Medieval Africa

Slavery and Government



Meetings introduced with the showering of the thumping of drums and of Ghana's citizens. Complaints from everyone were welcome. In the middle, sat the king in a open silk tent covered by a jewel-covered robe. The symbolic figure was surrounded by citizens patiently waiting for a reply to the stating of their business after they had bowed.


- The empire was divided into providences by rulers.

- Nobody could trade without the king's permission and nobody could own gold nuggets.

-The throne went to the king's nephew, instead of his son.


- Mali had more territory than Ghana so officers had more responsibility.

- Kings divided the empire into providences, however, the generals were put in charge of them.

- Mansa Musa, a great king, rewarded his citizens with gold, land, and horses to keep them loyal.


-Songhai was built on the same traditions as Ghana and Mali, except dividing it into providences was never finished because its founder, Sunni Ali, moved continuously, fighting one war after another.

- In 1442, Sunni AIi died a mysterious death while returning home.

* Some think he drowned while crossing streams while others say he was murdered by an enemy.

- The next year, a Songhai general named Muhammad Ture gained control of the government and due to his loyalty to the Muslim religion, his religious ideas affected Songhai's government.



- In 1441, 9 Portuguese men seized 12 African men, woman, and boys to bring the first captives to Portugal on a boat.

-Africans enslaved criminals or enemies in war who would become part of the Saharan Slave Trade.

*Freedom still existed through hard work or by marrying a free person.

- The Quaran forbade enslavement of Muslims although Muslims could enslave other Muslims at this time, Arabs began to trade goods for non-Muslims.

- A new market for slaves began when Europeans arrived in Africa; armed Africans began raiding villages for captives to sell.

- Portuguese merchants began to sell humans instead of gold and African Slaves stayed in Portugal as laborers working on plantations.

- By 1500, Portugal was the world's leading supplier of sugar because enslaved Africans worked on plantations and were not paid.

- In the late 1400's, Europeans followed Portugal's example and set up sugar cane plantations in the America's for enslaved Africans to work in the fields.

-They also used slaves to grow tobacco, rice, and cotton.

King in his throne surrounded by African Citizens

Portuguese men seizing African citizens to bring back the first captives to Portugal

By Tayler Sanderson