Around 1200 A.D., a small city-state controlled by Ghana was able to win its independence. This city-state was named Mali. During the 1300s A.D., Mali expanded its territory and influence. By the late 1300s A.D., Mali controlled all of the former Kingdom of Ghana as well as much of the territory around it.
This new kingdom faced many threats from both its neighbors as well as the people they had conquered. By the mid 1500s A.D., the peoples they had conquered began to rebel against their control. At the same time, attacks from outside forces weakened the armies of Mali, causing the kingdom to split into several smaller city-states.