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Fynn, John Kerson (1964) Ashanti and Her Neighbours c. 1700-1807. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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By the middle of the second half of the seventeenth Century, the Portuguese trading monopoly on the Gold Coast had come to an end. The Dutch, who were largely responsible for bringing this about, could not follow their predecessor's example of monopolising the Gold Coast trade however. The development of plantation agriculture in the American and the Caribbean islands provided other European nations with strong economic motives to share in the Guinea trade. Thus English, Danish and Brandenburgers appeared on the coast to compete with the Dutch for the trade in gold, slaves and ivory. This ushered in an era of competition which was greatly to the advantage of the Africans, Apart from the increase in the volume of trade, the trans-Atlantic trade brought unprecedented wealth into the country. It was soon discovered however that the existing small states based on kinship and lineage were incapable of meeting the new economic demands, therefore larger political states such as Benkyera, Akwamu and Akyem were created by the Akan peoples to meet this demand. The creation of these states was made possible by the introduction of firearms in appreciable quantities into the country by the European traders. Because all these states aimed at political and economic expansion their association was characterized by mutual rivalry, Denkyera and Akyem usually acted together against Akwamu therefore Akwamu assisted in the creation of the Ashanti Kingdom to balance the might of its enemies and to preserve its western frontier. By the middle of the eighteenth century however Ashanti had defeated Akyem and Denkyera and was undoubtedly the dominant political and economic power in the hinterland of the Gold Coast since Akwamu itself was defeated by Akyem in 1730. In 1807, Ashanti conquered the coastal Fantis who, like the Ashantis, had also embarked upon political and economic expansion throughout the eighteenth century. It was clear, therefore, that in the early nineteenth century the probability was that the Gold Coast might become a monarchy ruled by the kings of Ashanti. That this did not happen was due to the policy adopted by Britain during that period.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:23

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