Mali rulers of smaller kingdoms had to depend

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Last updated: September 5, 2019

Mali During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Mali Empire commanded West Africa. This group particularly took charge of the African Savanna. Merchants of the Mali Empire were associated through religious ties. These connections were ties to wealthy Muslim leaders that were located in North Africa and the Middle East. These merchants carried materials such as brass, copper, cloth, spice, and horses. The Savanna was a very affluent place because of the constant trade between regions.

When gold was declared standard currency, demand for slaves increased. Eventually, a new ruler arose and the Songhay Empire began their domination of the previously Mali-owned lands.  Kongo The Kongo was a powerful kingdom in Africa and was also deeply centralized. In West Africa, rulers diverged constantly in the types of power they held politically. These emperors held a king of “semi-god” like status. Lower rulers of smaller kingdoms had to depend very largely on their abilities to conform and persuade.

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Similar to Native Americans, West Africans lived in tightly-nit chains of mutual responsibility among family/friends. This included aunts, parents, uncles, and even people who only shared clan ties. These traditional bonds would later help enslaved Africans in America to endure the forced separation of their families.

  Renaissance When Christopher Columbus reached the island of Guanahani in 1492, parts of Europe were experiencing a cultural revolution. This coined the term “renaissance”, which explicitly means rebirth. The intellectuals and poets of western Europe threw out centuries old traditions and discovered other perspectives to life.  These scholars found several ancient texts of science, philosophy, geography, medicine, and many other subjects.

These texts were also written by people from various religions such as Islam, Eastern Orthodox, and Judaism. The Renaissance was also a time filled with extreme artistic genius. Often, wealthy Italian merchants and/or rulers would delegate many projects related to art.  Joint-stock Company In the sixteenth century, new types of business arose. One type was called the joint-stock company, which was a business that collected capital through the sales of stock. These stocks were sold to investors everywhere and brought in revenue to the company.

Quickly, demand rose for investments and so did the supply of riches. A new economic outlook also aided in the rise of the market economy. Therefore, individuals believed they owed nothing to the other, unless there was money or a transaction involved.  Protestant Reformation In 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther openly protested the amount of materialism and economics that had infected the Church. Even when he was censured by the Pope, Luther then augmented his criticism to beset the purgatory, Mass, priests, and even the papacy.

After he refused to annul his words, Luther was excommunicated by the Roman Church. His revolt was initiated and later named the Protestant Reformation. Luther also stated that the Church gave people false information that they could still be given salvation by doing “good works”. His struggle within himself and his spirituality also became the heart of Protestant Christianity.  Puritans The Puritans, or, Militant Calvinists requested a more radical purification of the Church of England.  

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