Ghana,Mali, and Songhai government
- When Ghana grew, the kings and rulers divided the territory into provinces. Lesser kings, often-conquered rulers governed each of the smaller provinces. District chiefs oversaw smaller districts. Kings often held tightly to their rule, insisting that local rulers sent their own son to the royal court. No one was allowed to trade without the kings’ permission. No one, except the king, could own gold nuggets, only gold powder. The throne of the king always went to his nephew.
- Mali followed the example of Ghana, but on a bigger scale. One managed fishing, another maintained the forests, another oversaw farming, and the last managed money. Kings divided the territory into districts and provinces, as Ghana did. The founder of Mali, Sundiata, put generals in charge of provinces. None of the people objected because the generals kept them safe. One of Mali's great kings rewarded citizens with gold, land, and horses to keep them loyal. It was a huge honor to wear sewn clothes, because only the king's family wore them. Most citizens only wore wrapped clothes.
- Songhai was built off of the traditions of Ghana and Mali. Like the previous empires, the first king, Sunni Ali divided his territory into provinces, but never actually completed setting up his empire. He was constantly moving, from battle to battle, never stopping. In 1592, Sunni Ali died mysteriously. Some say that he drowned crossing a stream, when some also say he was killed by one of his enemies. The year after Ali's death, his general, Mukammunda Tue, seized control of Songhai's government. Unlike Ali, he was entirely Muslim. His religious beliefs changed Songhai's government.