Home HISTORY FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

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FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA | STATE FORMATION IN​​ PRE-COLONIAL​​ AFRICA| Types of states | STATE FORMATION | STATES IN PRECOLONIAL AFRICA | GENERAL FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION | STATES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, currently comprises the countries of

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Zambia, and
  • Zimbabwe.

The island nation of Madagascar is excluded because of its distinct language and cultural heritage.

ZULU KINGDOM IN SOUTH AFRICA​​

The Zulu Kingdom (/zuːluː/, Zulu: KwaZulu), sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or the Kingdom of Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north

Traditional region in the northeastern section of present-day KwaZulu-Natal (formerly Natal) province, South Africa. It is the home of the Zulu people and site of their 19th-century kingdom.

It was located in present-day South Africa​​

It emerged in the 19th​​ century​​

It was built in the northern part of the Nguni-speaking areas to the northeast of South Africa,​​

Zulu was founded by Mthetwa later Dingswayo ​​

Dingiswayo was killed in 1818 by Zwide the Shaka controlled the state.​​

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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.

This explains the emergence of powerful states like Buganda, Bunyoro and Karagwe in the Interlacustrine Region and Oyo, Dahomey and Benin in the Equatorial Region of West Africa.​​

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.​​

7. Migration.​​ 

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.​​

8. Conquest.​​ 

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.​​

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