Ch 37: Overview of African History

About This Chapter

Learn about Africa's regions, societies, city-states and cultures by watching short videos and taking quizzes. Study its economy, geography and contemporary issues.

Overview of African History - Chapter Summary

Discover the history of Africa through fun lessons taught by subject experts. Our instructors will guide you through videos of Africa's kinship relations, religious systems and political systems. You'll learn about the spread of agriculture throughout the continent and study the migrations and societies of ancient Africa. This chapter covers various regions in Africa, including the trans-Saharan, central Africa and southern Africa. It examines African colonization and the decolonization of Africa and rise of nationalism. When you've finished watching these videos, you'll know about:

  • Africa's physical and human geography
  • Environmental zones
  • Pastoralism's spread through Africa
  • Bantu migrations of ancient Africa
  • West African Sudanic states
  • Ghana and Mali cultures
  • City-states on the East Coast
  • Indian Ocean economy
  • European imperialism
  • Purpose of the African Union

Our professional instructors utilize fun graphics and animations and engaging narration to help you quickly and easily learn about African history. Each video has a tag you can use to refer back to main points of from the lesson without having to re-watch the entire video. Lesson transcripts are useful for finding definitions of key terms or just following along with the video. You'll also find self-assessment quizzes that come with each lesson, so you can quickly make sure you comprehend the subjects taught in the videos.

15 Lessons in Chapter 37: Overview of African History
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Geography of Africa

1. Geography of Africa

Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is a place with a great variety of landscapes, climates, wildlife, and civilizations. In this lesson, we'll learn specifically about the geography of Africa.

Africa's Environments: Zones & Agricultural Adaptation

2. Africa's Environments: Zones & Agricultural Adaptation

In this lesson, we explore several of the largest ecosystems of Africa and the agriculture that is practiced in each. Let's take a look at a landscape which is as diverse as the continent itself. After you've watched the video, see what you've learned by testing yourself with our quiz questions.

Kinship Relations & Political Systems in Africa

3. Kinship Relations & Political Systems in Africa

In this lesson, we will explore kinship groups, specifically their role in communities in Africa, in addition to their role in Africa's pre-colonial political systems.

Religious Systems of Africa: Similarities & Differences

4. Religious Systems of Africa: Similarities & Differences

In this lesson, we explore the multifaceted religious systems present in Africa, from the indigenous religions, which still influence many on the continent, to Islam and Christianity, which many adhere to today.

The Spread of Pastoralism and Agriculture in Africa

5. The Spread of Pastoralism and Agriculture in Africa

In this lesson we discover the key differences between pastoralism and agriculture and explore the diffusion of these two practices in the history of Africa.

Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

6. Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

In this lesson, we will discuss some of the characteristics of ancient West Africa. We will focus especially on the Bantu migrations, the stateless society, and the city of Jenne-jeno.

Trans-Saharan Trade & West African Sudanic States

7. Trans-Saharan Trade & West African Sudanic States

In this lesson we explore the beginning, height, and decline of the trans-Saharan trade and the various states in West Africa which thrived off the trade.

African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

8. 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.

Establishment of Small City-States on Africa's East Coast

9. Establishment of Small City-States on Africa's East Coast

In this lesson, we explore the development of small city-states along Africa's East coast, the trade that sustained them, and their eventual downfall at the hands of European colonizers.

Central & Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean Economy

10. Central & Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean Economy

In this lesson, we explore the migration of the Bantu-speaking peoples into central and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean economy by which city-states along Africa's east coast thrived.

The Colonization of Africa & the Berlin Conference: Definition & Purpose

11. The Colonization of Africa & the Berlin Conference: Definition & Purpose

This lesson will explore the 19th and 20th century colonization of Africa, which forever changed the political landscape of the continent. In doing so, it will highlight the Berlin Conference and the Principle of Effectivity.

European Imperialism in Africa: Invasions, Colonization & Rivalries

12. European Imperialism in Africa: Invasions, Colonization & Rivalries

In this lesson, we will learn about European imperialism in Africa. We will explore the 'Scramble for Africa,' and highlight the key themes and events associated with it.

Life in Africa after Independence

13. Life in Africa after Independence

In this lesson, we will learn about African independence in the aftermath of World War II. We'll explore key figures, examine the factors that resulted in African independence, and highlight major events and developments.

Decolonization and Nationalism in Israel, Egypt, Africa & Algeria

14. Decolonization and Nationalism in Israel, Egypt, Africa & Algeria

In this lesson, we explore the concepts of nationalism and national self-determination and how they affected the decolonization of the Middle East and Africa in the second half of the 20th century.

The African Union's History & Purpose

15. The African Union's History & Purpose

There's probably not a place in the world that struggles more than the people and states found on the continent of Africa. In this lesson, you'll learn about the African Union and its efforts to improve Africa. A short quiz follows.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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