Britain Takes Control

September 9, 1821

In 1821, the British Government took control of the British trading forts on the Gold Coast. In 1844, Fanti chiefs in the area signed an agreement with the British that became the legal stepping stone to colonial status for the coastal area. From 1826 to 1900, the British fought a series of campaigns against the Ashantis (specifically the 1st Ashanti War 1863-64 and the 2nd Ashanti War 1873-74), whose kingdom was located inland. In 1902, they succeeded in establishing firm control over the Ashanti region and making the northern territories a protectorate.


Osu Castle, Accra

Osu Castle, Accra

James Fort, Accra

James Fort, Accra

Canons at Cape Coast Castle

Canons at Cape Coast Castle



7 Responses to “Britain Takes Control”

    By the early nineteenth century, the British, through conquest or purchase, had become masters of most of the forts along the coast. Two major factors laid the foundations of British rule and the eventual establishment of a colony on the Gold Coast: British reaction to the Asante wars and the resulting instability and disruption of trade, and Britain’s increasing preoccupation with the suppression and elimination of the slave trade.
    During most of the nineteenth century, Asante, the most powerful state of the Akan interior, sought to expand its rule and to promote and protect its trade. The first Asante invasion of the coastal regions took place in 1807; the Asante moved south again in 1811 and in 1814. These invasions, though not decisive, disrupted trade in such products as gold, timber, and palm oil, and threatened the security of the European forts. Local British, Dutch, and Danish authorities were all forced to come to terms with Asante, and in 1817 the African Company of Merchants signed a treaty of friendship that recognized Asante claims to sovereignty over large areas of the coast and its peoples.
    The coastal people, primarily some of the Fante and the inhabitants of the new town of Accra, who were chiefly Ga, came to rely on British protection against Asante incursions, but the ability of the merchant companies to provide this security was limited. The British Crown dissolved the company in 1821, giving authority over British forts on the Gold Coast to Governor Charles MacCarthy, governor of Sierra Leone. The British forts and Sierra Leone remained under common administration for the first half of the century. MacCarthy’s mandate was to impose peace and to end the slave trade. He sought to do this by encouraging the coastal peoples to oppose Kumasi rule and by closing the great roads to the coast. Incidents and sporadic warfare continued, however. MacCarthy was killed, and most of his force was wiped out in a battle with Asante forces in 1824. An Asante invasion of the coast in 1826 was defeated, nonetheless, by a combined force of British and local forces, including the Fante and the people of Accra.
    When the British government allowed control of the Gold Coast settlements to revert to the British African Company of Merchants in the late 1820s, relations with Asante were still problematic. From the Asante point of view, the British had failed to control the activities of their local coastal allies. Had this been done, Asante might not have found it necessary to attempt to impose peace on the coastal peoples. MacCarthy’s encouragement of coastal opposition to Asante and the subsequent 1824 British military attack further indicated to Asante authorities that the Europeans, especially the British, did not respect Asante.
    In 1830 a London committee of merchants chose Captain George Maclean to become president of a local council of merchants. Although his formal jurisdiction was limited, Maclean’s achievements were substantial; for example, a peace treaty was arranged with Asante in 1831. Maclean also supervised the coastal people by holding regular court in Cape Coast where he punished those found guilty of disturbing the peace. Between 1830 and 1843 while Maclean was in charge of affairs on the Gold Coast, no confrontations occurred with Asante, and the volume of trade reportedly increased threefold. Maclean’s exercise of limited judicial power on the coast was so effective that a parliamentary committee recommended that the British government permanently administer its settlements and negotiate treaties with the coastal chiefs that would define Britain’s relations with them. The government did so in 1843, the same year crown government was reinstated. Commander H. Worsley Hill was appointed first governor of the Gold Coast. Under Maclean’s administration, several coastal tribes had submitted voluntarily to British protection. Hill proceeded to define the conditions and responsibilities of his jurisdiction over the protected areas. He negotiated a special treaty with a number of Fante and other local chiefs that became known as the Bond of 1844. This document obliged local leaders to submit serious crimes, such as murder and robbery, to British jurisdiction and laid the legal foundation for subsequent British colonization of the coastal area.
    Additional coastal states as well as other states farther inland eventually signed the Bond, and British influence was accepted, strengthened, and expanded. Under the terms of the 1844 arrangement, the British gave the impression that they would protect the coastal areas; thus, an informal protectorate came into being. As responsibilities for defending local allies and managing the affairs of the coastal protectorate increased, the administration of the Gold Coast was separated from that of Sierra Leone in 1850.
    At about the same time, growing acceptance of the advantages offered by the British presence led to the initiation of another important step. In April 1852, local chiefs and elders met at Cape Coast to consult with the governor on means of raising revenue. With the governor’s approval, the council of chiefs constituted itself as a legislative assembly. In approving its resolutions, the governor indicated that the assembly of chiefs should become a permanent fixture of the protectorate’s constitutional machinery, but the assembly was given no specific constitutional authority to pass laws or to levy taxes without the consent of the people.
    In 1872 British influence over the Gold Coast increased further when Britain purchased Elmina Castle, the last of the Dutch forts along the coast. The Asante, who for years had considered the Dutch at Elmina as their allies, thereby lost their last trade outlet to the sea. To prevent this loss and to ensure that revenue received from that post continued, the Asante staged their last invasion of the coast in 1873. After early successes, they finally came up against well-trained British forces who compelled them to retreat beyond the Pra River. Later attempts to negotiate a settlement of the conflict with the British were rejected by the commander of their forces, Major General Sir Garnet Wolseley. To settle the Asante problem permanently, the British invaded Asante with a sizable military force. The attack, which was launched in January 1874 by 2,500 British soldiers and large numbers of African auxiliaries, resulted in the occupation and burning of Kumasi, the Asante capital.
    The subsequent peace treaty required the Asante to renounce any claim to many southern territories. The Asante also had to keep the road to Kumasi open to trade. From this point on, Asante power steadily declined. The confederation slowly disintegrated as subject territories broke away and as protected regions defected to British rule. The warrior spirit of the nation was not entirely subdued, however, and enforcement of the treaty led to recurring difficulties and outbreaks of fighting. In 1896 the British dispatched another expedition that again occupied Kumasi and that forced Asante to become a protectorate of the British Crown. The position of asantehene was abolished and the incumbent was exiled.
    The core of the Asante federation accepted these terms grudgingly. In 1900 the Asante rebelled again but were defeated the next year, and in 1902 the British proclaimed Asante a colony under the jurisdiction of the governor of the Gold Coast. The annexation was made with misgivings and recriminations on both sides. With Asante subdued and annexed, British colonization of the region became a reality.

