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Resistance to Imperialism and the Zulu War Essay

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Although it is usually 19th century European imperialism that appears in Western literature, Africans have felt pressure from outside powers for over a thousand years. By the year 1200, most of Northern Africa had adopted Islam, and the population consisted mainly of a blend of Arab and Berber peoples. It was at this time that the enslavement of black Africans along the eastern coast of the continent by Arabian pirates began. This slave trade, however, met fierce resistance from the flourishing African kingdoms of Kush and the Somali king, Nagus Yeshaq, who was a Christian Becker). Because the strength of the Arabic incursions was based mainly on conversion, the Islamic armies never penetrated deeply into sub-Saharan Africa.

In the middle of the 15th century, Portuguese explorers began to establish trading outposts along the western coast of Africa, thus beginning the first steps toward imperialism by European nations. It is estimated that the first trading of Africans as slaves by the Portuguese began in 1444. The West African kingdom of Benin, however, still suc...


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