FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN WESTERN SUDAN (THE WESTERN SUDANIC STATES)
FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION IN WESTERN SUDAN | THE WESTERN SUDANIC STATES|STATE FORMATION IN PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA| Types of states | STATE FORMATION | STATES IN PRECOLONIAL AFRICA | GENERAL FACTORS FOR STATE FORMATION
The early States in western Sudan were established in the region between the Sahara desert and the forest region of the South.
The most important states are:
- Kanem Bornu
1. GHANA EMPIRE
During its rise, Ghana had two main towns, one occupied by Muslims and the other by Pagans. The rulers and the people were Soninke-speaking groups.
The word Ghana as the King title emerged in 5th AD. The capital center of administration was Koumbi Saleh.
FACTORS FOR THE RISE OF THE GHANIAN EMPIRE
Agricultural activities availability of valuable goods e. g goldTrans – Saharan trade in gold and saltGood leadership and efficient system of government.Common language.
FACTORS FOR THE DECLINE OF GHANA EMPIRE
- Almoravids constant attacks
- Disunity among people
- Jihad wars
- Lack of stable system of royal successions
- The rise of rural kingdoms e.g. Mali
2. MALI EMPIRE
Early in the 3rd C Ghana fell apart as a result of the war between Samangwa the king of Ghana and Prince Sundiata Keita the king of Kagaba.
Ghana was defeated and Ghana fell under Sundiata‘s rulership. Sundiata formed a large kingdom known as Mali the capital was Niani and the title of the ruler was Mansa.
FACTORS FOR THE RISE OF THE MALI
- The fall of Ghanaian empire
- Control of gold fields of Bure
- Strong army
- Agricultural activities
- Trans – Saharan trade
- Strong leadership of Sundiata Keita and later Mauna Kan Kan Musa
- Islamic faith which promoted libraries and Islamic universities.
DECLINE OF THE MALI EMPIRE
- Weak leadership after the death of Mansa Mahmud IV
- Empire became too large to control
- Lack of unity and the empire was divided into three spheres of influence and they fought against each other.
- Attacks by Tuaregs
- Civil wars The rise of Songhai empire
3. SONGHAI EMPIRE
In the late 15th Century the Songhai empire originally the Gao, conquered neighboring states under the leadership of Sunni Ali and formed the large empire of Songhai.
Gao became its capital at around the 11th C and remained the capital under the empire. Its famous leaders were Sunni Alli, Askia Mohamed and Askia Daud.
FACTORS FOR THE GROWTH OF SONGHAI EMPIRE
- Agriculture activities
- Strong army
- Trans – Sahara trade
- Good administration
- Islamic faith
DECLINE OF THE SONGHAI EMPIRE
- Weak leadership after the death of Askia Daud
- The Moroccan invasion
- The empire was too large to control
- Religious hostility between Islamic and traditional beliefs
- The shift in orientation of trade towards the Atlantic ocean
GENERAL FACTORS FOR THE RISEOF WESTERN SUDANIC STATES
- Good Geographical location
- Iron technology
- The growth of population
- Development of local industries
- Trans – Saharan trade
- Availability of valuable goods e.g. gold
- Good centralised government
- Capable leaders
- Strong army
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.
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.
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.