The earliest kingdom to rise in eastern Africa was Ghana, which gained power and dominance through its taxation of the trade in the Sahara. The Ghana were later overpowered by the Mali rulers, who were lateral overpowered by the Songhay empire. The Songhay were based in Gao, which had a population of about seventy-five thousand people at its peak. The Songhay empire’s decline happened in 1591 when a musket-bearing Moroccan army overpowered the Songhay military. Kingdoms such as Kanem-Bornu and groups of people such as Oyo and Asante took rise. The Portuguese had various conflicts with the Swahili, especially in 1502 when Vasco da Gama made the ruler of Kilwa pay tribute while putting the Swahili under great military pressure. The Kingdom of Kongo came to power by the end of the fifteenth century. Kongo’s kings converted to Christianity to make trade and relations with the Portuguese easier (for example, King Nzinga Mbemba, a devout Roman Catholic, changed his name to King Alfonso I). The Kongo capital was Mbanza. Slave raiding was a major problem in the Kongo because of the Portuguese. Later, this became a problem in a southern kingdom also (the kingdom of Ndongo). Queen Nzinga tried to resist the Portuguese by allying with the Dutch, but she was not very successful (things went downhill after she died). Religion played a crucial role in sub-Saharan Africa (mainly focused on Islam and Christianity, but also some traditional religions). There were several groups such as the Fulani that were deeply religious and tried to ensure that there were strict regulations regarding religions. Many Christian missionaries in this time tried to combine Christian teachings with African traditions, creating syncretic religious beliefs. In the Antonian movement, many Antonians challenged the king and tried to create a faith with beliefs that supported them. The Atlantic slave trade was built around war captives and criminals who became slaves, a symbol of richness and power. More than ten million Africans were forcefully put into the slave trade during the eighth to eighteenth centuries. There was mainly a triangular trade with European products such as firearms and horses traded for slaves, then slaves traded for sugar products in the Caribbean, then the products from America traded in European cities. Dahomey was a slave-raiding state that captured slaves and shipped them to plantations for tobacco, sugar, indigo, and rice. Slave revolts were not very common but occasionally occurred. However, many cultural traditions arose from the slaves. African and Creole languages developed along with syncretic religions such as Santeria. Thankfully, most European nations ended slave trade in the early part of the nineteenth century and many countries later began to abolish slavery.