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Questions tagged [africa]

Africa is the continent on which the human species probably originated. It fostered some of the earliest known civilizations, and contains a vast array of cultures to this day.

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11 votes
1 answer
470 views

What prevented Southern Rhodesia from acquiring Dominion status?

Southern Rhodesia established responsible government in 1923. The next step, in general, was for a colony to be granted Dominion status (e.g., Newfoundland). What prevented Southern Rhodesia from ...
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Why didn't Russia colonize in the scramble for Africa?

Russia was a European empire (one of the biggest) when the scramble for Africa happened and they had enough resources to get a ton of Africa, so why didn't they colonize in Africa? It could have been ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

What was Yugoslavia doing in the Angolan Civil War?

I was looking through Wikipedia (a mixed quality source) about the military history of Yugoslavia, when I noticed this odd listing of Yugoslavia as one of the combatants in the Angolan Civil War (1975-...
3 votes
0 answers
61 views

Did the Issa ally themselves with the Italians or with Ethiopia in the 1930?

Did the Issa ally themselves with the Italians or with Ethiopia in the 1930? I found conflicting statements about this. Wikipedia claims without an immediate citation that: In the Italian invasion of ...
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why were La Réunion and Mauritius uninhabited?

Why were the Mascarenes islands, La Réunion and Mauritius (and Rodrigues), uninhabited until Europeans arrived ? Many islands off the coast of Africa remained uninhabited until the arrival of ...
9 votes
0 answers
166 views

What is the earliest supported example of an African traveling to Southeast/East Asia?

There are quite a few famous cases of Africans who traveled to Asia (voluntarily or involuntarily) prior to 1700s such as Malik Ambar (India), Yasuke (Japan), and Ibn_Battuta (India, Sri Lanka, China, ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was Portugal and Spain's primary export which sparked their trade with Africa in the early 15th century?

I’ve read so many resources about how Europe’s desire to trade with the east, and the resistance by the Ottoman Empire to gain access was what triggered their voyage around the African continent, and ...
0 votes
0 answers
91 views

What were the details of the election fraud on the 1927 elections in Liberia?

The Wikipedia article says that the voter turnout exceeded 1660% because the number of those who participated in the elections far exceeded the number of eligible voters. The election was recorded in ...
3 votes
1 answer
277 views

Who coined the term Bantustan for the first time and why did they use the Persian suffix?

From the Wikipedia article for Bantustan: The term, first used in the late 1940s, was coined from Bantu (meaning "people" in some of the Bantu languages) and -stan (a suffix meaning "...
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Did Africans defeat Europeans in battle between 1850 and 1950?

The battle of Adwa was fought between Italians and Ethiopians in northern Ethiopia in 1896. The Italians were defeated and it was the greatest victory for Africans. Were there any other battles where ...
1 vote
0 answers
83 views

Why did Mswati III become Crown Prince after his father's death?

I was reading the Wikipedia article for Mswati III: Mswati was introduced as crown prince in September 1983 and was crowned king on 25 April 1986, aged 18 years and 6 days, thus making him one of the ...
6 votes
1 answer
431 views

Why did ZANU (instead of ZAPU) come to power after the Rhodesian Bush War?

Given recent events in Zimbabwe, I am curious about the country's origins, and have been reading various articles on Wikipedia, mainly on the Rhodesian Bush War. Why did PRC-supported ZANU win and ...
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why would the Rhodesians trust Blacks in their Army?

I was reading about Rhodesia and found that there were Blacks serving in the Rhodesian Security Forces. The caption of this photograph asserts that they were the majority of the military! I would ...
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

Were the ancient Hebrews basically an African tribe? [duplicate]

Hebrew is one of the earliest Afroasiatic languages. It has been argued that the Hebrews were an offshoot of the Canaanites, even akin to them. It is nearly undisputable that the Canaanites were ...
2 votes
0 answers
49 views

Were "African levies" paid during the Hut Tax War of 1898?

