Segments in this Video

Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations: Introduction (04:39)


Henry Gates, Jr. will explore the trade routes that developed due to natural and human resources on the African continent. The Zulu tribe arose between the Dutch colony of South Africa and the Portuguese colonies. Shaka ordered the king, his half-brother, assassinated and then claimed the throne. (Credits)

Shaka and the Zulu (06:07)

Experts discuss Shaka's military organization and impact on Africa. The assegai transformed warfare and the Zulu expanded across the south of Africa during the Mfecane. Shaka's brothers stabbed him to death.

Zanzibar and Trade (04:49)

Zanzibar is an island of spices; cloves and ivory were main exports. Said bin Sultan moved the court to Stone Town and established it as the major port on the East side of Africa. Hamad bin Muhammad bin Juma bin Rajab el Murjebi (Tippu Tip) controlled the Ivory trade.

Tippu Tip (04:31)

The Lunda Empire created extensive trade routes that extended from Angola to Zambia to Tanzania. The Ovimbundu tribe carried copper and raffia cloth on foot across Angola. Tippu Tip controlled the territory and pillaged villages for supplies and slaves.

Diamond Revolution (03:50)

After a young boy discovered the "Star of South Africa," Britain became interested in colonizing the area to obtain diamonds. The Dutch and Zulu tribe clashed in "The Battle of Blood River." Cecil John Rhodes formed De Beers consolidated mines and controlled all the commercial enterprises in the area.

African Kingdoms and Diamonds (04:33)

African Tribes and Empires needed to adapt to the changing world. Prospectors found gold deposits stretching nearly 60 miles around Johannesburg. The Bapedi sent their young men to work in the mines.

Palm Oil (04:53)

After the abolition of the slave trade in Europe and North America began, palm oil became one of the dominant exports of tribes located near the Volta River and Niger Delta. Steamships led to trade expansion in West Africa.

Controlling Resources and Trade (04:27)

Prempeh I, the ruler of the Ashanti Empire, wanted to modernize the tribe by constructing a railroad. Fourteen countries met in Berlin to divide African resources and agree on rules of occupation. The British Army captured Ashanti's leaders and forced them into exile.

Colonizing the Congo (05:40)

All the European powers pillaged, plundered, and raped the tribes of Africa. Congo possessed huge supplies of timber, rubber, ivory, copper, and palm oil. Leopold II created a colony and the Congo became private property of the King; quotas were expected from each tribe member.

Fighting Back (02:05)

Regional Congo leaders called upon the minkisi nganga sculptures to abolish evil. The Portuguese wanted to destroy the sculptures, believing it was a threat. Despite the protests of the Madi, Ashanti, and Dahomey Empires, 90% of Africa was colonized by the end of the 19th Century.

Ethiopia (06:18)

Ethiopia fought against Islam and the Portuguese, and managed to remain independently ruled. Menelik II created an informal alliance with Russia, commissioned a railway across the country, and grew his army to combat Italy. Gates, Jr. summarizes the series.

Credits: Africa's Great Civilizations—Part 6: Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations (00:45)

Credits: Africa's Great Civilizations—Part 6: Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations

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Africa's Great Civilizations—Part 6: Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations

Part of the Series : Africa's Great Civilizations
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the dynamism of 19th century Africa, the “scramble” by European powers for its riches, and the defiant and successful stand of uncolonized Ethiopia.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL144355

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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