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Chicago
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The Social Economic and Political Aspects of the Songhai Empire (Research Paper Sample)

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explain the The Social Economic and Political Aspects of the Songhai Empire. the paper looks at The Social Economic and Political Aspects of the Songhai Empire

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The Social Economic and Political Aspects of the Songhai Empire
Mohammed Mustafa
Jessica Cammaert
CHST 533 – Africa Before 1850
Introduction
The Songhai Empire was a vast state in West Africa with multiple cultures that lasted around the period between 15th and 16th CE. This empire rose to prominence after the Mali Empire declined in the 15th century. From the capital of Gao that was quite centralized emerged the Songhai kings were famous such as Mohammad I and Sunni Ali, and these rulers fostered the development of the empire into becoming a dominant force in areas such as education, trade, and the military. When the Songhai Empire was at its greatest, it was the mightiest and the most massive empire that had ever existed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its boundaries extended to the Niger River and further to places such as modern-day Chad, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali, Gambia, and even the Atlantic Coast. Certain social, political, and economic factors contributed to the rise of the Songhai Empire, and these were such as the Empire's rulers, the Saharan trade, education, and the people's cultures.
The Songhai tribe is also known as the Songhay, and the origin of these people can be traced back to the Eastern region of the Niger River. It has been argued that this tribe was inexistent in the period around the 10th century, and so the tribe emerged around the time of the Ghana Empire. The Songhai tribe was a combination of different tribes, for instance, the Gow and the Sorko people, with the Sorko tribe being presumed as the first tribe to settle along the Niger River. They initially sustained themselves through fishing, and they were boat makers. On the other hand, the Gow were mainly hunters. After these two groups, other similar and much smaller groups made up of farmers and animal farmers settled in the area, and over time, they began conducting trade amongst themselves. This mix of cultures and different groups of people led to the introduction of a new common language and identity that the whole group could identify with, the Songhai tribe.[Bovill, The Rise and Fall of the Songhai Empire,141]

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