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Devin's Essay



I think that almost everything we can or could have learned from the people of Ancient Ghana has already been learned. With Ancient Ghana’s superior iron weaponry, they’re unique understanding of trade and the control of trade routes, and religious diversity within the state. In the following paragraphs I will explain how we have already learned from this society and how these lessons play out in the world today.


Although the state of Ancient Ghana was mainly a pagan state, Islam was also practiced there. The capital city was divided into two sections (essentially two cities), one half contained buildings for the King and his court while the other half was for the Muslim traders who would travel through Ghana. The “Muslim half” of the city had many mosques in it for warship and although it was the main religion of the state, it was tolerated. This is not a lesson that we’ve only learned from Ancient Ghana, but multiculturalism is important in our society today as it was back then. Today we have learned to live with people of many other cultures, religions, and nationalities peacefully, as the Ancient Ghanans did before us.


We have also learned from the genius of Ancient Ghana in the way that they controlled the sub-Saharan trade route, charging taxes for incoming and outgoing goods. Today we have many taxes for import and export of goods although it is not our main source of income usually. Ancient Ghana had to come up with a means of economical growth because they did not control any of the gold and salt deposits that lay just outside their boundaries. Something that may put it into perspective is that it is said that countries to the south were so desperate for salt that they would pay for it in an equal weight of gold. This huge amount of economical income allowed the state of Ancient Ghana to build a huge army of 200,000.


In modern day society, money and the size of your nation’s army play a huge part in how your economic status is calculated, and Ancient Ghana had a huge army and huge riches for its time. Their advanced iron weapons were superior to most, if not all, of their enemies. They were far ahead of their time in making these weapons and it allowed them to grow into a huge military power. Today we have seen these militaristic values applied in our society with the military powers of the world also generally being the most economically stable. We still see money being used as a means of measuring economic wealth, along with material wealth and gain. Ancient Ghana definitely worked towards embedding this belief in our society today, although they were not the only ones.


In conclusion I do not think that we can learn anything from Ancient Ghana now, but that we have learned from them and perhaps adopted some of their beliefs and traditions into our modern day culture. With our material and monetary measurements of wealth, the sizes of our armies, and our acceptance of multiculturalism. Ancient Ghana truly was the first of many things.