The History Of Kenya

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The first non-African settlers were the Arabs who arrived on the East-African coast in the 7th century.

At first they were attracted by the possibility of trading with animal skin, ivory, and agricultural products, but later on they left their home countries due to the uprising unrest of the Islamic culture and made East-Africa their new home. The Arabs intermarried among the Bantu tribes and a new language was born Swahili. Until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century, life in East-Africa was in blossom. The Swahili civilization grew. Coastal towns were built up out of stone and quickly developed into wealthy city-states that were ruled by sultans.

Then, in the 15th century, the first European settlers arrived. The Portuguese were the first, but the British, the Indians and the Pakistani were soon to follow because of explorations, colonization, and missionary work. The Portuguese were the reason for the decline of the Swahili reign.

Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, got to Malindi (a coastal town) on the 14th of April, 1498. The 200 years of the Portuguese reign was established by his arrival. Lured by the wealth and beauty of the East-African coast, more and more settlers came and plundered the city-states. In 1505, Francisco d Almeida conquered Mombasa in a brutal and bloody battle. The neighboring city, Malindi, didn t interfere and even welcomed the Portuguese because of their motto: The enemies of Mombasa are the friends of Malindi. Under the Portuguese rule, the economy went downhill. The trade with Arabia stopped and trade with Europe was established instead.

The most important base for the Portuguese was Mombasa and soon Ford Jesus was built there. A large amount of rebellions were suppressed unscrupulously. These rebellions combined with the epidemics and supply problems weakened the Portuguese. In 1698, Ford Jesus was destroyed and the Oman reign over the Kenyan coast established. But the situation of the native Africans didn t change they were still oppressed. After the Oman had regained influence, the Portuguese left the country in 1720s. In 1828, Zanzibar was turned into the capital city and domestic trade became the domain. Slavery became more and more important especially as tribes started fighting each other and then selling the inferior tribe. That way Zanzibar was turned into the center of slavery trade and grew rich. When the Europeans found out about that they were shocked and demanded the end of slavery. The British even brought an anti-slavery message to the sultan and established a consulate at his court. In 1847, the sultan agreed to ban slavery, and in 1873, it finally became official but slavery remained a problem for the next couple of years.

The mid-19th century was called The Golden Age of Exploration. Europeans explored and mapped the interior of Kenya. The knowledge about Kenya was the base for the upcoming colonization of the 20th century.

In 1887, a British ...

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