The Hut Tax War of 1898 was fought largely between the British, supported by freed African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean slaves, called the Creole trying to colonize Sierra Leone, and the ...
4 votes
1 answer
163 views

Journeys from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika in 1925 and 1948

I am researching a journey for a novel where my character travels from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika. The journey happens in 1925 and then again in 1948. Does anyone ...
71 votes
8 answers
28k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in colonization,...
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

How powerful was the Malian empire?

I heard someone talking about Timbuktu, Mansa Musa (they claim that he is the richest man in history). They also claimed that Mali was the richest state in the 14th century world and that the Malian ...
7 votes
1 answer
478 views

Did Bamako exist as a major settlement of trade and culture during the Mali empire?

Someone insisted to me there's no good evidence Bamako was a major city during or before the Mali empire. The best source I could track down on its existence and prominence from that time was this, ...
40 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why were the West African islands uninhabited?

I'm curious about the history of two West African Archipelagos, specifically the Cape Verde islands and São Tomé and Príncipe. These islands were both uninhabited prior to the arrival of Europeans ...
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Did ancient Axumites use papyrus for writing?

Why are there Ge'ez texts only on rock and not on parchment or papyrus before the 4th century CE?
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was the impetus for some African nations to participate in the slave trade?

I know that some African nations participated in the slave trade by providing captured enemies as slaves to Europeans, but what are some of the reasons they did? Was it simply a new economic ...
2 votes
0 answers
339 views

What languages could David Livingstone speak?

What languages could David Livingstone speak? I am certain that he spoke English and Setswana, but presumably neither of these would have been any use for the last seven years of his life. I have ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

How many vehicles were involved in Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, October 3-4, 1993)?

I wanted to know how many vehicles (include their model and which country used it), aircraft and infantry were deployed in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu in October 1993. Specific numbers of: ...
30 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why was sugar cultivation more profitable in the Caribbean/Brazil than West Africa?

The Atlantic slave trade involved the large-scale deportation of West African slaves to sugar plantations on the other side of the Atlantic. Why was it more profitable to do that, rather than to ...
2 votes
2 answers
441 views

Are there any surviving historical written records about Black individuals in Sub-Saharan African languages?

In the modern world there are many famous Black people. However which names can we name prior to 1500? There were ethnically Hellenic thinkers and politicians based in North Africa as well as native ...
5 votes
2 answers
262 views

!Kung: What is the rules of the !gu!na relationship? (To evaluate its importance in the !Kung cooperation system)?

It's clear that the Hxaro relationship between partners played a central role in cooperation, but what about the !gu!na relationship? what is the rules of the !Gu!na partnership? Does it follow the &...
1 vote
0 answers
328 views

Where does this quote come from?

Emperor Menelik II's wikipedia page quotes him as saying "There was never a time when united that the Ethiopians lost to an enemy in history". I am unable to find anywhere on the internet ...
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
-1 votes
2 answers
181 views

When names of these countries were first called

I'd like to know when the first time the name of India in English (Inde in French) was called. What is the name in Latin and if there is one? Also, I'd like to know the first time the names of Myanmar ...
8 votes
1 answer
679 views

Impact of the spread of disease from non-Europeans to virgin populations in the Old World

It is well known that Europeans brought a host of different diseases to the Americas. This led to catastrophic declines in the indigenous populations. I am looking for documentation of non-Europeans ...
2 votes
2 answers
168 views

What do we know about the !Kung "major gatherings" (up to 200 peoples)?

All the information I found seems to point to this little paragraph from Lee book{1}: Occasionally the Ju/ ′hoansi had major gatherings, usually in winter, when up to 200 people from eight or more ...
40 votes
7 answers
6k views

Why are many African nations poor?

Many African countries are currently in the bottom parts of socioeconomic rankings like GDP per capita, life expectancy, literacy, HDI, etc. Some of them possess a decent amount of natural resources ...
3 votes
0 answers
193 views

Can anyone help identify this statuette?

