, 1000-1800
T h e Tuareg were raiding from the north, and M o s s i from the south. Other people were c l a i m i n g their independence along the banks of the N i g e r . T h e trade of great cities, G a o among them, was threatened by the insecurity of the times. Sunni A l i was one of those great military captains whose energy and ambition kept h i m always i n the saddle, always fighting, always at the head of one army or another. K n o w i n g no other means of u n i t i n g the Western Sudan except by war, he made war often and w i t h a ruthless s k i l l .
Of course, there were plenty of other reasons why s m a l l states grew into b i g states or empires. But the chief causes of this development were economic, military, and political. 2 Military A people who happened to occupy a good trading position found that they could become stronger, and make their trading system bigger, by getting control of their neighbours. T h e y could do this by buying military supplies or equipment w h i c h they d i d not have or could not produce at home. T h e i r good trading position enabled them to pay for these supplies.
L i k e the M a l i kings before h i m , M u s a was a M u s l i m . But most of his people were not M u s l i m s . So he supported the religion of i h e M a n d i n k a people as well as Isl am. Different religious customs and ceremonies were allowed at his court. M u s a ' s pilgrimage to Mecca became lamous. H e began it i n 1324. H i s magnificent journey through the Egyptian capital of C a i r o was long remembered w i t h admiration and surprise throughout Egypt and A r a b i a , for M u s a took w i t h h i m so m u c h gold, and gave away so many golden gifts, that 'the people of C a i r o earned very b i g sums' thanks to his visit.
A history of West Africa, 1000-1800 by Basil Davidson