Africa 1453 CE

New kingdoms are emerging in different parts of Africa.

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What is happening in Africa in 1453CE

By this date, large-scale immigration of Arabs into North Africa have made this region largely Arab-speaking.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The Africa coasts have been visited by the ships of two alien powers. At the beginning of the 15th century, a large Chinese fleet visited some of the Swahili ports on the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa. In the mid-century, the first Portuguese ships arrived off the coast of West Africa. Whereas Chinese ships have not returned since, the Portuguese ships, although appearing in far smaller numbers (and are themselves far smaller in size than the great Chinese vessels), have started trading in the area.

They are mainly interested in buying gold from local chiefs, but they soon get involved in the slave trade of the region. Shortly slaves are being shipped back to Europe in Portuguese holds, mainly for work on the sugar plantations of Portugal and Madeira.

The West African kingdoms have continued to flourish and to grow, and the trade network has continued to expand. This has led to the rise of more kingdoms in the forest regions, near the coast. Elsewhere in Africa, other kingdoms are also emerging. In the south and east, this is probably related to the penetration of trade routes further and further inland from the Indian Ocean. Here, the maritime trade with Arabia and India has been expanding, and the Swahili city-states have been flourishing. Arab and Swahili traders have planted more ports southwards along the coast.

Next map, Africa 1648

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