Benin was one of the significant African Kingdoms because of its ability to control all trade be-tween West Africa and the interior, and also for their ability to conquer and control a large part of West Africa. The kingdom of Benin was located in the forest region on the west coast of Africa. It rose in 1400 BCE and was conquered by the British in the 1800s. The people were ruled by a king who was supported by his advisors. His advisors were selected from different villages with various skills such as farmers and craftsmen. Houses in Benin were built lined up against each other. The palace was the most significant structure in the city and was visited by foreign traders (“Mr. Donn’s Social Studies Site”). It covered more than one third of…show more content… From the 15th century onwards the kingdom of Benin took control of the trade between the peo-ple inland and Europeans at the coast(“The British Museum”), because Benin was located in the center between the north-south and east-west trading routes and they were at the frontline of all European traders, everything had to go through Benin. All traders and merchants that wanted to trade anything with Benin, were not allowed inside the country and they had to get the kings permission before trading anything so all wealth went to the king.(“The British Museum”)
The King of Benin was powerful and easily conquered other territories, as a result his kingdom was huge. His reputation preceded him and some chiefs brought him gifts before he had con-quered their territories. The King was even able to get the Portuguese to fight his battles for him. It is said that the king could call together a troop of 20,000 warriors with as little as 24 hours no-tice (The British Museum).
Compared to other kingdoms Benin was a strong kingdom but Mali was stronger. Benin was able to control trade in its region and to the interior. Benin successfully controlled a very large area. They were able easily defeat and control other villages. They were the first to have guns and eventually learnt how to replicate them. But Mali had 3 gold mines that together contributed to more than half of the worlds gold