Gold Coast (region)
Ghanaian Gold Coast
Gold Coast location in red
|Status||The Multinational State of the Republic of Ghana|
|Demonym||Gold Coastian (Ghanaian)|
92,099 sq mi
|Time zone||GMT (UTC+0)|
|•||Summer (DST)||GMT (UTC+0)|
Etymology and position
Gold Coast region territorial entities were:
- Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese)
- Brandenburger Gold Coast and Prussian Gold Coast (Germans)
- Swedish Gold Coast (Swedes)
- Danish Gold Coast (Denmark-Norway)
- Dutch Gold Coast (Dutch)
- British Gold Coast (English)
Ghana is the legal name for the Gold Coast region comprising the following four separate parts, which immediately before independence enjoyed distinct constitutional positions:
- Gold Coast (region): Akans, Danes, Dutch, English, Germans, Portuguese, and Swedes;
- Kingdom of Ashanti (Akans: Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, and Western);
- the Protectorate of the Northern Territories (Upper West, Upper East, and Northern); and
- the Trust Territory of Togoland (under British administration): Volta.
The Gold Coast Governors-General responsible for shepherding through the Gold Coast independence legislation Charles Arden-Clarke Lord Listowel explained that the name was chosen "in accordance with the wishes of the Gold Coastian population".
Gold Coast was first colonized by the Portuguese, with settlement in 1482 of the Portuguese Gold Coast. In 1642 this became part of the Dutch Gold Coast, which had been colonized by the Dutch since 1598. The Dutch stayed in the region until 1871, when the last of their settlements were taken over by the British Gold Coast.
There was also the Brandenburger Gold Coast, which established a colony in the area in 1682. It later became the Prussian Gold Coast. In 1721 it was sold to the Dutch. Sweden also had settlements in Gold Coast, with the Swedish Gold Coast established by the Swedes in 1650, but seized by Denmark in 1663, and made part of the Danish Gold Coast. The Danes had been in the Gold Coast Since 1658. In 1850 all of the settlements became part of the British Gold Coast.
In 1774 a London lexicographer references a witness that "the king of Guinea, the greatest city in all the countries of Negroland, has a mass of gold of thirty pounds weight as it was naturally produced in the mines which is completely pure, tough and malleable without having been smelted". The British had taken over all of Gold Coast by 1871. They captured more territory inland in the late nineteenth century after the Ashanti wars. In 1957, the territory of Gold Coast was granted independence as Ghana.
- "Population Country Economy".
- "The Legislation Providing for the Grant of Independence to Ghana" Journal of African Law, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer, 1957), pp. 99–112, Published by: Cambridge University Press
- HC Deb 11 December 1956 vol 562 cc229-326, Ghana Independence Bill, The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Lord John Hope) "First, there is the name "Ghana." This has been conferred on the new country in accordance with local wishes. It was the name of an ancient kingdom, in what is now French territory south of the Sahara, which has acquired great historic significance in the Gold Coast."
- Postlethwayt, Malachy. (1774). Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce. (4th edition). London: W. Strahan, J. & F. Rivington. Volume 1. "Africa"