    Source: Based on information from William Ernest Ward, A History of Ghana, London, 1958, 24.
    Military confrontations between Asante and the Fante contributed to the growth of British influence on the Gold Coast. It was concern about Asante activities on the coast that had compelled the Fante states to sign the Bond of 1844. In theory, the bond allowed the British quite limited judicial powers–the trying of murder and robbery cases only. Also, the British could not acquire further judicial rights without the consent of the kings, chiefs, and people of the protectorate. In practice, however, British efforts to usurp more and more judicial authority were so successful that in the 1850s they considered establishing European courts in place of traditional African ones.
    As a result of the exercise of ever-expanding judicial powers on the coast and also to ensure that the coastal peoples remained firmly under control, the British, following their defeat of Asante in 1874, proclaimed the former coastal protectorate a crown colony. The Gold Coast Colony, established on July 24, 1874, comprised the coastal areas and extended inland as far as the ill-defined borders of Asante.
    The coastal peoples did not greet this move with enthusiasm. They were not consulted about this annexation, which arbitrarily set aside the Bond of 1844 and treated its signatories like conquered territories. The British, however, made no claim to any rights to the land, a circumstance that probably explains the absence of popular resistance. Shortly after declaring the coastal area a colony, the British moved the colonial capital from Cape Coast to the former Danish castle at Christiansborg in Accra.
    The British sphere of influence was eventually extended to include Asante. Following the defeat of Asante in 1896, the British proclaimed a protectorate over the kingdom. Once the asantehene and his council had been exiled, the British appointed a resident commissioner to Asante, who was given both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the territories. Each Asante state was administered from Kumasi as a separate entity and was ultimately responsible to the governor of the Gold Coast. As noted above, Asante became a colony following its final defeat in 1901.
    In the meantime, the British became interested in the broad areas north of Asante, known generally as the Northern Territories. This interest was prompted primarily by the need to forestall the French and the Germans, who had been making rapid advances in the surrounding areas. British officials had first penetrated the area in the 1880s, and after 1896 protection was extended to northern areas whose trade with the coast had been controlled by Asante. In 1898 and 1899, European colonial powers amicably demarcated the boundaries between the Northern Territories and the surrounding French and German colonies. The Northern Territories were proclaimed a British protectorate in 1902.
    Like the Asante protectorate, the Northern Territories were placed under the authority of a resident commissioner who was responsible to the governor of the Gold Coast. The governor ruled both Asante and the Northern Territories by proclamations until 1946.
    With the north under British control, the three territories of the Gold Coast–the Colony (the coastal regions), Asante, and the Northern Territories–became, for all practical purposes, a single political unit, or crown colony, known as “the dependency” or simply as the Gold Coast. The borders of present-day Ghana were realized in May 1956 when the people of the Volta region, known as British Mandated Togoland, voted in a plebiscite to become part of modern Ghana.

