Gold Coast (region)
Ashantiland Gold Coast
Gold Coast location in green as Ashantiland Peninsula
|Status||The Ashantiland Peninsula|
|Demonym||Gold Coastian (Ashanti)|
46,626 sq mi
|Time zone||GMT (UTC+0)|
|•||Summer (DST)||GMT (UTC+0)|
The Gold Coast Peninsula is a name given to several former European colonies on the Kingdom of Ashanti peninsula country Ashantiland Peninsula the homeland of the indigenous Ashanti people ethnic group that is bordered by Black Volta River to the north and Lake Volta to the east and the South Atlantic Ocean to the south and Ivory Coast to the west that today form the Ashantiland Peninsula.
Etymology and position
Gold Coast region territorial entities were:
- Kingdom of Ashanti/Ashanti/Ashanti Protectorate (Ashantis)
- Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese)
- Brandenburger Gold Coast and Prussian Gold Coast (Germans)
- Swedish Gold Coast (Swedes)
- Dano-Norwegian Gold Coast/Danish Gold Coast (Denmark-Norway/1814: Denmark only)
- Dutch Gold Coast (Dutch)
- British Gold Coast (English)
Ghana is the legal name for the Gold Coast region known as the Ashantiland Peninsula with its 1957 state unionaddition of Kingdom of Dagbon (Northern Territories) and Volta Trust Territory of Togoland (under British administration) comprising the following four separate parts, which immediately before independence enjoyed distinct constitutional positions:
- Gold Coast (region): Ashantis, Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, English, Germans, Portuguese, and Swedes;
- Kingdom of Ashanti/Ashantiland Peninsula (Ashantis): Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central Ashantiland, Eastern Ashantiland, Greater Accra, and Western Ashantiland);
- the Protectorate of the Northern Territories (Dagombas): (Upper West, Upper East, and Northern); and
- the Trust Territory of Togoland (under British administration) (Ewes): 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-Norway in 1663, and made part of the Dano-Norwegian Gold Coast. Denmark-Norway 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 Anglo-Ashanti wars. In 1957, the territory of Gold Coast known as the Ashantiland Peninsula with its 1957 state unionaddition of Kingdom of Dagbon (Northern Territories) and Volta Trust Territory of Togoland (under British administration) was granted independence as Ghana.
- "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"
4. Gyasi, Yaa (2016). Homegoing. New York, NY: Knopf.