In 16th. century, when Gambia was under the control of Songhai empire , the area began to suffer from continuous invasion and looting by moroccanand portuguese. As the raids continued the empire collapsed and was conquered and claimed by Portugal. In 1588, the claimant to the Portuguese throne ,Antonio sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambian river to English merchants, this grant was confirmed by by letters patent from ueen Elizabeth I. In1618, King James I granted a charter to a British company for trade with the Gambia and the the Gold Coast 9Now Ghana).Between 1651 and 1661 part of gambia became a colony of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Later on settled on James Island, they called Andrews Island and used as a trade base from 1651 until its captureby the English in 1661.
During the late 17th. and throughout the 18th century, England and France constantly struggled for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal and Gambia regions. the 1783 treaty of parois gave Great britain possession of the the Gambia, but the french retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the north bank of the river , which was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1857.
As many as 3 million slaves might have been taken from the region during the three century. The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901 and gradually progressed toward self government. In 1906, slavery was abolished by an ordinance.
During WWII , Gambia did a lot to allied powers.
After WWII, and following a general election in Great Britain in 1962, full internal self govt. was granted to Gambia in 1965, Feb.