✨ ap world survival packs are ready!
📑 Document Based Questions (DBQ)
🚀 Thematic Guides
Theme 1 (ENV) - Humans and the Environment
Theme 2 (CDI) - Cultural Developments and Interactions
Theme 3 (GOV) - Governance
Theme 4 (ECON) - Economic Systems
Theme 5 (SOC) - Social Interactions and Organizations
Theme 6 (TECH) - Technology and Innovation
🗺 Regional Guides
The Pacific from 1200 to the Present
🐎 Unit 1: The Global Tapestry
1.0Overview of Unit 1: The Global Tapestry
1.1East Asia from 1200-1450
1.2Dar al-Islam from 1200-1450
1.4The Americas from 1200 to 1450
1.6Europe from 1200 to 1450
🐫 Unit 2: Networks of Exchange
2.0Overview of Unit 2: Networks of Exchange
2.3Indian Ocean Trade Routes
2.4Trans-Saharan Trade Routes
2.5Cultural Effects of Trade
2.6Environmental Effects of Trade
🕌 Unit 3: Land-Based Empires
3.0Overview of Unit 3: Land-Based Empires
3.1Expansion of Land-Based Empires
3.2Governments of Land-Based Empires
🍕 Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections
4.0Overview of Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections
4.1New Technologies from 1450-1750
4.4Maritime Empires Established
4.5Expansion of Maritime Empires
4.6Resistance to European Expansion
✊ Unit 5: Revolutions
5.2Revolutions from 1750-1900
5.5Technology in the Industrial Age
5.7Economic Effects of Industrialization
🚂 Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization
6.0Overview of Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization
💣 Unit 7: Global Conflict
7.0Overview of Unit 7: Global Conflict
7.6Causes of World War II
🥶 Unit 8: Cold War & Decolonization
8.0Overview of Unit 8: Cold War & Decolonization
8.2The Cold War
8.3Effects of the Cold War
8.4Spread of Communism After 1900
8.5Decolonization After 1900
8.6Newly Independent States After 1900
8.8End of the Cold War
✈️ Unit 9: Globalization
🤓 Historical Thinking Skills
Comparison in the AP Histories
Continuity and Change Over Time in the AP Histories
Causation in the AP Histories
👉 Introduction to AP World
⏱️ 2 min read
June 19, 2020
The trans-Saharan trade route transformed West Africa by connecting it to the larger parts of the world. This trade route in particular was intriguing as it required the need for human adaptation and innovation over this vast desert area.
This trade route is often overlooked but it’s actually super cool! It has all the components of a good trade network: the formation of diasporic communities, new technology, the spread of religion (Islamic traditions) and even a super rich king by the name of Mansa Musa.
Image Courtesy of Hardy-Leah B, thinglink
As always, technology helped spur this trade networks. The two big ones here are camel saddles and caravans. Camel saddles helped traders (mostly Berber nomads) ride the camels (the only pack animals equipped to survive in the desert without water for long periods of time) without injury, so it was easy to carry goods faster. Caravans were groups of traders traveling together, which often protected them from desert raiders.
These technologies made this route far safer and easier to travel, and thus trans-Saharan trade flourished, carrying salt, gold, slaves, and cowrie shells, the last of which were used as currency.
The biggest religion that spread across this trade route was Islam. Over time, if African states weren’t already taken over by the Islamic caliphate, they may have converted voluntarily, with much help from the Arab Berber traders, many of whom were already converted to Islam.
Additionally, empires with valued goods expanded rapidly during this flourishing of the trade route, such as the Mali, Ghana, and Songhai empires.
Mali in West Africa in particular became one of the richest empires in the region due to its large supply in gold-- so rich, in fact, that when their king Mansa Musa made his pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca every place he stopped along the way became so flooded with gold that their economies inflated drastically. That’s how rich this guy was-- he could literally give out so much gold that it could crash an entire city’s economy.
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