About This Chapter
Early Civilizations in Africa & the Americas - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter provide an overview of early civilizations in Africa and the Americas. You can review details about the Mayans, the trans-Sharan caravan trade, and development of the Swahili language. You can also gain an understanding of the wealth and pilgrimage of Mansu Musa. After completing the chapter, you should be prepared to:
- Discuss geographical features of ancient Africa
- Recount how Ghana, Mali, and Songhai profited from the trans-Saharan gold trade
- Explain the rise and fall of the Axum Kingdom of Africa
- Detail how Zimbabwe is significant to ancient trade networks
- Explain how commerce helped the Swahili culture thrive
- Describe the spread of Islam into West Africa
- Recall the history of the Aztecs
- Discuss the religion and art of the Incas
You can study all of these lessons on early civilizations in Africa and the Americas in sequential order or just focus certain topics as necessary. Each lesson comes with a brief quiz that ascertains how much of the content you can recall. To make the most of the chapter, you can print the quiz in worksheet form for convenient study purposes.
1. Geography & Early Civilizations of Africa
In this lesson, we explore some of the important geographical features of ancient Africa and discover how they affected Africa's early civilizations like Egypt.
2. African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai
In this lesson, we learn about the three premier empires of the pre-colonial period in West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, who all profited tremendously from the trans-Saharan gold trade.
3. The Rise & Fall of the Axum Kingdom in Africa
In this lesson, you will explore the history of the powerful African kingdom of Axum and discover how the international economy affected both its rise and decline. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.
4. Southern Africa, Great Zimbabwe & the Gold Trade
In this lesson, you will explore the history of Southern Africa and the significance of major cities like Zimbabwe to ancient trade networks. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.
5. The Mali Empire in Africa (13th-16th Centuries)
This lesson gives a brief overview of the Mali Empire. It focuses on the rule of Sundiata Keita and the salt and gold trade of the empire. It also highlights the wealth and pilgrimage of the famous Mansu Musa.
6. Swahili Culture & Commerce in East Africa During the Middle Ages
Swahili Civilization flourished from around 11th-century CE to the 16th-century CE on the eastern coast of Africa. Commerce helped this culture to thrive, as well as the spread of Islam and the development of the Swahili language. We will focus on these factors in this lesson.
7. Islam's Spread in West Africa
This lesson explains the gradual spread of Islam into West Africa. In doing so, it discusses the influence of the Berbers and the trans-Saharan caravan trade of the Saharan region.
8. Mayan Civilization: Economy, Politics, Culture & Religion
In this lesson, we explore the Mayan civilization of Southern Mexico and Central America. A rich and culturally-vibrant civilization, its sudden disappearance from the annals of history have puzzled scholars for years.
9. The Aztecs: Civilization & Culture
A mythical origin, an intricate political and social system, impressive accomplishments, bloodthirsty gods, and a violent clash of two cultures - watch this video to learn more about the interesting history of the Aztecs!
10. The Incas: Definition, History, Religion & Facts
Explore the ancient South American culture of the Incas, whose empire spread across the continent, and test your knowledge of their religion and art as well as their dramatic rise and fall.
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Other chapters within the NES Social Science (303): Practice & Study Guide course
- Reading & Research Skills
- Historiography & World History
- Early Civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia & the Near East
- The Legacy of Ancient Greece & Rome
- Ancient India & China
- Ancient Japan & Southeast Asia
- Overview of Global Religions
- The Spread of Islam & The Byzantine Empire
- Europe after the Decline of the Roman Empire
- The European Renaissance & Protestant Reformation
- European Expansion from 1450-1650
- The Scientific Revolution & the European Enlightenment
- Major Revolutions Around the World
- Industrialization in Europe
- Major Political Developments from 1350-1871
- Impacts of European Imperialism
- Causes & Consequences of World War I
- Causes & Consequences of World War II
- Causes & Consequences of the Cold War
- Developments in East Asia, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East since 1945
- Changes in Europe after World War II
- Contemporary Global Challenges
- The Precontact Period & Settling North America
- Causes & Consequences of the American Revolution
- The Evolution of National & State Governments
- Major Figures in U.S. History from the Precontact Period-1789
- Political & Constitutional Developments from 1789-1877
- Westward Expansion, Economic Growth & U.S. Foreign Relations from 1789-1877
- Major Antebellum Reform Movements & Key Reformers
- Sectionalism & the American Civil War
- The Reconstruction Period
- Settlement of the Trans-Mississippi West
- The Growth of the Industrial Economy in the U.S.
- The American Progressive Era
- American Imperialism & Rise to International Power
- The 1920s in the U.S.
- Causes & Effects of the Great Depression
- U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II
- Major U.S. Political Events & Developments since 1945
- U.S. Economic Developments since 1946
- Major U.S. Social Developments since 1945
- Major Social & Political U.S. Movements During the Postwar Period
- Basic Geographic Terms & Concepts
- Geographic Reference Sources, Tools & Technologies
- Characteristics of World Geography
- Physical Features of the Earth
- Elements of Weather & Climate
- Natural Resources Around the World
- Human Societies & the Environment
- Current Environmental Problems
- Characteristics of Human Systems
- Basic Political Science Terms & Concepts
- Political Theorists & Figures in Political Science
- Systems of Government
- Comparison of Political Systems
- Key Political Documents
- Significance of Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
- U.S. Electoral System & Political Process Participation
- U.S. Citizenship Rights & Responsibilities
- Levels of U.S. Government
- Law-Making Processes & U.S. Foreign Policy
- Basic Economic Terms & Concepts
- Microeconomics Concepts & Laws
- Interpreting Economic Information
- Operation of Business Firms
- Fundamentals of Consumer Economics
- Fundamentals of Personal Finance
- Economic Institutions & Groups
- Unemployment, Inflation & Deflation
- NES Social Science Flashcards