World civilization 102
Paper#2
The article "Archers, Musketeers, and Mosquitoes: The Moroccan Invasion of the Sudan and the Songhay Resistance (1591-1612)." by Lansine Kaba's is a good example of brief African history. In his paper, Kaba reinterprets the invasion of Sa'did dynasty of Morocco on West African soil which was led by sultan Al Mansur. He explains the reasons behind the invasion and assumes a strong association between internal problems and commercial needs of Sa'did dynasty and their attempt to rule West Africa and also talks about the political goals which drove Al Mansur attack on West Africa. He also explains how different problems faced by Sa'did army culminated in a disaster. Because of all these problems the Sa'did army was unable to match the mobility of the resisters, thus they refused to fight against Songhai. As Songhay and Morocco experienced serious crises in the seventeenth century, Europe's domination of international trade became uncontested, thus making it hard for both conquerors and conquered to tackle the situation and to regain their long lost prosperity.
When Sa'did dynasty took over Morocco in sixteenth century, they tried to establish themselves as a big Islamic kingdom. At that time Ottoman Empire was the biggest Muslim empire. Beside this they also wanted to prosper economically and wanted to play an important role in world's economy by competing with west Europeans markets because Moroccan eonomy was facing serious problem at the time they took over. Both of these goals were hard to achieve for Sa'did dynasty in the beginning because their resources were limited. In order to overcome the challenges, they changed their policies and approach towards trade and their relations with other countries. West Africa during that time was considered as an important Tran's Saharan trade route and gold reserve. It had its own importance in world's economy. Sa'did knew that gaining control of these areas would increase their capitals as Sudan's resources were not enough. This approach of Sa'did to gain the control and trade of gold instigated the attack of 1591 on West African soil.
As the attack itself was based on the desire of gaining more resources and turning Morocco into a more modernize state that's why people fighting in the army were not properly motivated. The Moroccan army consisted of 4000 soldiers who were fully armed with modern weapons and had a lot of resources on their side. On the other hand Songhai army was not as modern and strong as Moroccan army. They used spears, arrows and swords to fight against Moroccans but this was not it. Their army was gathered in hustle with no proper planning to tackle the attacks of Moroccans. Beside this they were also facing some internal problems like dynastic conflicts for the throne.
With just one goal of conquering the gold mine in mind, Sultan Al Mansur did not think a lot about many ground realties that he realized later. He overestimated his forces against Songhay and ignored the challenges that his army faced later. The Moroccans first encounter with Songhay was a setback for them. Although they won the fight but the extreme weather conditions, mediocrity of the city and excursion of journey dispirited them a lot. After entering and settling in the qasba that they built, they had to face a whole lot of new challenges. The local people of the conquered area were not very pleased with Moroccan army because of their atrocities and brutal behavior, due to which that had to face a lot of uprisings against them by local people almost every day. These uprisings killed a lot of Moroccan Soldiers. Although Moroccan army used modern weapons against Songhai, but their lack of familiarity with the terrain made it hard for them to tackle back efficiently. Besides this, their encounter with Nuhu in kolan was also proved to be a debacle for army. Infested flies and mosquitos killed thousands of soldiers and animals and unceasing resistance by Nuhu's army proved to be one of the last nail in their coffin and made the condition of army crucial.
Beside the problems faced by army in the battlefield, there were a lot of problems that Morocco has to face due to ongoing