FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN CENTRAL AFRICA
FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION STATES OF CENTRAL AFRICA | STATE FORMATION IN PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA| Types of states | STATE FORMATION | STATES IN PRECOLONIAL AFRICA | GENERAL FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION | STATES OF CENTRAL AFRICA
1. THE KONGO KINGDOM
According to traditional accounts, the kingdom was founded by Lukeni lua Nimi about 1390. Originally, it was probably a loose federation of small polities, but, as the kingdom expanded, conquered territories were integrated as a royal patrimony.
Soyo and Mbata were the two most powerful provinces of the original federation; other provinces included Nsundi, Mpangu, Mbamba, and Mpemba. The capital of the kingdom was Mbanza Kongo.
The capital and its surrounding area were densely settled—more so than other towns in and near the kingdom. This allowed the manikongo (king of Kongo) to keep close at hand the manpower and supplies necessary to wield impressive power and centralize the state.
When Portuguese arrived in Kongo in 1483, Nzinga a Nkuwu was the manikongo. In 1491 both he and his son, Mvemba a Nzinga, were baptized and assumed Christian names—João I Nzinga a Nkuwu and Afonso I Mvemba a Nzinga, respectively.
Afonso, who became manikongo c.1509, extended Kongo‘s borders, centralized administration, and forged strong ties between Kongo and Portugal. He eventually faced problems with the Portuguese community that settled in Kongo regarding their handling of Atlantic trade—in particular, the slave trade.
As a result, in 1526 Afonso organized the administration of the slave trade in an attempt to ensure that people were not illegally enslaved and exported.
Kongo‘s system of manikongo succession was often prone to disputes, frequently between sons or between sons and brothers of former kings, and at times the rivals would form factions, some of which were long-lived. Significant struggles over succession took place after Afonso‘s death in 1542 and many times after that.
In 1568, possibly as a result of such a struggle, Kongo was temporary overrun by rival warriors from the east known as the Jagas, and Álvaro I Nimi a Lukeni (reigned 1568–87) was able to restore Kongo only with Portuguese assistance.
In exchange, he allowed them to settle in at Luanda (a Kongo territory) and create the Portuguese colony that became Angola. Relations with Angola soon soured and then worsened when Angola‘s governor briefly invaded southern Kongo in 1622.
Later, Garcia II Nkanga a Lukeni (reigned 1641–61) sided with the Dutch against Portugal when the former country seized portions of Angola from 1641 to 1648. Further disputes between Kongo and Portugal over joint claims in the region led to skirmishes in the small district of Mbwila, culminating in the Battle of Mbwila (or Ulanga) on Oct. 29, 1665.
The Portuguese were victorious and killed the reigning manikongo, António I Nvita a Nkanga, during the battle. Although Kongo continued to exist, from this point on it ceased to function as a unified kingdom.
After the Battle of Mbwila and the death of the manikongo, the Kimpanzu and Kinlaza—two rival factions that had formed earlier in Kongo‘s history—disputed the kingship. Unresolved, the civil war dragged on for most of the remainder of the 17th century, destroying the countryside and resulting in the enslavement and transport of thousands of Kongo subjects.
These factions created several bases throughout the region, partitioning the kingdom among them. Pedro IV Agua Rosada Nsamu a Mvemba of Kibangu (reigned 1696–1718) engineered an agreement that recognized the integrity of the territorial bases while rotating kingship among them.
During these negotiations, the abandoned capital of Mbanza Kongo (renamed São Salvador in the late 16th century) was taken by the Antonians (a religious movement, named after Saint Anthony, whose goal was to create a new Christian Kongo kingdom), led by Beatriz Kimpa Vita. Pedro subsequently tried and executed Beatriz as a heretic and then reoccupied the capital and restored the kingdom in 1709.
The rotational system of kingship worked moderately well in the 18th century, producing the long reign of Manuel II Nimi a Vuzi of the Kimpanzu (reigned 1718–43), followed by Garcia IV Nkanga a Mvandu of the Kinlaza (reigned 1743–52).
Factional fighting continued on a smaller scale, and rotational succession was sometimes contested, as it was by José I Mpazi za Nkanga (reigned 1778–85), resulting in a weak monarchy. Portugal intervened in the succession dispute that followed the death of Henrique II Mpanzu a Nzindi (reigned 1842–57) and assisted Pedro V Agua Rosada Lelo (reigned 1859–91) in his installation.
