Tropical Africa and Asia: Comparison and contrast between tropical Africa and Asia during the 1200-1500 era

Essay by sw33tcheekz112High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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The geography, trade, technology, religion, and cultural aspects contributed the development of tropical Africa and Asia during the1200-1500 era. Southern Arabia, and most of Africa, India, and Southeast Asia lie between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. New empires such as, Mali and the Delhi Sultanate were consolidated under the Islamic faith and cultures. Under its rule, these societies were able to expand their trade and advanced in technological developments.

Both Mali and the Delhi Sultanate lied in the tropical zone of Africa and Asia. Lacking the hot and cold seasons of temperate lands, the two empires have their own cycle of rainy and dry season caused by the monsoons. They were the largest and richest tropical states. Both utilized Islamic administrative and military systems. Mali was founded by an indigenous African dynasty that had adopted Islam through the peaceful influence of Muslim merchants and scholars.

The Delhi Sultanate on the other hand, was founded and invaded by Turkic and Afghan Muslims. However both empires and many others like Zimbabwe, recognised that Islam suited their needs and adopted it. Under Muslim rule, trades prospered in the Indian Ocean Maritime Network and the Trans-Saharan trade. In spite of the Delhi Sultanate's shortcomings, it has set the framework for a true Indian bureaucracy and gave Islam a definite influence in Southeast Asia.

With the rise of Islam in Africa and Asia, new cultural steps were taken. The most significant one is that of literacy. The Arabic language, in addition to Persian and the new Persian-influenced Urdu languages were being spread. Timbuktu and Delhi became important centres for Muslim learning, both creating a profitable book trade.

Increased wealth brought increased trade along the Indian Ocean Maritime Network from 1200 to 1500. A popular ship of the Arabian...