Local wars continued in Ethiopia. Galla tribesmen penetrated the countryside and terrorized local inhabitants. Egypt was a part of the Ottoman Empire until the very end of the century, when Napoleon penetrated it as a gateway to the east in 1798.


Al-Husayn I ibn Ali (1669-1740) founded the Husainid Dynasty in Tunis and overthrew Ottoman rule in 1705. Shortly thereafter, Ahmed Karamanli (1686-1745) made himself ruler of Tripoli, founding the Karamanil Dynasty, which lasted more than a century. The most well-known Karamanli ruler was Yusuf ibn Ali Karamanli who reigned from 1795 to 1832. Ibn Ali initiated a war with the United States in 1801 by demanding money for safe passage through the Mediterranean. The Spaniards were expelled from Oran for a short period of time, but they resumed control in 1732. From 1757 to 1789 Morocco was ruled by Mohammed ben Abdallah (1710-1790) who established a regime of law and order and abolished slavery.


In west Africa, local wars in Ghana weakened the state so that it was taken over by Ashanti warriors, whose king and major chiefs wore regalia made of local gold and imported silver. The Ashanti Empire became supreme in the interior in sub-Saharan Africa in the 18th century, trading gold for European firearms.

The west coast of Africa continued to be the source of slaves for the British slave trade to the colonies in America. Britain had obtained this right as part of the treaty ending the Spanish War of Succession. The Ibo, in Guinea, supplied a greater number of slaves than any other ethnic group. Late in the century (1787) Sierra Leone, on the west coast, was acquired by the British for the settlement of slaves it had freed during the Revolutionary War. Sierra Leone was made a separate colony in 1799.


Freed slaves are welcomed to Sierra Leon in this 1835 illustration. (Source: Wikimedia)

Later in the century, in 1776, there was a rise of the Tukulor power in west Africa on the upper Niger, pushing the French out of their Senegal possessions. The French reconquered these in 1778. Farther east, the Hausa continued as a power in the area around Lake Chad. Oyo, south of the Hausa states, received horses by trading with the Hausa and built up a large cavalry. Living in as many as 6000 towns and villages, almost all of the population spoke the Yoruba tongue. Still farther east, about the Great Lakes, the kingdoms of Uganda and Buganda established profitable trading relations with both Arab and Swahili merchants. Arabs settled the coastal area of Kenya and came under control of the Sultan of Zanzibar after 1740.

In the equatorial area 600 miles northeast of the Kuba Kingdom, the Zande people established themselves. East of them were the Mangbetu who had advanced metal work displayed in lavish treasure chambers. On the southern savannahs, the Bakuba of Zaire commemorated their king with many fine portrait statues and in the more isolated regions, the Bushmen continued rock paintings. In the Cape Colony, the Dutch gradually pushed inland as cattle raiders and farmers, reaching the Orange River in 1760 and the Great Fish River in 1776. In 1795, the British fleet, acting under mandate from the exiled Prince of Orange, captured the Dutch garrison, primarily to prevent the Cape Colony from falling into the hands of the French. The Bushmen of the Cape were essentially destroyed by the European impact.


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