The rise and fall of three empires

Essay by tonystail1College, UndergraduateB+, October 2014

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Robin Brundridge


HST 111

Midterm Essay

Professor Milliken

Major Developments and Changes in the Mali Empire, Song

Dynasty, and Chimu Empire

I 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.