Thursday, February 12, 2009

Modern African history, check.

Today, in my History of the Modern Non-Western World class, I've got an exam on modern African history. The following is me sorting through some of the things I know. Use this opportunity (my studying) to learn some new things, unless of course you already knew them. In that case, maybe you should have helped me study.
  • Nkrumah was a Ghana/Gold Coast revolutionary who advocated Pan-Africanism and helped lead Ghana to independence in the 1950s. He later sorta/kinda declared himself "President for life," or as we know the term, a "dictator," and made it possible to arrest people without probable cause. He was later exiled, and never returned to Ghana.
  • From the 1970s to the 1990s, it was one coup after another in Ghana. Then, in 1992, Jerry John Rawlings proposed that Ghana make a new constitution, and that the people of Ghana should democratically elect their president. Furthermore, the president should serve for only two terms.
  • The Asantehene, the head of the Asante, ruled from Kumasi, in Ghana.
  • c. 10,000 B.C.E.: The agricultural revolution.
  • c. 5,000 B.C.E. The urban revolution.
  • c. 1700s C.E.: The modern revolution (human/civil rights for all).
  • Three stages in the modern revolution: traditional, transitional, and of course, modern.
  • In/by the 1960s, most places in Africa had become independent of European control, although some claimed to be plagued by neo-colonialism, or economic control.
  • Leopold sent Stanley to the Congo to garner a signature from a king there, stating that the Congo now belonged to Leopold. It was eventually established that the Congo belonged to Leopold alone (versus belonging to Leopold's home-kingdom, Belgium). Later, however, after severe breaches of human rights were allowed in the Congo under Leopold, the state was handed over to Belgium.
  • Gold Coast = Ghana. Slave Coast = Nigeria.
  • What was probably the largest library in the world, during the 1300s, existed in Tombuctu. (Timbuktu, etc.).
  • El Mina was a Portuguese fortress.
  • Gus' five characteristics of a traditional society: Self-sufficient, group-over-individual, clear role models (such as gender roles), [T]ruth (religious truth), and careful about change.
  • c. 1800, the British needed palm-oil to run the machines they were using in their Industrial Revolution. So, in 1807, the British passed a law that banned any British ship from carrying slaves (they now needed palm-oil, and people to make that palm-oil, not slaves).
  • For much of the 1800s, up until about the 1870s, the British didn't really want colonies, as independent states bought more from them.
  • The ancient kingdom Benin is in modern-day Nigeria.
  • Reasons Europeans were kept on the coast, rather than being free to explore and take over the interior: disease (malaria, yellow fever--Africa was called the "white man's grave") and African weapons, which were similar in quality to European weapons.
  • David Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume") started in South Africa and moved north-ish.
  • Marry Slessor began in Calabar, which is modern-day Nigeria.
  • Missionaries are part of the reason that, by 1900, Europeans had colonized Africa. When missionaries wrote home, they talked about what, to them, seemed like reasons the Africans "needed God," such as their practice of killing twins.
  • In 1869, the Suez Canal was finished (the French got the deal together with the ruler of Egypt). This encouraged the British to get involved in Egypt.
  • In Hausa-land, there were lots of little city-states with their own Emir, or ruler.
  • The British takeover of the Hausa was relatively peaceful. The Emir were allowed to keep their power, essentially, and Christian missionaries weren't allowed into the area.
  • A man named Ja Ja decided that he should get his own ship to bypass the merchants who came down Africa's coast, and sell palm-oil himself. However, one day, British merchants asked him to go to a "conference" aboard one of their ships; instead, they dumped him in Sierra Leone.
  • Kipling wrote his "take up the white man's burden" poem at the end of the 1800s (the 1890s).

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