    The years of British administration of the Gold Coast during the twentieth century were an era of significant progress in social, economic, and educational development. Communications were greatly improved. For example, the Sekondi-Tarkwa railroad, begun in 1898, was extended until it connected most of the important commercial centers of the south, and by 1937, there were 9,700 kilometers of roads. Telecommunication and postal services were initiated as well.
    New crops were also introduced and gained widespread acceptance. Cacao trees, introduced in 1878, brought the first cash crop to the farmers of the interior; it became the mainstay of the nation’s economy in the 1920s when disease wiped out Brazil’s trees. The production of cocoa was largely in the hands of Africans. The Cocoa Marketing Board was created in 1947 to assist farmers and to stabilize the production and sale of their crop. By the end of that decade, the Gold Coast was exporting more than half of the world’s cocoa supply.
    The colony’s earnings increased further from the export of timber and gold. Gold, which initially brought Europeans to the Gold Coast, remained in the hands of Africans until the 1890s. Traditional techniques of panning and shaft mining, however, yielded only limited output. The development of modern modes of extracting minerals made gold mining an exclusively foreign-run enterprise. For example, the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation, which was organized in 1897, gained a concession of about 160 square kilometers in which to prospect commercially for gold. Although certain tribal authorities profited greatly from the granting of mining concessions, it was the European mining companies and the colonial government that accumulated much of the wealth. Revenue from export of the colony’s natural resources financed internal improvements in infrastructure and social services. The foundation of an educational system more advanced than any other else in West Africa also resulted from mineral export revenue.
    Many of the economic and social improvements in the Gold Coast in the early part of the current century have been attributed to Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, governor from 1919 to 1927. Born in Toronto, Canada, Guggisberg joined the British army in 1889. During the first decade of the twentieth century, he worked as a surveyor in the British colonies of the Gold Coast and Nigeria, and later, during World War I, he served in France.
    At the beginning of his governorship of the Gold Coast, Guggisberg presented a ten-year development program to the Legislative Council. He suggested first the improvement of transportation. Then, in order of priority, his prescribed improvements included water supply, drainage, hydroelectric projects, public buildings, town improvements, schools, hospitals, prisons, communication lines, and other services. Guggisberg also set a goal of filling half of the colony’s technical positions with Africans as soon as they could be trained. His program has been described as the most ambitious ever proposed in West Africa up to that time. Another of the governor’s programs led to the development of an artificial harbor at Takoradi, which then became Ghana’s first port. Achimota College, which developed into one of the nation’s finest secondary schools, was also a Guggisberg idea.
    It was through British-style education that a new Ghanaian elite gained the means and the desire to strive for independence. During the colonial years, the country’s educational institutions improved markedly. From beginnings in missionary schools, the early part of the twentieth century saw significant advances in many fields, and, although the missions continued to participate, the government steadily increased its interest and support. In 1909 the government established a technical school and a teachers’ training college at Accra; several other secondary schools were set up by the missions. The government steadily increased its financial backing for the growing number of both state and mission schools. In 1948 the country opened its first center of higher learning, the University College.
    The colony assisted Britain in both World War I and World War II. From 1914 to 1918, the Gold Coast Regiment served with distinction in battles against German forces in Cameroon and in the long East Africa campaign. In World War II, troops from the Gold Coast emerged with even greater prestige after outstanding service in such places as Ethiopia and Burma. In the ensuing years, however, postwar problems of inflation and instability severely hampered readjustment for returning veterans, who were in the forefront of growing discontent and unrest. Their war service and veterans’ associations had broadened their horizons, making it difficult for them to return to the humble and circumscribed positions set aside for Africans by the colonial authorities.

