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The Rise And Fall Of Three Empires

955 words - 4 pages

Robin Brundridge07/25/2014HST 111Midterm EssayProfessor MillikenMajor Developments and Changes in the Mali Empire, SongDynasty, and Chimu EmpireI chose option c. from the three choices given in the midterm essay instructions. Compare and contrast three major Empires/Cultures from three different regions (Choose at least one empire from Sub - Saharan Africa or the Americas) of the world and focus on political and economic factors. What were some of the major developments and changes with these empires in the period between 600 - 1500? My three major Empires/Cultures are the Mali Empire, Song Dynasty, and Chimu Empire.Mali Empire (Sub - Saharan Africa)During its peak, Mali was a great and powerful empire. It occupied a great deal of land. It had wealth, power, learning centers, and an organized government. After the breakup of Ghana, the Sosso, who had caused the breakup, were still in power. Apparently Sundiata, an heir to the Mande throne raised an army and defeated the Sosso. Afterward, Sundiata established the empire of Mali. He converted to Islam for support of the Muslim peoples. When Mansa Musa came into power in the early 1300s, the empire reached its height. Mansa Musa traveled through Cairo on his pilgrimage to Mecca. It is said that he gave away so much gold that his visit to Cairo was the sensation of its time. The main currency in Mali was gold dust. This shows the enormous wealth of the country. There were many trade routes in Mali. The people who traveled these routes were the main trade between Mali and countries across the Sahara. They traded gold for what they needed (this is unclear: they may have traded for either salt or copper or both). Not much is said about the culture. Apparently the religion was the culture. The people placed a high standard on justice. People who lived in cities were probably scholars, merchants, or government officials. Those who did not were either miners or farmers. The religion in Mali was divided between two groups. The merchants, traders, and government officials, including the Mansa, were Islam. The basic peasant farmer believed in a "spirit of the land" to whom he prayed so that he would get good crops. It was a great empire that fell only due to bad ruling.Chimu Empire (The Americas)South America's first ever empire was the Chimu Empire. Although trading across the huge oceans that separated the Americas and Afro - Eurasia, had not begun yet, the Chimu Empire prospered in the Moche Valley. As the Moche people spread their influence, their geographical reach and subsequent wealth also grew. Agriculture and complicated irrigation water systems changed the sandy beach into productive farm crops that kept the population fed. Cotton became such a sought after product that soon llamas and porters were transporting it up and down the steep South American mountains for export. And, just like in China, skilled...

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