Unit 4: Nationalism, Industrialism, and Imperialism
Lesson C: European Division of the African Continent
Opening: Africa Prior to European Imperialism
Directions: Study the map below to consider different aspects of pre-imperial African civilizations.
Africa is a diverse continent. With over 2,000 languages and ethnic groups in the continent, Africa is so large that the United States, China, India, Japan, and the entire continent of Europe could fit within its borders. Historically, dozens of different empires dominated different parts of Africa. Together, they created a rich cultural history for the almost 1 billion people who now live in Africa.
In this opening activity, you will work with a partner to consider different aspects of pre-imperial African civilizations. You will consider the acronym PERSIA to guide your thinking. Before you begin, review the chart below to frame your thinking about the different parts of civilizations. Remember, there are many different civilizations for you to think about when considering Africa.
What type of government system did this civilization have?
Who could participate in government decisions?
What individual rights did people have?
How did people make their daily living?
What types of industries and trade did the people participate in?
What were the basic beliefs and practices of the people?
How did religion impact people's daily lives?
What role did religion play in the government?
How were different social groups treated (women, slaves, etc.)?
How difficult was it for people to move from one social group to another?
How did people interact with each other?
What types of social activities were common?
What types of inventions and intellectual discoveries did this civilization invent or use?
What type of medical care did they have?
What types of art and architecture did this civilization develop?
What types of literature and music did they have?
Classroom Activity - African Civilizations
Directions: In order to consider what Africa was like prior to European imperialism, work with a partner to complete the Student Resource: Africa Organization Chart Pre-Imperialism for one civilization, assigned by your teacher. Be prepared to share your completed chart with your class. Save your completed chart, as you will use it again in another activity.
Download the Student Resource: Africa Organization Chart Pre-Imperialism (doc).
 Source: This image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:African-civilizations-map-pre-colonial.svg is licensed under the terms of the GNU License Agreement.