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History   >   African Kingdoms, c.1400-c.1800


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African Kingdoms, c.1400-c.1800

In this course, Dr Toby Green (King's College, London) explores the history of four West African kingdoms in the period c.1400-1800. After a broad introduction to West African history as a whole and some of the ways in which it differs from European history, the second, third, fourth and fifth modules each explore a different kingdom via a particular question. First, we think about the Mali and Songhai Empires and ask the extent to which the religion Islam contributed to their strength. After that, we turn to the Kingdom of Kongo and think about why the kingdom collapsed after the Battle of Mbwila in 1665. Third, we think about the kingdoms of Oyo and Dahomey and ask what characterised the relationship between these two neighbouring kingdoms. And finally, we move on to the Kingdom of Benin and think about what we learn about Benin history from the Benin Bronzes.

Additional resources:
– To learn more about the A Level option 'African Kingdoms, c.1400–c.1800' from OCR, check out the official website. There is also a free accompanying e-book. [Both links open in new tab/window.]


This module forms an introduction to the course as a whole, focusing in particular on some of the themes that we will encounter as we move through the course, as well as the key differences between studying the history of western African compared to those periods with which you may be more familiar.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Green, T. (2018, August 15). African Kingdoms, c.1400-c.1800 - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Green, T. "African Kingdoms, c.1400-c.1800 – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Dr Toby Green

Dr Toby Green

King's College London