Dutch Gold Coast History of West Africa Gold Coast 1874-1918

The British on the Gold Coast, 1663-1815

On the Gold Coast, the English were latecomers. The Portuguese had traded here since 1482, the Dutch since the late 16th century.
The English established fortified trading posts at SEKONDI 1645, FORT KOMENDA 1663. In 1663-1665 they occupied a number of Dutch forts, returning most of them when a peace treaty was signed; the English held on to CAPE COAST.
Throughout the 18th century, the Dutch remained the dominant European trading nation on the Gold Coast. During the WAR OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE, when the Netherlands sided with the Americans, the British briefly occupied a number of Dutch forts (1782-1785), but not Elmina.
In 1807, Britain declared slave trade outlawed; this sparkled violent clashes with the ASHANTI who had conquered the coastal Fanti states and were now direct neighbours of the British.
The COMPANY OF AFRICAN MERCHANTS operated the Gold Coast Forts; until 1807 their main trade had been in slaves. There was a limited gold trade and trade in palm oil. The 1807 ban on the slave trade hurt it significantly; in 1821 her charter was revoked.

European forts in Ghana, by Marco Ramerini; Castles and Forts of Ghana, from Akwaaba
REFERENCE J.E. Flint, The Growth of European Influence in West Africa in the Nineteenth Century, pp.359-379 in : JF. Ade Ajayi and Ian Espie (ed.), West African History, Ibadan UP (1965) 1967 [G]
P.E.H. Hair and Robin Law, The English in Western Africa to 1700, pp.241-263, in : Nicholas Canny (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.I : TheOrigins of Empire, Oxford : UP 1999, KMLA Lib.Sign. 909.0971241 O98o v.3

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on May 19th 2006

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