The statuette has been in my family for 3 generations now. It is presumed to be from Morocco and was brought to us before the second world war. It is damaged and it had an ivory rosary that was stolen ...
10 votes
0 answers
434 views

How did the Belgians issue ID cards with ethnicity to women in Ruanda-Urundi?

I've read about how the Belgians issued ID cards to the inhabitants of their colony Ruanda-Urundi (later independent under the names of Rwanda and Burundi): Indeed, the Belgian colonists classified a ...
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?

OK let me be more specific. In episode 8 of The Crown (Netflix), it is implied that Queen Elizabeth II went to Ghana (because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife) to prevent the country from going ...
1 vote
0 answers
89 views

Why did Laurent-Désiré Kabila start the Second Congo War? [closed]

During the Second Congo War, numerous Rwandan sources report that Laurent-Désiré Kabila commenced the Second Congo War. In contrast, other sources and Human rights activists stated Rwanda and Uganda ...
9 votes
1 answer
610 views

Was the Kingdom of Nri truly pacifistic?

I have been reading about the Kingdom of Nri, a political entity that lasted from medieval times to 1911. It was apparently pacifistic and saw violence as an abomination on Earth. However, it is ...
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why was the area now known as Liberia chosen as the location for repatriation of African slaves in the US?

The American Colonization Society thought that colonizing Africa for the purpose of returning US slaves to Africa was the solution to slavery problems. Why, and how, did they come to decide that the ...
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why did Guinea vote so differently in the 1958 French constitutional referendum?

In the 1958 French constitutional referendum, 79.3% of Metropolitan France and 82.3% of the territories voted in favor of the constitution. Out of the latter, votes in favor ranged from 64.40% in ...
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Japanese modernisation have an effect on Ethiopia?

On his wikipedia page, Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam, "the primary author of Ethiopia's July 1931 constitution" the article calls him a politician and intellectual of the Japanizer school ...
0 votes
1 answer
216 views

What prevented empires with territory in North Africa from expanding south of the Sahara? And vice versa [closed]

Almost all empires I've seen that existed north of Sahara, did not expand to the south. And the empires south of the Sahara did not expand to the north (except for post 15th century European ...
1 vote
0 answers
271 views

Was there a religious revival in Uganda in the late 1980s and 1990s with pervasive impacts on society and the presidency?

I recently asked a related question on Skeptics.SE, but I haven't received answers (probably because history is not an area of expertise over there). But here I'm interested in the broader context: is ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What was the flower of Empress Taytu?

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. Its name means "New Flower" in Amharic (አዲስ አበባ), and the tale of how it got its name is told thus: The location of Addis Ababa was chosen by the ...
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 20th century?

Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 1936 and 1959?
15 votes
7 answers
6k views

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

Looking at the history of Ghana relative to many post-colonial African states, it appears to be quite a successful and stable nation-state, both politically and economically, compared to many other ...
4 votes
0 answers
211 views

Why didn't the German population leave Dar es Salaam before the outbreak of WWII?

In the chapter 'The Beginning of the War' of his autobiography Going Solo, Roald Dahl recounts his role in stopping the German population of Dar es Salaam from fleeing to Portuguese East Africa (the ...
19 votes
4 answers
1k views

What was the contemporary German public opinion on the Herero Genocide?

The genocide took place during 1904-1907, organized by General von Trotha. Wikipedia says: Von Trotha's methods caused a public outcry which led the Imperial Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow to ask ...
6 votes
1 answer
940 views

Why has the Congo ended up French-speaking but not Flemish-speaking? [closed]

Why is there hardly any Flemish linguistic heritage in the former Belgian colonies, at least at the institutional level? EDIT (Evidence of prior research): Neither the Democratic Republic of the Congo ...
2 votes
1 answer
212 views

Did the slave trade from Africa to the Middle East decline during the 20th century?

From reading Wikipedia, it's not clear how much the slave trade to the middle east from Africa declined, or when. If it declined, did that coincide with 1) the turn of the century, when almost all of ...