By Basil Davidson
This article is designed for college students getting ready for O point background, providing an exam of a few of the main developments and occasions in West African historical past from advert 1000-1800.
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Extra info for A history of West Africa, 1000-1800
T h e i r chief fled to distant Walata, w h i l e Sunni A l i set about p u n i s h i n g the leaders of a city who had done little to defend themselves against these nomad raiders. R e l i g i o u s disputes were at work i n this. T h e leading men of T i m b u k tu had been strictly M u s l i m for a long time now, and generally followed the beliefs of their trading partners from N o r t h Africa and the Saharan oases. T h e i r qadi, or chief religious leader, tended to regard himself as the independent ruler of a M u s l i m city w i t h i n the largely n o n - M u s l i m empire of Songhay.
T h e n the good days were over. Mansa M a r i D i a t a II, who followed S u l e y m a n , was described by Ibn K h a l d u n as 'a bad ruler w h o oppressed the people, depleted the treasury, and nearly p u l l e d down the structure of the government'. H e was followed by several other rulers who d i d little better than he had done. M a l i remained a powerful empire u n t i l about 1400. T h e n i t r a n i n t o a host of troubles. G a o rebelled. T h e T u a r e g nomads of the southern Sahara, always hoping to w i n control of the market cities of the Western Sudan, seized Walata and even T i m b u k t u .
T h e i r country also began to be penetrated by wanderers from the i n l a n d country. N e w states emerged. A r o u n d 1400 the S u s u people, for example, formed a state i n the F u t a J a l l o n , the h i l l region that lies i n the centreof the modern republic of G u i n e a . Other S u s u afterwards moved d o w n to the coast where most of their descendants live now, w h i l e a branch of the F u l a n i w o n control of F u t a Jallon, r e m a i n i n g there to the present. Others took the same route.
A history of West Africa, 1000-1800 by Basil Davidson