Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ghana,Colonial period (contnued)

Ivor Wilks, a leaing historian of Ghana , observed that Akan purchases of slaves from portuguese traders operating from the Congo region augmented the labor needed for the state formation that was characteristic of this period.Unlike the Akan groups of the interior, the major coastal groups ,such as thge Fante, Ewe, and Ga, were for the most part settled in their homelands. Demand for slaves overshadowed gold as the principal export of the area during 15oos for requirements of slaves for plantations in Europe and America.
The prncipal early struggle wasbetween the Dutch and the portuguese. with the loss of Elimna in1642 to the Dutch , the Portuguese left the Gold Coast permanently.
Neighbouring British and Dutch forts at Sekondi
Both the Dutch and the British formed companies to advance their African ventures and to protect their coastal establishments. The Dutch west india company operated throughout most of the eighteenth century . The British African Company of Merchants , founded in 1750, was the successor to several earlier organisations of this type .These enterprises built and manned new installations as the companies pursued their trading activities and defended their respective jurisdictions with varying degrees of government backing . There were short lived ventures by the Swedesand the Prussians . The danes remained until 1850, when they withdrew from the gold Coast . the british gained possessions of all the Dutch coastal forts by the last quarter of the 19th century, thus making them the dominant European power on the Gold Coast.
the importations of slaves into the United States was outlawed in 1807, but actually it came to be operated omly after 1860s. By the early 19th century , the British through conquest or purchase , had become the masters of most of ther forts along the coast.
When the British Government allowed control of the gold coast settlement to revert the British African company of Merchants in the late 1820s , relations with Asante were still 1872 the British over the gold Coast ncreased further and the british proclaimed the existence of the Gold Coast colonuy on July,1874.
Slave trade triangle
1896 map of the British Gol Coast Colony.