MMW 13 Chapter Article Notes: The Trans-Saharan Trade

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Making of the Modern World
MMW 13
Edmond Yi- Teh Chang

MMW 13 – Textbook Notes – The Trans-Saharan Trade & African Kingdoms and Empires, ca. 800-1500 (PGS 272-283) The Trans-Saharan Trade  Trans-Saharan trade: north-south trade across the Sahara  Camel important for travel o Don’t need much water o 25 miles per day carrying 500 pounds o More efficient desert transportation  Facilitated spread of Islam The Berbers of North Africa  5 century camel saddle o But a merchant usually walked and guided the camel on foot o Powerful political and military advantage  Determined who could enter the desert  Traveled at night when it was cooler  700-900 network of trade routes developed across Africa  Tuareg nomadic raiders liked to attack caravans o Made agreements with them to avoid attacks  Sandstorms, water Effects of Trade on West African Society  Stimulated gold mining o Women also worked in the mines  Desire for slaves o Worked in gold and salt mines o Household slaves in demand among elite o People captured in war were made into slaves o Slaves recruited for Muslim military service o Manumission: freeing of individual slaves, high death rates, assimilation of slaves into Muslim society kept demand for slaves high o Slavery not based on skin color  Development of urban centers o Muslims settling to create caravan routes o Families acting as middlemen o Agriculture stimulated o Craft industries stimulated The Spread of Islam in Africa th  Berbers introduced to Islam and converted 8 century o Trader Berbers carried Islam to sub-Saharan West Africa  Almoravids spreached in areas o Fundamentalist Berbers o Rulers converted to protect themselves from Berbers, and also liking the administrative techniques of the Muslims  Merchants converted to preserve elite status  Accelerated development in West Africa by teaching the techniques of Muslim empires  Muslims founded port of Mogadishu African King
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