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The major contributions of George Maclean to the establishment of British rule in the Gold Coast

George William Maclean was a Scottish, born on 24 February, 1801. He was commissioned into the Royal Africa Corps and was sent to Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast in 1826. After falling ill in 1828, he had to go back to England. In 1829, he was appointed as the President of the council of Government by a Committee of Merchants and arrived in the Gold Coast again in 1830. He died in 1847. George Maclean made a lot of contributions to the consolidation of British rule in the Gold Coast.

Promotion of peace
One of the major contributions of George Maclean to establishment of British influence in the Gold Coast was the promotion of peace between the Southern states and the Ashantis, who were the major local power at the time. In 1831, George Maclean brokered a Tripartite Treaty between the Southern states, the Ashantis and the British. Under the treaty, the Ashantis agreed to renounce their desire to control the coastal states. With this treaty, the British assumed an automatic control of the costs of the Gold Coast.

The establishment of a judicial system
Another contribution of George Maclean was that he spear-headed the establishment of a judicial system to enable the administration of justice in the colony. Mr. Maclean thought it wise that if the colonies were to develop economically, there was the need for peace. Therefore the introduction of a judicial system of administration was to bring about the needed peace for economic activity.

Settlement of inter-state disputes
George Maclean encouraged the settlement of disputes among the coastal states. Hitherto, disputes were settled through battles. This did not promote the interest of the British. Mr. Maclean helped to settle disputes that came to his attention. A typical example was the dispute between the Krobos and the Akyeam. His actions helped to promote peace among the coastal states and created the needed atmosphere for British interests to flourish.

Role as judicial assessor in the Gold Coast
Another contribution of George Maclean was after his appointment as the Judicial Assessor in the Gold Coast. This was after the signing of the Bond of 1844. George, as the Judicial Assessor, was assigned the responsibility of ensuring that the conditions of the Bond of 1844 were enforced.

Criticism of George Maclean
George Maclean was accused of turning a blind eye to slave-trading activities in the colony. He was also accused of exercising powers beyond the ones granted under the responsibilities of his position. A parliamentary Select committee was appointed to investigate these allegations. This committee recommended that the British should take over the direct responsibility of the Gold Coast.

1. Outline the major contributions of George Maclean to the consolidation of British rule in the Gold Coast.

2. How did George Maclean help the British to entrench their control over the Gold Coast?

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