Why did black africa decline?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Nonynon, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    You all probably heard about how black Africa was didn't develop because of bad terrain but lately I noticed this:
    [​IMG]
    Its the Kushite empire from 700 BC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kushite_empire_700bc.jpg
    The Kushites fought almost all the major Mediterranean empires of the ancient era but for some reasons stopped developing at some point and fell into decline.
    And its not the only one. It seems that in the ancient era and even a little in the middle ages, black Africa was actually a place worth mentioning with real political power, natural resources and large empires. So what happened?


    More empires:
    [​IMG]
    Medieval Ethiopian Empire

    [​IMG]
    Medieval Ghana Empire
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The same reason why other dynasties fall into ruin anywhere else. Struggle for power and survival.

    Be it war or disease. There is always a reason for the end of an era.
     
  4. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    That certainly is a factor but Europe had the more war and disease but still somehow managed to end up a lot more successful.
     
  5. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Lack of RELIGIOUS influence! Missionary religions and cultures are the cause of this rapid development post Christanity,Islam and Buddhism. Norther Europe was as undeveloped as Africa for many thousands of years, it was only after the introduction of Christianity that they really took off. It was the same with the Buddhist kingdoms of India. Just as you need a stick and a carrot to move the donkey religions and cultures provide sticks and carrots like Hell and Haven to motivate its flock. Africa was more into Shamanism and only North Africa had a religion like the Egyptians which drove them to build huge Religious monuments like the Pyramids.

    Without the backing of Kings and Emperors all religions would have remained as small cultus including Christianity,Islam and Buddhism, Hinduism. The kings found it as an useful instrument to gain loyality and control overt their people. Africa never had huge religious movements after the Pyramid building Pharos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  6. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    Don't know about the missionary thing because I think their pagan religions were also missionary. Europe had Greece and Rome in the ancient world still in the Pagan times, Egypt had the same thing but eventually the Kushite empire occupied Egypt still in the age of the pyramids. Religion may be a factor but it may just as well be seen as another effect of a less advanced society because after all, Christianity, Judaism and Islam where right next door but black Africa didn't adapt them or anything similar.

    My personal theory is that because Africa lacks natural barriers that can divide the continent to political powers around the size of European countries, the Africans where split into tribes too small to make any significant progress. North Africa on the other hand had the Sahara desert from the south and the Mediterranean sea from the north it's natural barriers.
     
  7. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Then what about Asia? It is because of religion the early Roman idea to spread civilization made them to expand their empire, the Egyptians need to be immortal drove them to build those Pyramids and the same with every other ideology and religion including Communism. Africa stayed true to itself and because they never had any ideological evolution they where not motivated or driven enough to spread their misery.
     
  8. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    In the ancient world almost everyone wanted to expand, conquer and turn into an Empire. Rome's culture was a mirror of the Greek one in almost every way. Their religion included the 'we are right and others are wrong', 'god/ the gods want us to spread our religion' and ofc 'by spreading the religion we can control people more easily' but those were elements in almost every religion. Looking at other religions they weren't even more complicated, but I don't really know much about the Pagan African religion to compare it to theirs.
    By looking at Asia you can find the Assyrians, Persians, Babylonians and others. All had Greek like religions. Though looking at Asia there weren't that maybe natural barriers over there so maybe there were larger ethnic groups then the small African tribes. My theory needs work :(
     
  9. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    The main reason of the lack of empire is geography. There seems to be a lack of large areas of fertile land. Large scale agriculture is the basis of any empire. It results in settled populace instead of nomadic ones, it also gives surplus food, population growth and also forms the basis for cultural development. With large area of land underutilized, Africa just didn't have the basic ingredients for lasting empires.

    IMO, Romans never actively try to convert other people, they even built temples of Gallic gods after conquering them. Roman reason for conquest seems to be about resource and also about internal politics.
     
  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    That is pretty much it. I would say it was caused by too much tribalism. The tribes of Europe were united for centuries under the Roman Empire which gave them technology, law codes, culture, and eventually a common religion. Even after its fall, its legacy still endured creating modern nation states which developed faster than the rest of the world. When they turned to colonise a fractured tribal Africa, the Dark Continent never stood a chance.
     
  11. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Could it possibly be because the earths oldest and most ancient societies were content with themselves,except for the odd bout hubris, and did not relate progress to erecting towering monuments,empires forged on blood and gore,or indulging in mundane philosophical speculations.Not all progress takes the linear curve or follows the beaten path of 'our known history'.
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    One reason why Europe marched ahead of the rest of the world at a certain point is because of the Industrial Revolution.
     
