Gold Coast (region)

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Coordinates: 5°27′N0°58′W / 5.450°N 0.967°W / 5.450; -0.967


Gold Coast

Flag of Gold Coast (Flag of Ghana).jpg
Badge of the Gold Coast (1877-1957).svg
Gold Coast Emblem
Ghana in the world (W3).svg
Gold Coast location in red
Regions of Ghana en.svg
StatusThe Multinational State of the Republic of Ghana
Demonym(s) Gold Coastian or Gold Coaster (Ghanaian)
238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi)
about 25,366,462 [1]
Time zone UTC+0 (GMT)
 Summer (DST)

The Gold Coast was the name for a region on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa that was rich in gold, petroleum, sweet crude oil and natural gas. This former region is now known as the country of Ghana.

Etymology and position

The Gold Coast, Slave Coast, Pepper Coast (or Grain Coast) were named after the main export resources there. [2]

Early uses of the term Gold Coast refer literally to the coast and not the interior. [2] It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to areas that are far from the coast. [2]

The Gold Coast was to the east of the Ivory Coast and to the west of the Slave Coast. [2]

Territorial entities

Gold Coast region territorial entities were:

Ghana is the legal name for the region loosely referred to as the Gold Coast comprising the following four separate parts, which immediately before independence had distinct constitutional positions: [2]

The United Kingdom government was responsible for shepherding through the Ghana Independence Act 1957 with Charles Arden-Clarke Lord Listowel explained that the name was chosen "in accordance with the wishes of the Gold Coastian population". [3]


1930s Stamp Gold Coast Golden Stool with George VI. Stamp Gold Coast Golden Stool with GeorgeVI.jpg
1930s Stamp Gold Coast Golden Stool with George VI.

Europeans reached this region of Africa in 1482, and for centuries afterwards, various European empires and trading companies set up trading posts, known as factories there. They used these colonies to exploit the resources rather than to settle large numbers of subjects.

The Portuguese Gold Coast was the first claim. [2] The Dutch arrived in 1598 and in 1642 incorporated the Portuguese territory into the Dutch Gold Coast. [2] The Dutch stayed in the region until 1871, when the last of their settlements were taken over by the British Gold Coast. [2]

There was also the Brandenburger Gold Coast, which established a colony in the area in 1682. [2] It later became the Prussian Gold Coast. [2] In 1721 the Dutch purchased it. [2] The Swedish Gold Coast settlements date to 1650. The Danes arrived in 1663 and later seized the Swedish territory and incorporated it into the Danish Gold Coast. [2] In 1850 all of the settlements became part of the British Gold Coast. [2]

In 1774 a London commercial expert 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". [4] The British had taken over all of Gold Coast by 1871. [2] They captured more territory inland in the late 19th century after the Anglo-Ashanti wars. [2] In 1957, the territory comprising the Gold Coast Crown Colony, the Ashanti Crown Colony, the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast Protectorate and British Togoland were united as an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations under the name Ghana. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Colony Territory governed by another country

In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropolitan state . This administrative colonial separation makes colonies neither incorporated territories, nor client states. Some colonies have been organized either as dependent territories that are not sufficiently self-governed, or as self-governed colonies controlled by colonial settlers.

The Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire. The empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the Ghana Empire after the title of its Emperor, the Ghana. The Empire appears to have broken up following the 1076 conquest by the Almoravid General Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar. A reduced kingdom continued to exist after Almoravid rule ended, and the kingdom was later incorporated into subsequent Sahelian empires, such as the Mali Empire several centuries later. Geographically, the ancient Ghana Empire was approximately 500 miles (800 km) north and west of the modern state of Ghana, and controlled territories in the area of the Sénégal River and east towards the Niger rivers, in modern Senegal, Mauritania and Mali.

Gold Coast may refer to:

Gold Coast (British colony) British colony in West Africa from 1821 until 1957

The Gold Coast was a British Crown Colony on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa from 1821 until its independence in 1957. The term Gold Coast is also often used to describe all of the four separate jurisdictions that were under the administration of the Governor of the Gold Coast. These were the Gold Coast itself, Ashanti, the Northern Territories Protectorate and the British Togoland trust territory.

British Togoland

British Togoland, officially the Mandate Territory of Togoland and later officially the Trust Territory of Togoland, was a territory in West Africa, under the administration of the United Kingdom, which subsequently entered into union with Ghana, part becoming its Volta Region. It was effectively formed in 1916 by the splitting of the German protectorate of Togoland into two territories, French Togoland and British Togoland, during the First World War. Initially, it was a League of Nations Class B mandate. In 1922, British Togoland was formally placed under British rule while French Togoland, now Togo, was placed under French rule.

