Virtual Kollage: The social, economic and political developments in Ghana under the period of colonial rule

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The social, economic and political developments in Ghana under the period of colonial rule


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THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN GHANA UNDER THE PERIOD OF COLONIALISM
Introduction
Through a series of treaties and agreements between the local traditional rulers in the Gold Coast and the representatives of the European powers, the Gold Coast was duly and completely colonized by the beginning of the twentieth century. By the time the colonialists were exiting, there had been a lot of social, economic and political developments.

THE EFFECTS OF COLONIAL RULE
Establishment of schools
One of the social effects of colonization is the establishment of schools in the Ghana. The colonialists introduced the western style of education and the locals were encouraged to acquire western education. Subsequently, those who acquired education later became eligible for employment after school as the economy expanded. Some of them captured the top echelons of the Civil Service when it was Africanized.

Spread of Christianity
Until the coming of the white man, the main religion of the indigenous people was Traditional African Religion. The attempt by Christian Missionaries to introduce Christianity was therefore met with stiff opposition in certain quarters. The missionaries were looked upon with suspicion. With the establishment of colonialism, the missionaries could move about with less restriction than before. The result was the rapid spread of Christianity.

Western Medicare
Colonialism also introduced western methods of medication among the people. This resulted in the putting up of many health facilities. The western method of medication did not completely replace the traditional methods of medication, it rather complemented it. This brought about improvements in the healthcare situation of the local people.

Reduction in the powers of the Chiefs
The successful colonization of the Gold Coast also culminated in the reduction of the powers of the traditional rulers. The passing of the Native Jurisdiction Ordinance, for example, gave powers to the colonial officials to appoint and remove chiefs. The chiefs, so appointed by the colonial officials, became stooges of their colonial appointing authorities, thereby, sometimes losing the trust and support of the locals.

Creation of artificial barriers
The establishment of British rule in the Gold Coast led to the creation of artificial barriers among the members of same ethnic groups. For example, before colonial rule, the Ewes, the Nzemas and other ethnic groups along the new artificial borders, were one ethnic group, moving freely and trading among themselves, but the partitioning drove a knife between them with one portion on either side of border. This led to restrictions in the daily interactions of the local people on the borders.

Expansion in social amenities
Colonial rule also brought about expansion in the provision of social amenities. Aside the provision of health facilities, water systems were created and expanded in various communities. New markets were built and in some cases, the old ones were expanded and given a facelift. Electricity was provided in some urban centres and small towns which hitherto did not have such facilities. All these enhanced the general lifestyle of the people.

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. What were the major effects of European activities on the people of Ghana between the 16th and the 20th centuries?
2. What were the effects of European presence in Ghana up to 1900?


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