External Influences


External Influences in the Nigeria Area up to 1800

The Nigeria Area up to 1800 was shaped by a myriad of external influences, with significant impacts from North Africans/Arabs and Europeans. These external forces played a crucial role in shaping the socio-political and economic landscape of the region, ultimately influencing the development of various states and societies south of the Sahara.

Impact of Islam:
The introduction and spread of Islam by North Africans and Arabs had a profound impact on the Nigeria Area. Islam not only brought a new faith to the region but also introduced Islamic legal and administrative systems that influenced governance structures in various states. The adoption of Arabic script facilitated the documentation of local languages and history, contributing to the preservation of knowledge within the societies.

Trans-Saharan Trade:
The trade network across the Sahara Desert connected the Nigeria Area to North Africa, fostering economic exchanges and cultural interactions. Goods such as gold, ivory, and slaves were traded along these routes, stimulating commerce and influencing social hierarchies within the region. The trans-Saharan trade route facilitated the exchange of ideas, technologies, and languages, contributing to the cultural vibrancy and diversity of the Nigeria Area.

European Interaction:
Early European trade with the coastal states introduced new goods, technologies, and ideas to the Nigeria Area. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders established commercial relationships with local communities, leading to the exchange of commodities such as cloth, firearms, and metals. This interaction with Europeans laid the foundation for later colonial incursions into the region, shaping future power dynamics and economic structures.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade:
The origin, organization, and impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade had devastating consequences for the Nigeria Area. European slave traders captured and transported millions of Africans from the region to the Americas as forced labor, leading to population decline, social disintegration, and economic disruption. The legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade continues to influence contemporary issues of identity, memory, and justice in the Nigeria Area.

In conclusion, the external influences of North Africans/Arabs and Europeans played a significant role in shaping the Nigeria Area up to 1800. The impact of Islam, trans-Saharan trade, European trade, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade remains evident in the cultural, social, and economic practices of the region, highlighting the complex interplay of local and global forces in shaping historical developments.


  1. Assess The Impact Of The Contact With North Africa On The People And States South Of The Sahara
  2. Examine The Impact Of Early European Contact With The Coastal People
  3. Trace The Origin, Organization And Impact Of The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Lesson Note

Understanding the influence of external factors on the people and states south of the Sahara is crucial to grasping the broader history of Africa. Major influences come from North Africa and later from European contact and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Lesson Evaluation

Congratulations on completing the lesson on External Influences. Now that youve explored the key concepts and ideas, its time to put your knowledge to the test. This section offers a variety of practice questions designed to reinforce your understanding and help you gauge your grasp of the material.

You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Use this evaluation section as an opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to identify any areas where you may need additional study. Don't be discouraged by any challenges you encounter; instead, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. What were some of the external influences on the Nigeria area up to 1800? A. North Africans/Arabs and Europeans B. East Africans and Asians C. South Americans and Australians D. None of the above Answer: A. North Africans/Arabs and Europeans
  2. What were the main subtopics covered under North Africans/Arabs regarding external influences on the Nigeria area up to 1800? A. Monuments and Shelter Systems B. Agricultural Practices in Nigeria C. Trade and Trade Routes including Trans-Saharan trade D. Igbo tribe traditions Answer: C. Trade and Trade Routes including Trans-Saharan trade
  3. How did the spread and impact of Islam influence the Nigeria area up to 1800? A. It had no impact on the region B. Islam became a dominant religion in the Nigeria area C. The people rejected Islam D. Islam only spread to North Africa Answer: B. Islam became a dominant religion in the Nigeria area
  4. What was one of the objectives related to North Africans/Arabs in the topic of External Influences in History up to 1800? A. Assess the impact of European trade on the coastal people B. Evaluate the influence of Islam on the Nigeria area C. Discuss the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade D. Explore the impact of South Americans on Nigeria Answer: B. Evaluate the influence of Islam on the Nigeria area
  5. How did the trans-Saharan trade impact the Nigeria area up to 1800? A. It did not have any impact on the region B. It led to cultural exchange and economic development C. It caused a decline in trade activities D. It only benefited the European traders Answer: B. It led to cultural exchange and economic development

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Past Questions

Wondering what past questions for this topic looks like? Here are a number of questions about External Influences from previous years

Question 1 Report

Highlight any five factors that contributed to the  decline of Benin Empire in the 19th century.

Question 1 Report

The Oyo Empire reached its peak during the reign of which Alaafin?

Practice a number of External Influences past questions