Kingdom of Kongo

Definition

The Kingdom of Kongo (14-19th century CE) was located on the western coast of central Africa in modern-day DR of Congo and Angola. Prospering on the regional trade of copper, ivory, and slaves along the Congo River, the kingdom's wealth was boosted by the arrival of Portuguese traders in the late 15th century CE who expanded even further the slave trade in the region. Kongo kings were converted to Christianity but relations with the Europeans deteriorated as each side attempted to dominate the other. Civil wars and defeats to rival neighbouring kingdoms finally saw the Kongo state collapse in the early 18th century CE. The Portuguese reinstalled the position of the Kongo monarchs, and the state limped on in name only well into the 19th century CE but the kingdom's days as the strongest power in west-central Africa were now but a distant memory.

More about: Kingdom of Kongo

Timeline

  • c. 1400 - c. 1700
    The Kingdom of Kongo flourishes in west-central Africa.
  • c. 1482
    Portuguese traders first arrive in the Kingdom of Kongo.
  • 1491
    Christian missionaries first arrive in the Kingdom of Kongo.
  • 1506 - 1543
    Reign of Affonso I in the Kingdom of Kongo.
  • c. 1568
    Jaga warriors attack the Kingdom of Kongo.
  • 1665
    An alliance of Angolan tribes and the Portuguese defeat the Kingdom of Kongo at the Battle of Mbwila.
  • 1670
    A Portuguese force is defeated by the Kingdom of Kongo at Soyo.
  • 1678
    Sao Salvador, the capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, is sacked and abandoned following civil war.
  • 1710
    The Kingdom of Kongo ceases to exist as a fully independent state.
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