Chapter 25 For Centuries, most of Africa was virtually beyond the reach of the peoples and empires of Europe

. Sahara a barrier that blocked the movements of peoples and how far was it a mirage? A lot of evidence suggests that the desert was such a formidable barrier; it prevented European and Asian empires from entering most of Africa. The Puzzle of the desert This largest desert in the world covered one-quarter of all the land of Africa. Perhaps it should be likened more to see than to land. Here and there, rising from the desert, were Rocky Mountains which caught the rain. The desert was far from a complete barrier. Caravans of camel crisscrossed it. Century after century Islamic traders crossed it and won a host of converts. European merchants crossed the desert more than is realized. The town was an inland depot for the northern third of Africa and it was approach less frequently from the closer coast of western Africa. Most were interrupted by waterfalls, rapids and cataracts. In the vastness of tropical Africa, there is no river to match the Nile. In the moist woodland, bloodsucking tsetse fly and malaria infective many people with sleeping sickness, these diseases helped to build a wall around tropical Africa. The Indian Ocean was the main gateway to eastern Africa. Chapter 26 Science and technology, more than in any previous century, had leaped ahead. Never had long-distance trade so increased. The world had shrunk but even rich people did not travel far in search of knowledge or pleasure. The most traveled people in the world were not scholars and priests but ordinary European and Arab sailors. People were used to stay in there own localities and were they nearly found food and the material they used for clothing and footwear. People drank there mineralised waters for the sake of there health. In 1815, an American noted that about 50 girls and boys were at worked and eldest child was not over 10 years of age. The Steam Horse In 1698 Thomas Savery applied steam, produced by coal, to work the pumps in a Cornish mine and first used in England. In land transport this was probably the most important invention since the Roman road. The first steam train ran between Stockton and Darlington in England in 1828. In 1850s remote provinces of the new world were building their first railways. Before the age of steam it was difficult to imagine a sailing ship arriving on time. Many rural folks, assuming that they would never possess enough money to buy a ticket for a train but after some time they realised that the world has changed for ever. The steamships were wooden paddle-steamers. By 1840 fast steamships were regularly crossing the north Atlantic. A crusial