  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The ancient societies of Africa were anything but content with themselves. Tribal wars were a way of life. The African slave trade was fueled by those wars with most slaves being sold off by rival tribes.
     
  14. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    who wasn't competitive,but credit to these ancient that they were content enough to accept what came their way,didn't go crossing the seven seas or the high mountains to see of they could do something to alleviate their discontent.Those ancient warring tribes and their even ancient gods are still there,whatever happened to the great empire builders and the monument makers.Modern History is not so much tale of human progress than his ultimate regress,we traded in each others misery and wrote grand tales about them.....
     
  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Give credit for lacking organisation and technology? They warred and explored as far their means would allow. Their ambitions were no less than any other man.
     
  16. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    You are right but I think it started with the renaissance.if the renaissance had not happened Europe and the rest of the world would have still been trying for a transition from the 15th to the 16th century.The interest in science and technology,overseas exploration and new methods of warfare were the result of the renaissance. Europe went ahead of the rest of the world even before the industrial revolution.
    Coming to Africa I think the dark continents relative isolation from the rest of the known world was one of the reasons it did not develop like the rest of the world. Except for North Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan the rest of Africa was almost disconnected with the rest of the world.
     
  17. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Whenever a society has freed itself from the grips of religious leaders they have progressed.

    Whenever an empire has fallen under religious institutions they have regressed be it europe, middle east or India.
     
  18. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some dialogues from the movie ' Blood diamond '--

    "This diamond is my ticket out of this godforsaken continent,"

    "Sometimes I wonder if God will ever forgive us for what we have done to each other. Then I look around and I realise: God left this place a long time ago."

    ''how can my own people do this to each other? I know good people who say there is something wrong with us, beneath our black skin, that we were better off when the white men ruled."
     
  19. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    but what use of the ambition and progress that only led them to become slave traders,how does one tell a developed culture from the lesser culture,when both were content trading in slaves.I would rather settle in favor of the one that carried less pretense of a developed culture.Surely technology and organization can make modern man gas millions in a matter of days,or reduce a bustling city to cinder in a matter of minutes,what use is this progress for humanity.....

    Africa probably probably had a theory or two on how humanity could be content with itself,its to their eternal misfortune that Africa ended up trading it's flesh and not its knowledge,when renaissance man stepped into his world,modern man had no use for Africa's knowledge.Somehow we still don't care to look beyond our African prejudice,we still think they are a miserable lot,that they have nothing to offer us accept the natural resources they own by accident of geography.

    Every culture developed in it's own space and had its own measure of what constituted progress,the most developed man was the one who was content with himself.
     
  20. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    On the contrary, history shows that the civilizations which became "content" and considered them selves to be self sustaining thereby isolating themselves crumbled. Only the discontent ones that kept expanding and engaging the outside world attained success.

    Now clearly one can debate the definition of "success" since its a wide and multifaceted issue. However, one universal determinant is the ability of a culture to improve the quality of life of its people. It is this factor that discerns development from underdevelopment and/or regression. African societies have failed miserably to improve the condition of its people. Heck at this point they rely upon the rest of the world for their basic sustenance.

    Slave trade was rampant in Africa before the Europeans showed up. Now it must be noted that slave trade has been a universal step in the development of man all over the world and in virtually every culture which essentially negates the judgment. In fact it was the Europeans who were the first ones to abolish slavery and promote upliftment of the lowest sections of society.

    True modern man can potentially reduce a bustling city to cinder. But why have you overlooked the fact that it has done far, far more in terms of human development? Something as simple as anti biotics and vaccines have influenced humanity far more than nuclear weapons. In fact it is impossible to construct a bustling city without the assistance of modern inventions.
     
  21. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    It quite simple. They never developed a large-scale system of agriculture, or the social institutions that accompany surplus production. With the exception of certain areas like Kush (modern Sudan) and Mali, the geographic conditions of Africa did not allow the emergence of powerful states like it did in India, China, Europe or elsewhere.

    This lack of agricultural capacity and productivity resulted in a relatively low level of social organization, with most African societies being based on kinship clans and, at a higher level, to specific tribes. In some instances, one tribe emerged dominant over others and forged powerful and organized empires. One of the best examples is the Zulu Empire in the 19th century. The Zulus under Shaka developed a highly advanced form of military organization which was even able to defeat the British at Isandlwana, and brought most of South Africa under their rule. This is a considerable achievment when you consider that the Zulus did not practice large-scale agriculture, and that the basis of their economy were their cattle herds.

    Even at the height of their power, the Zulus had a population of only about 600,000.
     

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