Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mauritania, History

The history of Mauritania dates back to the third century . Mauritania is named after the ancient Berber kingdom of
Mauretania. The history of Mauritania is divided in five parts,
1, Precolonial era, 2.colonial era, 3. 1960-1978, 4. 1978-1991, and 5. 1991 -present.
Precolonial era
Berbers moved south to mauritania in the 3rd century AD, followed by Arabs in the 8th century, subjugating and assimilating Mauritania's original inhabitans.From the eight century to 15th century, black kingdom's to the
western Sudan, such as Ghana, Mali, and
Songhai brought their political culture from
the south.
The only external influence that tended to unify the country was Islam. The Islamization of mauritania was a gradual process that spanned more than 500 years.The Mauritanian thirty year war (1644-74) was the unsuccessful final effort to repel the Yemeni Maqil Arab invaders led by Beni Hassan tribe. Islamization did not take firm hold until the arrival of Yemeni Arabs in the twelveth and 13th centuries and was not complete until several centuries later.

European contact with Mauritania was dominated by the trade for gum. French colonisation gradually absorbed the territories of present day Mauritania from the Senegal river and upwards , starting starting in the late 1800s. In 1901, Xavier Coppalani took charge of the colonial mission.Through a combination of strategic alliances with Zawiya tribes and military presure on the Hassane warrior nomads, he managed to extend French rule over the Mauritanian emirates.but the northern emirate of Adrar held out longer, which was finally occuppied in 1912.

Mauritania would subsequently form part of French west Africa, from 1920.Frenby the side of small vilagech rule brought legal prohibition against slavery and an end to interclan warfare.During the colonial period, the population remained nomadic, excepting a few who gained Independence in 1960. A capital was formed by the side of a small village , the Ksar, while 90 % of

the population ws still nomadic.
The great Sahel droughts of the early 1970s caused massive problems in Mauritania. With independence large numbers of indigenous Sub Saharan African peoples entered Mauritania. Educated in French these recent arrivals became clerks,soldiers, and administrators in the new state. Haratin, a very large population of Arabized slaves integrated into a low-caste social
position . Slavery remained still a common
practice in Mauritania.