AP U.S. HISTORY
Your assignment for this summer is two-fold. The first objective is to examine the period of early American History long before there was even the concept of a United States at all. This will involve you doing a little research based upon the questions given below. These questions examine three cultures that came together to create a common American culture (African, European, and Native-American). The intent is to provide a foundation for latter discussion and to allow us to move ahead so that when the 1st semester commences we can start a deeper examination of colonial America.
The second objective is to get a head start on the colonial period of U.S. History. This is the time frame that is often featured on the AP US exam but is also frequently overlooked. Our primary objective is to establish some background on Spanish, French, and Dutch (and a couple of Portuguese dudes) colonial efforts. We will start the year 1st week of the school year with the more important and successful English colonization of North America.
The third objective is to read one of the books listed below and to write a critical book review (instructions below). It is important that you not put this assignment off until the last minute Together the guided reading/research and the book review constitute TWO TEST GRADES FOR THE 1ST SEMESTER. In addition there may be an exit test of some type to gauge your understanding of the Pre-Columbian to early colonization period.
GUIDED READING AND RESEARCH
I. AFRICA IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES
1. The vast majority of African-Americans today can trace their ancestry back to sub-Saharan Africa (also known as Senegambia). What modern day nations constitute the Senegambia region today? Provide a brief geographical description of the region based upon the following criteria: type of land, major rivers, climate, and other prominent geographical features.
* Senegambia was made up of the present day countries of Senegal and Gambia. * Senegambia was positioned between the Saharan desert and Africa’s tropical forest zone. The Atlantic borders the west of the region. Four major rivers ran through the area: the Senegal, the Gambia, the Saloum, and the Cassamance. The Senegal and Gambia, the most important, both flow to the Atlantic from the Futa Jallon plateau.
2. Powerful African empires once controlled Senegambia and West Africa. Name at least THREE of these empires and any prominent emperors from the 13th to 16th centuries.
* Before the 15th century, various parts of Senegambia were under the control of different empires. After Ghana fell in the 12th century, much of Senegambia was controlled by the Mali Empire. In 1306, the Jolof Confederation, founded by Njajaan Njay, was created and controlled much of northern Senegambia. In the 1400s, the Peul people, led by Koli, invaded Senegambia, and while they never controlled it, Senegambia’s population shifted with the large amounts of Peul people. By the end of the 15th century, the Denyanke Empire had joined the various leaders and took hold of the middle and upper valleys of the Senegal River.
3. Examine in some detail the nature of religious beliefs and practices among the Senegambians Your discussion should include types of deities, the role (if any) of emperors, religious leaders, and a word or two about eschatology. What impact did the arrival of Islam have upon the people and culture of sub-Saharan Africa?
* Due to the various ethnic groups in the Senegambian region there are multiple religious practices. One is the Serer religion practiced by the Serer people. The chief deity in the Serer religion has many names, but is known by most as, Roog. The religion is carried out through ancient chants and poems, as well as, venerations and offerings to deities and spirits. The religion also played a major role in their astronomy, medicine, and history of the...
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