    Historically, the Asante, who are members of the Twi-speaking branch of the Akan people, have exercised considerable influence. The groups that constituted the core of the Asante confederacy moved north and settled in the vicinity of Lake Bosumtwi. Prior to the mid-seventeenth century, several Asante leaders, one of them Oti Akenten (r. ca. 1630-60), embarked on a program of military expansion that enabled the Asante to dominate surrounding tribes, establish the most powerful state in the central forest zone, and form an alliance with neighboring states known as the Asante confederation.
    In the late seventeenth century, Osei Tutu (d. 1712 or 1717) became asantehen (king of Asante). During his reign, the Asante confederation destroyed the influence of Dankyera, which had been the strongest state in the coastal hinterland and which had been exacting tribute from most of the other Akan groups in the central forest. Asante authorities then moved the confederation’s capital to Kumasi and continued their policy of military expansion. During one southern expedition, rebels ambushed and killed Osei Tutu and most of his generals. The Asante confederation, which allowed newly conquered territories to retain their customs and chiefs, survived this catastrophe and continued to expand its boundaries, in the process transforming itself into an empire. Under succeeding leaders, Asante armies extended the empire’s frontier southward. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Asante governed a territory as large as modern-day Ghana and were challenging the Fante states for control of the coast, where European traders had established a network of posts and fortifications.
    The rapid growth of the Asante empire aroused the suspicions of the Fante, who believed that the Asante sought to subjugate the coastal states. Asante-Fante relations, therefore, remained hostile for most of the second half of the eighteenth century. Specific problems between the two Akan states included the Fante refusal to allow Asante traders direct access to the coast; a Fante law that prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition to the Asante national army; Fante support of Dankyera, Akyem, and other states in their revolts against Asante authority; and the Fante practice of granting sanctuary to refugees from the Asante empire. To resolve these problems, the Asante launched three successful military expeditions (in 1807, 1811, and 1816) against the Fante and by 1820 had become the strongest power in West Africa.
    The Asante national army, which achieved these and numerous other victories, relied on troops mobilized for specific campaigns rather than on a standing, professional force. Evasion of military service was punishable by death. The army, which lacked cavalry, possessed superior infantry comprising musketeers, bowmen, and spearsmen. The armed force also included scouts (akwansraf); an advance guard (twaf); a main force (adonte); the king’s personal bodyguard (gyas); a rear guard (kyido); and two wings, the left (benku) and the right (nif). Additionally, the Asante army had a medical corps (esumankwaf) that treated the army’s wounded and removed the dead from the battlefield.
    The Asante army’s success against the Fante, coupled with the Asante’s determination to preserve their empire, posed a threat to the British, who also wanted to control Ghana’s coast for strategic, political, and economic reasons. Britain’s commitment to stopping the slave trade made it impossible for the British to maintain good relations with the Asante, who, by 1820, had become the main source of slaves on the coast. Many British policymakers believed, moreover, that it was their duty to promote Christianity and Western civilization. Some British merchants also believed that if Asante power could be destroyed, a vast market would be opened to them.
    Given the differences between the British and the Asante, a military clash between them was inevitable. After the Asante executed a Fante soldier who served in a British garrison for insulting their king, the British launched a military expedition against a 10,000-member Asante force near the village of Bonsaso. The Asante not only outnumbered the British but also used superior tactics. The fighting, which began on January 22, 1824, initially favored the Asante, who encircled the British force and killed Governor Charles MacCarthy. Eventually, however, the British drove the Asante back to Kumasi.
    After reorganizing and reequipping, the Asante in 1826 again invaded the coast, attacking the British and their allies. During the fighting on the open plains of Accra, the British used Congreve rockets, which frightened Asante warriors who believed the enemy was using thunder and lightning against them. The Asante panicked and fled to Kumasi. According to a peace treaty concluded in 1831, the asantehen recognized the independence of the coastal states and agreed to refer all future disputes to the British for adjudication. In exchange, the coastal states promised to allow the Asante to engage in legal trade on the coast and to respect the asantehen. During much of the following two decades, Captain George Maclean, president of a local council of British merchants, used tact and diplomacy to enforce the peace treaty.
    After the British government resumed responsibility for the administration of the coastal forts in 1843, relations with the Asante gradually deteriorated. In addition to assaults on Asante traders, the asantehen believed that the British and their Fante allies no longer treated him with respect. When British Governor Richard Pine refused to return an Asante chief and a runaway slave to the asantehen, the Asante prepared for war. In April 1863 they invaded the coast and burned thirty villages. Pine responded by deploying six companies along the Pra River, the border between states allied with the British and the Asante. The deployed force built a network of stockades and a bridge, but it returned home without engaging the enemy after inexplicably having lost its guns, ammunition, and supplies.
    The Second Asante War (1873-74) began as a result of the asantehene’ attempt to preserve his empire’s last trade outlet to the sea at the old coastal fort of Elmina, which had come into British possession in 1872. In early 1873, a 12,000-member Asante army crossed the Pra River and invaded the coastal area but suffered a defeat at Elmina. The British government then appointed Major General Garnet Wolseley administrator and commander in chief and ordered him to drive the Asante from the coastal region. In December 1873, Wolseley’s African levies were reinforced by the arrival of several British units.
    Approximately one month later, Wolseley sent an advance party across the Pra, warning the asantehen that he intended to begin hostilities. Wolseley, however, also offered an armistice. When negotiations failed, both sides prepared for war.
    The most significant battle of the Second Asante War occurred at Amoafo, near the village of Bekwai. Although the Asante performed admirably, superior weapons allowed the British to carry the day. Asante losses were unknown; the British lost four men and had 194 wounded. In the following days, Wolseley captured Bekwai and then Kumasi. On March 14, 1874, the two sides signed the Treaty of Fomena, which required the Asante to pay an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, to renounce claims to Elmina and to all payments from the British for the use of forts, and to terminate their alliances with several other states, including Denkyera and Akyem. Additionally, the asantehen agreed to withdraw his troops from the coast, to keep the trade routes open, and to halt the practice of human sacrifice.
    The British victory and the Treaty of Fomena ended the Asante dream of bringing the coastal states under their power. The northern states of Brong, Gonja, and Dagomba also took advantage of the Asante defeat by asserting their independence. The Asante empire was near collapse. In 1896 the British declared a protectorate over Asante and exiled the asantehen, Prempeh, his immediate family, and several close advisers to the Seychelles Islands.
    The last Anglo-Asante war occurred in 1899-1900, when the British twice tried to take possession of the asantehen’s Golden Stool, symbol of Asante power and independence. In April 1900, the Asante reacted to these attempts by launching an armed rebellion and by laying siege to the Kumasi fort, where the British governor and his party had sought refuge. The British eventually defeated the Asante, both capturing and exiling the rebellion’s leader, Yaa Asantewaa, and fifteen of her closest advisers. The conclusion of the last Anglo-Asante war resulted in the formal annexation of the Asante empire as a British possession.

