POLITICAL SYSTEM OF GHANA EMPIRE
As earlier stated on my previous post on Ghana Empire, ancient Ghana operated a system of divine kingship. The government and authority was centered on the king and his court. His capital was divided into two sections separated by about six miles: he and his indigenous population resided in one while the other town was reserved for the Muslim traders who frequented his Empire. In the part of the town where he resided, he maintained an elaborate court with a panoply of ceremonials and rituals to bolster up his authority; at the same time he was in control of the religious rituals.
In recent Ghana, the power of government increased still further. Important kings became kings over leaser kings. This was the beginning of an empire while the kings became emperors. As already noted growth in international trade is what led to the emergence of this Empire called Ghana today. It is said that the Soninke people could possibly be the first group in Western Sudan to discover the use of iron. This discovery have them the ability to make iron and dominate their neighbors which led to expansion of Empire. Thus, with such expansion, wealth and fame of the king increased.
The system of government expanded with their success in trade. As it expanded, it became more complicated. A king and his councilors could rule over small country. They could not rule over a large one unless they could also rule through lesser kings and councilors. Even with the swift horses of the Western Sudan, a king’s order would have gone to slowly through the land, and would have not be obeyed. So the king of Ghana had governors whom he place in charge of distant provinces. Thus, there grew up a number of lesser government, under lesser kings or governors. These gave loyalty and paid taxes to a single central government. The formation of Ghana and it’s growth into a large Empire therfore marked an important stage in social development. It was a big political and social achievement.
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