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The Foundations Of European Expansion In Africa In The 16th Century. Europe, Maghreb And Western Sudan

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Chapter Summary

The great Arab conquests of the 8th and 9th centuries did not completely interrupt the economic exchanges between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean. The series of great empires across the Maghreb collapsed very rapidly, and this was also true of the Moroccan state of the Merinides in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 15th and 16th centuries, textiles from Granada and Valencia were on sale in markets in the Maghreb, and even as far off as Timbuktu and Gao. According to certain mid-15th century sources, gold and silver were at that time of equal value in western Sudan. The details of gold circulation described in this chapter clearly demonstrate the extremely close economic ties binding Europe, North Africa, and western Sudan, and the notable influence exerted by the economic situation of the European Mediterranean basin on far-off regions in Africa.

Keywords: European expansion; Maghreb region; North Africa; western Sudan

10.1163/ej.9789004179172.i-438.32
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