    After establishing supremacy in Ghana, the British created the Gold Coast Regiment as a component of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF), which kept peace throughout the territories of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. In 1928 the WAFF because the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF). British officers and noncommissioned officers organized, trained, and equipped the Gold Coast Regiment. For much of the colonial period, the British recruited African enlisted personnel only from ethnic groups in the Northern Territories Protectorate. Eventually, the Gold Coast Regiment accepted a few African officers and an increasing number of African noncommissioned officers from the south. Nevertheless, the north-south division continued to characterize the Gold Coast Regiment.
    On July 31, 1914, four days before the British declaration of war on Germany, Accra mobilized its military forces. The Gold Coast Regiment included thirty-eight British officers, eleven British warrant or noncommissioned officers, 1,584 Ghanaians, (including 124 carriers for guns and machine guns), and about 300 reservists. Additionally, the four Volunteer Corps (Gold Coast Volunteers, Gold Coast Railway Volunteers, Gold Coast Mines Volunteers, and Ashanti Mines Volunteers) fielded about 900 men. These forces participated in the campaigns in Togo, Cameroon, and East Africa.
    Deployment of the country’s armed forces required the reduction of the British colonial establishment by 30 percent between 1914 and 1917 and the closure of several military installations in the Northern Territories. These actions persuaded many Ghanaians that British colonial rule was about to end. As a result, a series of disorders and protests against British colonial rule occurred throughout the country.
    During August and September 1914, for example, riots broke out in Central Province and Ashanti, followed three years later by unrest at Old Nigo. The wartime weakening of the administrative structure in the Northern Territories also fueled opposition to chiefs who used their positions to exploit the people they ruled, to encourage military recruitment, or to advance the cause of British colonial rule. Disturbances among the Frafra at Bongo in April 1916 and in Gonja in March 1917 prompted the authorities to deploy a detachment of troops to the Northern Territories to preserve law and order.

