The Gold Coast, now known as Ghana, is one of many
civilizations of Africa. It was a British Colony until March 6,
1957, when it became independent as the State of Ghana.
In 1471, the Portuguese invaded this area and became
involved in gold trade, giving the region the name, The Gold
Coast. They built forts to protect their monopoly of gold trade
from merchants representing other nations. In 1642, the Dutch
West India Company captured all Portuguese strong posts and they
devoted their interests in slave trading rather than gold
trading. In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, the Gold
Coast was one of the chief West African sources of slave export.
At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the countries involved
in slave trading began abolishing it as illegal and immoral. The
British abolished it in 1807, the Danish is 1804 and the Dutch in
In 1821, British forts were transferred from private
ownership to government control. The Gold Coast became a British
colony and the new government was known as the British Colony of
Sierra Leone.
In 1850, there was movement to establish a constitution. In
1851, an assembly convened to establish a legislative body of 84
members, as a result of mass rioting. In 1853, a Supreme Court
was established to maintain justice and to ensure that the
citizens would obey the laws of Britain. In 1895, municipal
governments were established for the larger towns of; Accra, Cape
Coast and Sekondi.
In 1954, after many years as a British Colony, the Gold
Coast wrote a second Constitution giving over the power of
running the country to native Africans, citizens of the region.
The only exception was External Accord, Defense and Police, which
were still primarily white government positions, representing
white people\'s interests.
The Gold Coast\'s industry consisted of; aluminum, oil
refineries, gold refineries, vehicle assembly, canneries, sugar
production, cocoa processing, etc. The region provided a wealth
of natural resources for merchants who cared to develop them.
There were many important leaders in Ghana. When a portion
of Ghana was known as Ashante, Ose Tutu was the founder of the
Kingdom of Ashante, in 1680. Kwame Nkramah was the first Prime
Minister and President of Ghana. J.B. Danquah was a founder of
and head figure of the United Gold Coast Connection. After
Nkramah became President of Ghana, Danquah opposed his policies
and was imprisoned for his ideas. The first African member of
the Legislative Council, in the early part of this century, was
J.E. Casely-Hayford. In 1969, Dr. Kofi A. Busia became Prime
Minister, but a military coup ousted him in 1972. In 1979, Dr.
Hilla Limann, a popular career diplomat from Northern Ghana,
became President.
On March 6, 1957, when the Gold Coast together with British
Togo became an autonomous state, within the Commonwealth, and
became the independent African Country of Ghana. It was named
Ghana after the ancient kingdom of Ghana, that lay along the
Niger River. On July 1, 1966, the name was changed to The
Republic of Ghana.
The civilization of the Gold Coast is now the Republic of