Eventually Pedro V ceded his territory to Portugal as a part of Angola in exchange for increased royal powers over outlying areas. A revolt against Portuguese rule and complicity of the kings led by Álvaro Buta in 1913–14 was suppressed but triggered the collapse of the Kongo kingdom, which was then fully integrated into the Portugue
FACTORS FOR THE RISE OF KONGO EMPIRE
- Technological development e.g. Iron technology
- Development of local industries
- Emergence of traditional leaders with a strong belief in spiritual and magic power
DECLINE OF THE CONGO EMPIRE
- The arrival of the Portuguese
- Slave trade
- Weak leadership after Manikongo Mingo Mkuwa who acquired up an Embassy in Portugal. His son Mzingo Mbemba was baptized as Dan Alfonce. He was a puppet of the Portuguese and caused civil war in Kongo.
2. MWENEMUTAPA KINGDOM
Mwene Mutapa is Shona for Ravager of the Lands, and was also the title held by the dynasty of kings who ruled the territory, which was between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
Mutapa is thought to be established around 1430, and was eventually taken over by the Portuguese in 1760. The first Mwene was a warrior prince named Nyatsimba Mutota who discovered what was soon to be Mutapa when he was looking for a new source of salt.
Mutota’s successor, Mwene mutapa Matope, extended this new kingdom into an empire which contained most of the lands between Tavara and the Indian Ocean.
The Mwene mutapa became very wealthy by exploiting copper and ivory. In 1561, Goncalo da
Silveira, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary managed to make his way into the Mwene mutapa’s court and convert him to Christianity. This didn’t go too well with the Muslim merchants in the capital, and the Muslims persuaded the king to kill the Missionary only a few days after the baptism.
The only excuse the Portuguese needed to take over the gold mines and ivory routes. Mutapa used the Portuguese to their advantage (since they had made themselves a part of the kingdom by taking over the trade routes) to help them fight off other factions because they didn’t have a very strong military.
By 1629 the mwenemutapa tried to throw out the Portuguese but he failed and in turn, he himself was overthrown. The Portuguese then took complete control and placed a man named Mavura Mhande Felipe on the throne.
Mutapa technically was still independent, but was practically owned by Portugal. Over the next several years Mutapa had many different rulers, the last being the Rozwi; the Rozwi quickly lost interest in Mutapa, as they sought to consolidate their position in the south.
Thus Mutapa regained its independence sometime around 1720. In 1759 the last mwenemutapa died, sparking a civil war for the throne. It was very destructive and Mutapa never recovered, thus collapsing in 1760.
REASONS FOR THE RISE OF MWENEMUTAPA
- Agriculture activities
- Good leadership of Mutota
- Availability of valuable goods e.g. copper, iron and gold
- They controlled trade routes and Trading centers
REASONS FOR THE DECLINE OF MWENEMUTAPA
- The arrival of Portuguese who monopolized the gold trade
- The kingdom became divided into two parts Mutapa and Ruzwi
- Rebellion from local people After the death of Matope, his son Nyahuma took over. He was younger than the other chief who wanted power so that chief rebelled and caused civil war.
3. The Kingdom of Luba
Luba Empire (1585–1889) was a pre-colonial Central African state that arose in the marshy grasslands of the Upemba Depression in what is now southern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Luba Kingdom was founded by King Kongolo Maniema around 1585. His nephew and immediate successor, Kalala Ilunga, expanded the empire over the upper left bank territories of the Lualaba River. At its peak, the state had about a million people paying tribute to its king.
The kingdom of Luba’s success was due in large part to its development of a form of a government durable enough to withstand the disruptions of succession disputes and flexible enough to incorporate foreign leaders and governments.
The Luba model of governing was so successful that it was adopted by the Lunda Kingdom and spread throughout the region that is today northern Angola, north western Zambia, and southern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Law and order were handled by the king, known as the Mulopwe, with the assistance of a court of nobles known as Bamfumus. The kings reigned over their subjects through clan kings known as Balopwe. The diverse populations of the Luba were linked by the Bambudye, a secret society that kept the memory of the Luba alive and taught throughout the realm.
The local economy led to the development of several small Luba kingdoms. Luba traders linked the Congolese forest to the north with the mineral-rich region in the center of modern Zambia known as the Copper belt.
The trade routes passing through Luba territory were also connected with wider networks extending to both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts. With the formation of the Luba kingdom, the economy was complex and based on a tribute system that redistributed agricultural, hunting and mining resources among nobles.
The ruling class held a virtual monopoly on trade items such as salt, copper, and iron ore. This allowed them to continue their dominance in much of Central Africa
4. Rozwi Empire
Rozwi Empire (Rozvi Empire) was a southern Shona empire founded by Dombo or Changa, after splitting from the Mutapa Empire.
Dombo or Changa, at the death of King Matope moved south and founded a new kingdom, the Rozwi Kingdom. Dombo had defeated the Torwa rulers of Guruuswa or Butua in founding the Rozwi Kingdom.
