UB UGC 112 - The world and a Very Small Place in Africa (7 pages)

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The world and a Very Small Place in Africa



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The world and a Very Small Place in Africa

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Pages:
7
School:
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Course:
Ugc 112 - World Civilization 2
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The world and a Very Small Place in Africa There were four parts being discussed by Donald Wright in this book about the history of a very small country called Niumi in west Africa The four parts were locate at four different points of time First one was before 1446 the author settled a background and introduced the global setting for Niumi s history Secondly the book talked about the precolonial period and discussed the role of Niumi and other European countries with the events happened worldwide during 1446 to 1816 Thirdly from 1816 to 1965 under the colonial period the author described the life of Africans living in Niumi the relationship of the European colonizers and the Niumi s leaders and emphasized on the event the Peanut Revolution On the fourth part Donald recalled the most recent visit of him to Niumi in 2009 and that he modified the second edition of the book by adding on the changes of modern development he observed in Niumi during the visit The most significant concepts emphasized by this book was globalization and the world system Talking about globalization it was a very vague concept In the reading the author wrote In its broadest sense globalization is the process of integration of the world s people of their interacting more than before and thus developing closer economic social and cultural relationships Wright Globalizing was about the system of communication and transportation to connect the countries in one continent to another The term world system first introduced by Immanuel Wallerstein borrowed by the author it was a model for explaining how the world has come to be as it is today It based on the rise of capitalism in Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries involving people from all parts of the world in unequal relationships It s the relationship among humans in different parts of the world the relationship of economies policies wealth and power in the global scale Wallerstein also proposed that the structure carries instability as time goes by the model could be slightly modified or restructured magnificently It is important to recognize that they involved people living in separate political units beyond the recognized boundaries of states beyond empires or even beyond what we have tended to call civilizations Wright Religions have played an important role in Niumi because it shaped people s attitude towards life The ideas of Islam spread from the middle east to the West Africa along the road with the Trans Sahara Trade As a result it also achieved quite a success Across the Sahara with Berber caravans not only did commodities like salt cottonseeds and technologies like spinning machines imported to Niumi ideas and religious believes also carried along with them Islam focused on the life after death saying that people will be rewarded with good deeds performed and rules strictly followed in this life People living in the west Africa encountered the practice of Islam and a lot of them converted to be Muslims The religions changed peoples attitude and their own consideration Muslim traders also created their own kind of system they shared and linked to each other through spiritual connection saint and dreams instead of commodities They followed the book of Qur an and looked for salvations through performing God s will Islam is a way to comfort people to resolve people s desperation to achieve mental health Regarding to the roles of women in West Africa the author witnessed the change in Niumi First perspective is that women were facing sexism being treated unequally from men with prejudices The second perspective is focused on the alteration before and after nineteenthcentury Before that men and women were equally performing labor in the same agricultural fields and same agricultural products without obvious gender division Entering the nineteenth century as the export economy of peanut industry in Niumi flourished it gradually became the men s crop as they became the sole producers For women they altered the focus in growing rice Men controls the financial savings and purchases for the entire households Another perspective is that after the world wars as enormous amount of men in Africa were sent to the European countries to fight in the warfare the population of men declined markedly thus the population of women were very dominant in these locations One could notice that women became the major labor force in supporting the society especially in the aspect of agriculture Since the discovery of the New World by the voyage of Columbus on October 12 1942 immigrants mostly from the Europe poured into the Americas The increasing population continued to grow appreciated to sufficient food and resources produced in the endless plains in this new world Europeans in America started to grow a favor in sugar instead of honey the limited option for sweetener they had in the old world Nevertheless sugar cane only grows in tropical weather under the burning sun and unbearable heat Thus the Europeans focused attention in Africa seeking for the plantation complex and cheap labors who can perform work under severe conditions with strength and longevity for very little value Not only did European American needed labor for sugar plantation they also developed a large scale of tobacco production The need for labor in these plantations stimulate the Atlantic trade of slaves Long before the arrival of the Europeans slave market already existed in Africa Slaves who made up the third social grouping before the twentieth century many slaves exited in states like Niumi Wright However with the huge demand for labor tremendous African people were captured to be slaves assembled on the boat shipped to Americas and Europe a fortuitous and unexpected by product of gold trade the availability of slaves Wright Relating to the lectures it was the industrial revolution taking place in the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries strengthened the economic powers in European countries that enabled them to increase the volume of trading with Africans purchasing the raw material and the slaves eventually led to colonization in Africa Before A D 1000 Europe was not a core in any economic network Wright At that time the world economic system was spotted in China India and central Middle East The world system restructured after the middle of the fourteenth century leading to the centrality of Western Europe by the sixteenth century in a system that was expanding to include the continents


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