Comparing State Building in Africa and Europe Essay Example


Remarkably, before the advancement of technology and connectivity, empires worldwide were constantly rising and falling apart at the same time, without fully understanding their relations. In the 1200s, Europe and Africa were practically geographical neighbors. Their civilizations were formed on simultaneously the same and different practices. From contrasting religions to kindred governments, wars and crusades, Africa and Europe were running in sync at their cores, with the details of trade, agriculture and technology varying. Doubtlessly, both historic Africa and Europe continue to provide robust examples of the connections and variations that play out across kingdom territories as power is gained, maintained and lost.

First, the governments are similar between Europe and Africa. Specifically in the African state of Mali, chiefdoms or villages were ruled by Mansas. One difference was that African Mansas were both secular and religious leaders while Kings and Popes shared responsibilities for Europe. The concept of chiefdoms can be connected to European manors, although chiefdoms weren’t self-sustaining like manors. Europe had a feudalism system, with hereditary rule which was different from the African state of Ethiopia, with mobile bureaucracy. Both governments and societies seemed to thrive, as both maintained power and their own practices worked in their favors to prosper.

Next, both civilizations were familiar with Christanity and Islam, however Animism influenced Africa while some Europeans practiced Judaism. In the African state of Mali, Animism suggested spirits of the land promised agriculture or success, so we can assume many farmers practiced it, as a polytheistic belief system. The practice of Judaism was monotheistic and  influenced the land with synagogues in Europe. For both kingdoms, religion functioned to gain power and spread influence, growing as every empire strives to do. Both Europe and Africa strategically used religion to gain influence and state build, which was critical and brilliant for expansion and to maintain power. 

Lastly, an exceptional connection is effects the European crusades and African Dynastic Civil War had on their empires. In Ethiopia, Africa, the Solomid dynasty ruled through a Dynatic Civil War, leading to the possibility of royal enemies being imprisoned. This war also brought expansion through military conquest and spread of Christanity before conflict with Muslims began. Likewise, the crusades in Europe were inner problems within people of the empires, just like in Africa. The impacts of the crusades include conflict between Christians and Muslims and trade increase, which was similar to the Dynastic Civil War effects. For both Europe and Africa, these internal divisions weakened their kingdoms and contributed to loss of influence.

In conclusion, Africa and Europe differed in some belief systems and aspects of society, but united with points of government and intraspecific conflicts leading to war and crusades. As both empires cycled through stages of state building, Europe and Africa expanded, maintained and lost power through government, religions, and internal conflicts. These points had different causes and changed overtime, especially as the dynasties expanded and contracted in power and land. 

 

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