Today's discussion on the Mansas (Sundiata and Musa) raises a number of issues regarding how leadership has been implemented. Clearly, both Sundiata and Musa had very strong feelings about the manner in which a society should operate. Sundiata, in creating the Mali society, was attempting to instill a just and righteous civilization that would grow and thrive. Musa, on the other hand, inherited a society that already was thriving and made it even more successful.
The keys to Musa's success relied upon trade. Trade has helped push forward history through the interactions between societies that developed, and in the Mali example, the fact that Musa was able to use the commodities present in the society (Salt and Gold) to his advantage allowed him to make Mali a central power not only in Africa, but throughout the world. Trade (and the resulting interactions between civilizations) also encouraged cultural and social development across North Africa and into Southern Europe. Musa was able to capitalize on his advantages and the downturn in both Europe and the Middle East to further develop worldwide relations and increase his own civilization's standing in the world system.
So the question that arise from today involves trade. Specifically: can you think of other time periods in which trade/interactions have been the main motivating factor for historical development throughout the world?