A history of West Africa, 1000-1800 by Basil Davidson

By Basil Davidson

This article is designed for college students getting ready for O point heritage, providing an exam of a few of the most important traits and occasions in West African background from advert 1000-1800.

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In 1312 another great ruler came to power, Mansa K a n k a n M u s a . H e ruled t i l l 1337 ,andwas followed by M a n s a M a g h a , who ruled for about four years, and then by Mansa S u l e y m a n , who ruled w i t h m u c h success till about 1360. T h e n came another M a r i - D i a t a who ruled for about thirteen years, and was followed by other kings of less importance. By about 1400 the great period of the M a l i empire was drawing to a close. 1 The achievement of Mali M a l i repeated the-aenlevement of A n c i e n t G h a n a on a still greater scale.

Mansa M u s a commanded that s k i l l . H i s successors, generally, d i d not. F o r a w h i l e , a l l remained w e l l w i t h the empire, especially under the rule of M a n s a S u l e y m a n (about 1340-60). T h e n the good days were over. Mansa M a r i D i a t a II, who followed S u l e y m a n , was described by Ibn K h a l d u n as 'a bad ruler w h o oppressed the people, depleted the treasury, and nearly p u l l e d down the structure of the government'. H e was followed by several other rulers who d i d little better than he had done.

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.

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