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The steps taken by the British to establish political control over the Gold Coast

The late 19th century saw an increased interest in Africa by Europe. The British turned their attention toward what was then called the Gold Coast. In order to establish their control over the territory, they did not use a one-size-fits-all approach. They used different methods as the situation on the ground dictated till they were able to cover the entire colony.

The Bond of 1844
This was a treaty that was signed between the states along the shores of the then Gold Coast and the British Crown. It was master-minded by one Commander Hill, signing on behalf of the British Crown on the one hand, and the chiefs of the states along the shores of the Gold Coast on the other. The terms of the treaty were that the chiefs gave up the practicing of certain customs, such as human sacrifice, in exchange for protection from the British.

The Fomena Treaty
Following the Sa granti war, the British established political authority over the Gold Coast resulting from the signing of the Fomena Treaty. With the treaty, the British annexed the Southern parts of the Gold Coast which it referred to as the Crown Colony. The treaty enjoined the Ashatis to renounce their “overlordship” over Edina and some other coastal states.

The use of Laws
The British also made use of laws in their quest to gain complete control over the colonies. The Colonial Validity Law of 1865, for example, gave approval for the establishment of political and legal institutions in the Gold Coast.

Establishment of political institutions
British control over the Gold Coast was also achieved through the creation of political institutions with jurisdiction over the territories. They established, for example, the Legislative and Executive Councils. These two institutions were tasked with the duty of making laws for the administration of the land and formulating policies and implementing them respectively. They also created a judicial system with a Supreme Court at the helm to administer justice for all.

Acquisition of the Protectorates
After the Asantewa war of 1900 and 1901, the British passed an Order-in-Council under which Ashanti was annexed. There Northern territories were acquired through another treaty. Under this treaty, the British gave the northern territories protection against slave raiders and thus completed her total control over the entire land mass of the Gold Coast.

1. Highlight any five measures taken by the British to establish political control in the Gold Coast.

2. Outline the steps taken by the British to gain control over their territories in the Gold Coast.

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