The kingdom was named after the Rozwi military regiment, highly discipline and effective troops. Dombo took the title changamire and was known as Changamire Dombo. His successors would have the title mambos.
Between 1684 and 1696, Changamire Dombo expelled the Portuguese from Mutapa and Manyika, making the Rozwi Empire the most important empire in the Zimbabwe plateau, Zambezi Valley. Changamire Dombo died in 1696.
His dynasty would dominate the Zambezi Valley. Mutapa resorted to an insignificant kingdom. Powerful chiefs would build stone structures as Dhlo Dhlo, Khami, and Naletali.
The Empire maintained power and order by its Rozwi regiments. The regiments collected tribute from other Shona satellites. They guarded the king’s herds of thousands of cattle.
Rozwi regiments continually toured the empire with administrators called banyami .Banyami collected tribute, made decisions of succession for local Shona chiefs. Tribute was paid in ivory, skins, food, and most important cattle.
Gold production was a major activity. The state monopolized its production. The Portuguese was banned from entering the kingdom. The economic mainstay was cattle, agriculture, and hunting. The economy was not interdependent on outside trade.
FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION STATES OF CENTRAL AFRICA
YOU MIGHT ALSO READ THE FACTORS FOR THE FORMATION AND EXPANSION OF:
- East African states
- Western Sudanic states
- Central African states
- The forest states
- North Eastern African states
- South African states
GENERAL FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION AND EXPANSION IN AFRICA
State formation in Africa was to a great extent due to the internal dynamics – the material conditions within African societies. Nevertheless, the material conditions did not operate in isolation as they were in hand supplemented by the natural and external factors.
So the important factors for the state formation were;
1. Favourable geographical advantages.
This was a combination of good climate with reliable rainfall and fertile soils. Such a climate favoured permanent food crop production that developed permanently settled communities and population expansion.
2. Efficient leadership and administrative systems.
Societies endowed with ambitious leaders like Mansa Musa of Mali, Kabaka Katerega of Buganda and Mkwawa of the Hehe, rose to greatness. Such leaders put in place strong administration and armies, united their people and organised production and trade.
Efficient administrative system enforced law and order. Typical examples are the Parliamentary systems of Buganda (Lukiiko) and Oyo (Oyo Messi).
3. The role of trade.
Participation in trading activities mainly, long distance trades had vital implication in the making of powerful states in pre-colonial Africa. They accumulated wealth through profits and taxes/tribute from traders and also firearms which they used to strengthen their states.
Remarkably, the Trans-Saharan trade with the development of states like Mali and Songhai and the East African Long Distance trade with states like Buganda and Nyamwezi.
4. Strong armies.
The role of strong armies like the Rugaruga of the Nyamwezi and Abarusula of Bunyoro cannot be underrated. The armies were instrumental in keeping law and order, defence against foreign invasions, conquest of weak neighbouring societies for expansion and for collection of tributes/taxes.
By powerful armies men like Samore Toure of the Mandika, Mansa Musa of Mali and Mirambo and Nyungu ya Mawe of the Nyamwezi and Mkwawa of the Hehe were able to build large commercial empires.
5. Technological advancement.
Most significant was iron technology that definitely improved productive forces greatly. Societies with Iron works like Buganda and Bunyoro advanced economic activities like agricultural, industry and trade.
As iron instruments improved efficiency, food production increased to support population expansion and production of surplus was realised to make trade possible. Most crucial also was improvement in weaponry for state defence and expansion.
6. Population expansion.
Population increase was mostly due to reliable food supply and security. It led to intense land competition between clans or societies leading to conquest of weak ones. Large population availed abundant supply of labour and armies for state building.
High population in the Interlacustrine Region led to powerful states like Buganda and Toro and in West African forest region states like Oyo and Dahomey.
The early migrations played a vital role in state building as the moving peoples carried with them new skills in new areas where passed or settled. Notable case is the Ngoni Migration with formation of states like, Sotho, Ndebele and Hehe in South, Central and East Africa. In the Interacustrine Region and the Congo, states like Buganda and Mani Kongo were largely due Eastern Bantu migration.
Some clans or communities developed into powerful states by conquering weak neighbours to absorb their land and people. For example a small state of Kangaba expanded into weak neighbours like Kankan to form a large Mali Empire. Also King Shaka conquered the weak Nguni communities to build a strong Zulu Kingdom.
9. The role of religion.
The influence of religion in state formation and growth was its uniting factor and significance in shaping leadership, administrative and judicial roles of societies. African traditional Religion, Islam and Christianity had greater role.
Notable states where traditional religion was a strong factor include Buganda and ancient kingdoms of Ghana and Zimbabwe; Islam played a recommendable job in building of states like Egypt, ancient Mali, Songhai, Bornu and Mandika while Christianity was responsible for Ethiopia.