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Ghana

1997 Ghana

Around the year 1300, the Akans - or Ashantis - arrived in present-day Ghana. Along the coast, the strong kingdom of Denkiera already existed. The Ashantis settled in the forests of the interior of the country, forming a number of smaller kingdoms that paid taxes to the coastal state.

Around the 15th century, the Ashantis became involved in Sudanese trade relations and used the market in Begho at the border with the present Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). There they traded slaves and gold for textiles and Sudanese goods, or perhaps more exotic goods. The King of Kumasi had in his treasury a processed mug that had belonged to the English King Richard II in 1367-1400.

In the 17th century, new immigration threatened the existence of small kingdoms in the forests. The immigration forced all the Ashantis to join together to fight the immigrant doma people who ended up being defeated.

According to Countryaah, Sudanese markets had collapsed with the collapse of the Songhai empire along the Niger River, invasions from Morocco and the Portuguese conquests that wreaked havoc on the economy of the interior of the country. At the same time, the coastal area was still dominated by Denkiera. The Ashantis therefore stood without their own markets, but instead of paying taxes to Denkiera, they decided to wage war against this kingdom. A war they won. They organized a centralized state led by the Ashantihene - the leader of the Ashanti people - and supported by a strong army. From the year 1700 they controlled the transport of slaves to the coast and trade of European goods to the interior of the country.

British colonialism

As the English began to fight the trade in slaves, the Ashantians dealt with the new "market crisis" by trying to expel the fanti people from the part of the coast where a significant part of the coastal trade was still concentrated. However, they were supported by the English, triggering the first war between England and the Ashantis (1806-1816), followed by others in 1825-1828 and 1874. After the last war, the English made the fanti territory into British colony, and with it pretext to defend the area against Samori Turé (see Guinea ), in 1895 they proclaimed the area in the north to the British protectorate.

The northernmost part of the country and coastal area was now under British dominance, while the central part was the Ashanti State. New clashes followed and in 1896 a new war broke out between the two parties. The Ashanti capital, Kumasi, was bombarded with guns, the king crashed and sent into exile, and the Ashanti were told they owed the English 50,000 ounces (about 1500 kg) of gold in "war damage". Four years later, the colonial power tried to charge the damages so that the governor could sit on the symbolic throne of gold, but this sparked an extensive revolt. It was suffocated in blood - thousands were killed. In 1902, the Ashanti Kingdom was formally made part of the British colony of the Gold Coast.

Despite the ethnic and religious differences between the peoples of the country, strong nationalism developed in the country during the first half of the 20th century. At the same time, economic divisions developed between the northern part of the country, where traditional economic structures continued to prevail, and the southern part of the country where a working class of some importance and a Europeanized African middle class developed.

 

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