Day 11: History Of Ghana #BlackHistoryMonth

20140211-110002.jpg The Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire. The Empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the Ghana Empire after the title of its emperor, the Ghana. Historically, modern Ghanaian territory was the core of the Empire of Ashanti (or Asante), which was one of the most advanced states in sub-Sahara Africa in the 18th to 19th centuries, before colonial rule. It is said that at its peak, the king of Ashanti could field 500,000 troops.
The Portuguese position on the Gold Coast remained secure for over a century. During that time, Lisbon sought to monopolize all trade in the region in royal hands, though appointed officials at São Jorge, and used force to prevent English, French, and Flemish efforts to trade on the coast. By 1598, the Dutch began trading on the Gold Coast. The Dutch built forts at Komenda and Kormantsi by 1612. In 1637 they captured Elmina Castle from the Portuguese and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony). Other European traders joined in by the mid-17th century, largely English, Danes, and Swedes. The coastline was dotted by more than 30 forts and castles built by Dutch, British, and Danish merchants primarily to protect their interests from other Europeans and pirates. The Gold Coast became the highest concentration of European military architecture outside of Europe. Sometimes they were also drawn into conflicts with local inhabitants as Europeans developed commercial alliances with local political authorities. These alliances, often complicated, involved both Europeans attempting to enlist or persuade their closest allies to attack rival European ports and their African allies, or conversely, various African powers seeking to recruit Europeans as mercenaries in their inter-state wars, or as diplomats to resolve conflicts. By the latter part of 19th century the Dutch and the British were the only traders left and after the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britain made the Gold Coast a protectorate—a British Crown Colony. During the previous few centuries parts of the area were controlled by British, Portuguese, and Scandinavian powers, with the British ultimately prevailing. These nation-states maintained varying alliances with the colonial powers and each other, which resulted in the 1806 Ashanti-Fante War, as well as an ongoing struggle by the Empire of Ashanti against the British, the four Anglo-Ashanti Wars.
On August 3, 1956, the new assembly passed a motion authorizing the government to request independence within the British Commonwealth. The opposition did not attend the debate, and the vote was unanimous. The British government accepted this motion as clearly representing a reasonable majority, so on 18 September 1956 the British set 6 March 1957, the 113th anniversary of the Bond of 1844, as the date the former British colony of the Gold Coast was to become the independent state of Ghana, and the nation’s Legislative Assembly was to become the National Assembly. Nkrumah continued as prime minister, and Queen Elizabeth II as monarch, represented in the former colony by a governor general, Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke. This status of Ghana as a Commonwealth realm would continue until 1960, when after a national referendum, Ghana was declared a republic.

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