Togoland Former protectorate of the German colonial empire in West Africa (1884–1914), divided between present-day Ghana and Togo

Togoland was a German Empire protectorate in West Africa from 1884 to 1914, encompassing what is now the nation of Togo and most of what is now the Volta Region of Ghana, approximately 77,355 km2 in size. During the period known as the "Scramble for Africa", the colony was established in 1884 and was gradually extended inland.

British West Africa

British West Africa was the collective name for British colonies in West Africa during the colonial period, either in the general geographical sense or the formal colonial administrative entity. The United Kingdom held varying parts of these territories or the whole throughout the 19th century. From west to east, the colonies became the independent countries of The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Until independence, Ghana was referred to as the Gold Coast.

Dutch Gold Coast Dutch possession in Western Africa between 1598-1872

The Dutch Gold Coast or Dutch Guinea, officially Dutch possessions on the Coast of Guinea was a portion of contemporary Ghana that was gradually colonized by the Dutch, beginning in 1612. The Dutch began trading in the area around 1598, joining the Portuguese which had a trading post there since the late 1400s. Eventually, the Dutch Gold Coast became the most important Dutch colony in West Africa after Fort Elmina was captured from the Portuguese in 1637, but fell into disarray after the abolition of the slave trade in the early 19th century. On 6 April 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast was, in accordance with the Anglo-Dutch Treaties of 1870–71, ceded to the United Kingdom.

A colonial empire is a collective of territories, either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas, settled by the population of a certain state and governed by that state. Example:- Mughal Empire, British Empire.

Danish Gold Coast Danish colony in Africa from 1658 to 1850

The Danish Gold Coast comprised the colonies that Denmark–Norway controlled in Africa as a part of the Gold Coast, which is on the Gulf of Guinea. It was colonized by the Dano-Norwegian fleet, first under indirect rule by the Danish West India Company, later as a crown colony of the kingdom of Denmark-Norway.

Swedish Gold Coast

The Swedish Gold Coast was a Swedish colony founded in 1650 by Hendrik Carloff on the Gulf of Guinea in present-day Ghana in Africa. It lasted until April 1663 when the whole Swedish Gold Coast was seized by Denmark, and integrated in the Danish Gold Coast.

Evolution of the Portuguese Empire

This article is a comprehensive list of all the actual possessions of the Portuguese Empire.

Ashanti Protectorate was established 1902 from the Ashanti Confederacy now Ashanti Region. Ghana was formed on March 6, 1957, by the uniting of Ashanti Protectorate, Northern Territories, Gold Coast Crown Colony, and British Mandate of Togoland.

Western Togoland Region of Ghana

Western Togoland is an area de jure in the Republic of Ghana. The area of Western Togoland is divided into five regions: Volta, Oti, Northern region, North East region and Upper East Region. In September 2020 separatists in Western Togoland declared independence from the Republic of Ghana.

Ghana–Togo border

The Ghana–Togo border is 1,098 km in length and runs from the tripoint with Burkina Faso in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the south.

Ghana Independence Act 1957 United Kingdom legislation

The Ghana Independence Act 1957 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that granted the Gold Coast fully responsible government within the British Commonwealth of Nations under the name Ghana. The Act received the Royal Assent on 7 February 1957 and Ghana came into being on 6 March 1957.

Ashanti (Crown Colony) British Crown Colony from 1901 until 1957

Ashanti was a British Crown Colony in West Africa from 1901 until its independence as part of the dominion named Ghana in 1957. After several prior wars with British troops, Ashanti was once again occupied by British troops in January 1896. In 1900 the Ashanti Uprising took place. The British suppressed the violence and captured the city of Kumasi. Ashanti's traditional king, the Asanthene, and his counselors were deported. The final outcome was the annexation of Ashanti by the British so that it became part of His Majesty's dominions and a British Crown Colony with its administration undertaken by a Chief Commissioner under the authority of the Governor of the Gold Coast. Ashanti was classed as a colony by conquest. The legislation by which this annexation was effected and the administration constituted was the Ashanti Order in Council 1901 made on 26 September 1901.


  1. "Population Country Economy".
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "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.
  3. 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."
  4. Postlethwayt, Malachy (1774). Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce (4th edition). London: W. Strahan, J. & F. Rivington. Volume 1. "Africa".