Volume V of this acclaimed series is now available in an abridged paperback edition. The result of years of work by scholars from all over the world, The UNESCO General History of Africa reflects how the different peoples of Africa view their civilizations and shows the historical relationships between the various parts of the continent. Historical connections with other continents demonstrate Africa's contribution to the development of human civilization. Each volume is lavishly illustrated and contains a comprehensive bibliography.
This fifth volume of the acclaimed series covers the history of the continent from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the close of the eighteenth century in which two themes emerge: first, the continuing internal evolution of the states and cultures of Africa during this period; second, the increasing involvement of Africa in external tradewith major but unforeseen consequences for the whole world.
In North Africa, we see the Ottomans conquer Egypt. South of the Sahara, some of the larger, older states collapse, and new power bases emerge. Traditional religions continue to coexist with both Christianity (suffering setbacks) and Islam (in the ascendancy). Along the coast, particularly of West Africa, Europeans establish a trading network which, with the development of New World plantation agriculture, becomes the focus of the international slave trade. The immediate consequences of this trade for Africa are explored, and it is argued that the long-term global consequences include the foundation of the present world-economy with all its built-in inequalities.