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Daaku, Kwame Yeboa (1964) Trade and Politics on the Gold Coast: 1640-1720. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033744

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Abstract

Between 1640 and 1720 the Gold Coast coastline witnessed attempts on an unprecedented scale by Europeans to establish their trading posts. Conditions governing the grants of land on which their forts were built, examined here, have so far remained unknown. The seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries saw great changes in the relations between the Africans and the Europeans. There were commercial, social and political repercussions which greatly affected the Gold Coast. Commercially, not only were the locally made goods such as cotton cloths and beads superseded by European manufactured goods but gold, which had formerly been the main produce, began to be scarce. The inordinate demand for slaves by the European traders made gold mining unsafe. The slave trade gradually ate into all aspects of life on the Gold Coast. Even attempts to introduce plantations could not succeed, for, ironically, there were not enough farm hands to work them. Politically, the theory of state formation which had been based on kindred groupings collapsed. The greatest single factor which hastened the disintegration of the old order was the gun-running, in which the newcomers, unlike the Portuguese, indulged. This gave a strong push to ambitious states to conquer and subjugate the weaker ones. After 1700 state diplomacy on the Gold Coast was dictated by a desire to ally with others to isolate unfriendly neighbours. Socially, the change in the direction of trade from the north to the south made the coastal towns which had hitherto been mere fishing and salt-making villages into important centres. In these towns there grew up a new class of middlemen traders, artisans and wage earners whose existence was the direct result of the Afro-European confrontation on the Gold Coast.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033744
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33744

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