African History

The Swahili Coast ("Have To" History)

Three Big Things:

Blue Dhow1. The Swahili Coast was an important part of the Indian Ocean Trade Network in the 12th – 15th centuries. It’s a useful historical example of trade networks, cultural diffusion, and interaction between man and environment.

2. Over time, the people of the Swahili Coast evolved into a series of independent city-states sharing a common language (Swahili), a common faith (Islam), and a coherent economic system (er… “Trade”) – all of which were adapted and substantially modified to fit their local needs and collective culture.

3. The Swahili Coast declined after the Portuguese tried to take over Indian Ocean trade and mandate adherance to their superior Euopean whims. It didn’t work, but it did enough damage that the glory days were no more.

"Have To" History - The Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement (1856 - 1857)

Stuff You Don’t Really Want To Know (But For Some Reason Have To) About the Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement

Three Big Things:

1. The Xhosa were a South African people threatened by European encroachment beginning in the 17th century.

2. In 1856, a young Xhosa girl encountered two supernatural strangers who told her a time of renewal was coming but must be preceded by the slaughter of their existing cattle and crops.

"Have To" History - The Boers & The First Boer War (1880 - 1881)

Stuff You Don’t Really Want To Know (But For Some Reason Have To) About the Boers & the First Boer War

Three Big Things:

Armed Boers

1. The Boers were white descendants of Dutch, German, and French Protestants who settled the Cape of Good Hope in the mid-17th century. They were farmers and ranchers who believed they were among God’s most favored elect. 

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