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SUDAN (Arabic Bilad-es-Sudan, country...

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 10 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SUDAN (Arabic Bilad-es-Sudan, country of the blacks), that region of Africa which stretches, south of the Sahara and Egypt, from Cape Verde on the Atlantic to Massawa on the Red Sea. It is bounded S. (I) by the maritime countries of the west coast of Africa, (2) by the basin of the Congo, and (3) by the equatorial lakes, and E. by the Abyssinian and Galla high-lands. The name is often used in Great Britain in a restricted sense to designate only the eastern part of this vast territory, but it is properly applied to the whole area indicated, which corresponds roughly to that portion of negro Africa north of the equator under Mahommedan influence. The terms Nigritia and Negroland, at one time current, referred to the same region. The Sudan has an ethnological rather than a physical unity, and politically it is divided into a large number of states, all now under the control of European powers. These countries being separately described, brief notice only is required of the Sudan as a whole. Within the limits assigned it has a length of about 4000 m., extending southwards at some points I000 m., with a total area of over 2,000,000 sq. m., and a population, approximately, of 40,000,000. Between the arid and sandy northern wastes and the well-watered and arable Sudanese lands there is a transitional zone" of level grassy steppes (partly covered with mimosas and acacias) with a mean breadth of about 6o m. The zone lies between 17° and 18° N., but towards the centre reaches as far south as 15° N. Excluding this transitional zone, the Sudan may be described as a moderately elevated region, with extensive open or rolling plains, level plateaus, and abutting at its eastern and western ends on mountainous country. Crystalline rocks, granites, gneisses and schists, of the Central African type, occupy the greater part of the country. Towards the south-east, slates, quartzites and iron-bearing schists occur, but their age is not known. The Congo sandstones do not appear to extend as far north. The Nubian sandstone borders the Libyan desert on the south and south-west, but it is doubtful if this sandstone is of Cretaceous or earlier date. The Sudan contains the basin of the Senegal and parts of three other hydrographic systems, namely: the Niger, draining southwards to the Atlantic; the central depression of Lake Chad; and the Nile, flowing northwards to the Mediterranean. Lying within the tropics and with an average elevation of not more than 1500 to 2000 ft. above the sea, the climate of the Sudan is hot and in the river valleys very unhealthy. Few parts are suitable for the residence of Europeans. Cut off from North Africa by the Saharan desert, the inhabitants, who belang in the main to the negro family proper, are thought to have received their earliest civilization from the East. Arab influence and the Moslem religion began to be felt in the western Sudan as early as the 9th century and had taken deep root by the end of the Ilth. The existence of native Christian states in Nubia hindered for some centuries the spread of Islam in the eastern Sudan, and throughout the country some tribes have remained pagan. It was not until the last quarter of the 19th century that the European nations became the ruling force. The terms western, central and eastern Sudan are indicative of geographical position merely. The various states are politically divisible into four groups: (I) those west of the Niger; (2) those between the Niger and Lake Chad; (3) those between Lake Chad and the basin of the Nile; (4) those in the upper Nile valley. The first group includes the native states of Bondu, Futa Jallon, Masina, Mossi and all the tribes within the great bend of the Niger. In the last quarter of the 19th century they fell under the control of France, the region being styled officially the French Sudan. In 1900 this title was abandoned. The greater part of what was the French Sudan is now known as the Upper Senegal and Niger Colony (see SENEGAL, FRENCH WEST AFRICA, &C.). The second group of Sudanese states Ernttrma'ttXA is almost entirely within the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria. It includes the sultanate of Sokoto and its dependent emirates of Kano, Bida, Zaria, &c., and the ancient sultanate of Bornu, which, with Adamawa, is partly within the German colony of Cameroon (see NIGERIA and CAMEROON). The third or central group of Sudanese states is formed of the sultanates of Bagirmi (q.v.) with Kanem and Wadai (q.v.). Wadai was the last state of the Sudan to come under European influence, its conquest being effected in 1909. This third group is included in French Congo (q.v.). The fourth group consists of the states conquered during the 19th century by the Egyptians and now under the joint control of Great Britain and Egypt. These countries are known collectively as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (see below). For the regions west of Lake Chad the standard historical work is the Travels of Dr Heinrich Barth (5 vols., London, 1857-1858). Consult also P. C. Meyer, Erforschungsgeschichte and Staatenbildungen des Westsudan (Gotha, 1897), an admirable summary with bibliography and maps; Karl Kumm, The Sudan (London, 1907); Lady A as° B 30° C 35° D s~g~j « y~ _ rc ) _ Ed t All 10–E'gYPtlall 1 ai t t rKL atar{a ..n (Eb ) Jab 1St IT ,~tS sipAVHabb. SUDAN 0 AMb BbM1` lurr t ,+` c R ~~o 1 t b a m +cB_ snare' K na ' N +blfrp~, g f Art D Igo D---2: ~"E—Y[Yif }-(q - IIo English Miles O Su' .00 seo J d. 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W . b ZuC +Dee •; x` a oy`. 3 )r sl f U R G~ ,' CJ f, , eb Q r.: - ` . ., Y NOOOaipfi M° galor; Rewires ° r r i dt Z e, 4;6. c t D qaF A N wa „a,*J {• 7 T > ao•tt. ~J "s iGas z P F i cs ; , a et~be ~a "' cc. --%,. J,°a r EO° • Wu .. fry ;A•7d >~~ ~. 4•~ o. ,. i 8,91•C+,/y1 ~'O End of Article: SUDAN (Arabic Bilad-es-Sudan, country of the blacks)
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