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There are now 3 comments on pg 93. What Ruling a Territory Requires.
What are your thoughts?
  1. Stephen Peter says

    I cannot help but feel that some of the comments posted throughout this ongoing history-of-humanity-thread have suddenly been anthropomorphized into the comic itself. How meta.

  2. Wouarnud. says

    I wonder if you would have to be careful with the African narrative. As a totally non-specialist, I understand that progress in history shows that there were in fact, many pre-colonial African states or kingdoms, starting with the Kingdom of Kongo (later Congo of course). A quick wikipedia search shows this. It seems to be again the old story of European colonialists (of which I am a descendant) shaping the narrative etc…
    However, to be fair to you, from what I read most if not all of these polities date at most back to the (Western) middle-age or 16th/17th century, after which, of course, the ships of the white men came. Also, aside from any current consideration, it is undeniably the case that none of these were powerful or successful enough to rise to regional or global prominence and indeed not able to compete effectively with their neighbours to the North. So perhaps your point stands, still you can see how it could be said to have a whiff of colonialistic thought.


    • There certainly were kingdoms and empires, and going back well before the Kingdom of Kongo! The southern-Nile region of Nubia saw kingdoms and empires during the dynasties of ancient Egypt to its north. The Ethiopian Plateau saw a succession of small kingdoms, and of Ethiopia itself was a notable kingdom starting around 100 AD, later growing to quite a large empire.

      But apart from those two exceptions, sub-Saharan Africa just didn’t see much agriculture (far less any sort of urbanization) until after about 700 AD or so. Then Islamic traders founded city-states (and even city-empires) in the west and along the east coast. During Europe’s medieval phase, other African kingdoms arose around the export of resources from mines, lakes, and fisheries. But with only a very small number of exceptions, you couldn’t call any of these territorial states. And the few that qualify didn’t seem to last very long.

      I get where you’re coming from re colonial attitudes, and we certainly need to be mindful of such things, but I don’t think they’re affecting this narrative. The fact that states didn’t naturally arise in sub-Saharan Africa has nothing to do with the abilities of the people who lived there, who were just as smart and creative as anyone else. It’s the land itself that made state formation unlikely, and territorial states practically impossible for most of history.

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