Blog Questions: Take Home (Exploring African Journal/Blog entries)
Answer the following question in your Exploring Africa Journal before the next class.
Looking at the map, rank the continents according to size.
- According to size the largest continent would be Asia, followed by Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
Africa is bordered by two oceans and a sea.
- Africa is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the East, and the Atlantic Ocean to the West. Three seas also border Africa; the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Arabian Sea.
Which ocean borders Africa to the west?
- The Atlantic Ocean borders Africa to the West.
Which ocean borders Africa to the east?
- The Indian Ocean borders Africa to the East.
Which sea borders Africa to the north?
- The Mediterranean Sea borders Africa to the North, separating Europe from Africa.
Which continent is connected to Africa by a land-bridge?
- In 1869 the Suez Canal was constructed creating a land bridge between Africa and Asia. It allowed for transportation by water between Europe and Asia, without having to navigate around the continent of Africa.
What is the virtual line that divides the world into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres called?
- At zero degrees longitude and zero degrees latitude, the equator separates the Northern Hemisphere from the Southern Hemisphere.
What is the virtual line that connects the North and South Pole and divides the World into Eastern and Western Hemispheres called?
- The Prime Meridian is the virtual line that North and South Pole, as well as dividing the World into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
Which continent(s) occupy space in all four Hemispheres?
- Africa occupies all four Hemispheres.
Based on Africa’s global location (as projected on the map), (a) do you think that Africa has a long history of active contact (trade, migration, exchange of ideas) with other regions of the world? OR (b) do you think that until recently (the past 300 years) Africa has been isolated from other regions of the world? Give as many reasons as you can for your answer.
- In the past few hundred years Africa has been hampered by the European conquest of her lands. Where Africa was flourishing, a halt was put on this when Europe colonized Africa and began taking her resources. One of these resources was human. The slave trade took many of the able bodied men, women, and children out of Africa and they were used to better other areas of the world (Europe, North America etc.) instead of Africa. If this had not occurred Africa would be farther ahead in regards to trade, migration, and the exchange of ideas, however this negative influence on the continent prevented growth. I do not believe Africa has been completely isolated, due to the obvious outside influences present in Africa today, however much of these influences were brought over with the colonizers, and led to many negative reactions within Africa (war, apartheid, genocide etc.). By looking at Africa on a global map it is easy to see the many advantages which Africa has over other continents. It is connected to both Europe and Asia, while also acting as a land bridge for European and Asian trade. The connection to the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean also allows for much trade to occur. It is also the second biggest continent, and the land is the densest out of all other continents, which means it could be homes billions of people. The location is also made more prosperous based on the fact that all four hemispheres pass through Africa.
Based on the information provided on the map, with which two continents do you think people and societies in Africa had the longest contact? Why? Which regions of Africa do you think had the earliest contact with other regions of the world? Why?
- People in Africa would have had the longest amount of contact with Europe and Asia. Going back in time and looking at the state of the world during these early periods of contact, North and South America would not have been discovered by European settlers yet, and the same goes for Australia. The proximity of Africa to Europe and Asia, also promoted the notion that Africa would have had contact with Europe and Asia over any other place. In regards to what portion of Africa would have had the earliest contact with these continents, one can safely say Northern Africa, due, once again, to its proximity with Europe and Asia. Specifically, one could deduce that Egypt, as well as areas such as Mali would have had a lot of contact, due to the prominent notion of trade in these nations, as well as what historical texts have said in regards to this.