    Although many of the more radical Pan-Africanists and MarxistLeninists hoped to enlist northern black troops and ex-servicemen in their anticolonial struggle, there was little unrest during the interwar period. During World War II, approximately 65,000 Ghanaians served in the RWAFF. The Gold Coast Regiment participated in campaigns in East Africa and Burma and in maneuvers in the Gambia.
    Military service, particularly overseas, enhanced the political and economic understanding of many individual soldiers, a development that facilitated the growth of postwar nationalism. Military service, however, also underscored cultural and ethnic differences among Ghanaians. Many Asante and most southerners looked down upon northerners, who made up the majority of the Gold Coast Regiment. These divisions carried over into postwar politics in Ghana and, according to some observers, have continued to prevent the development of a strong sense of national identity to the present day.
    Ghana also played a significant role in the Allied war effort. On June 27, 1942, the United States Army activated the Air Transport Command in Cairo under Brigadier General Shepler W. Fitzgerald. Ten days later, Fitzgerald moved his headquarters to Accra and organized the Africa-Middle East Wing. In late 1942, the United States Army expanded its presence in Accra by activating the 12th Ferrying Group Headquarters, the 41st Ferrying Squadron, and the 42nd Ferrying Squadron. The 12th Ferrying Group, which was part of a transportation network reaching from the United States, via Africa, to the China-Burma-India theater of operations, ensured the movement of men and matériel through Senegal, Ghana, and Chad.
    In contrast with the post-World War I era, Ghanaian veterans engaged in widespread political activities after World War II. In 1946 some former soldiers established the Gold Coast ExServicemen ‘s Union, which sought to improve economic conditions and to increase employment for veterans. During a February 1948 unionsponsored march, police killed two demonstrators and wounded several others. Unrest quickly spread throughout the country. Eventually, the union joined the United Gold Coast Convention and then became part of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which worked for independence under Nkrumah’s leadership. After independence, the government passed the Ghana Legion Act, which outlawed ex-servicemen’s organizations and which created instead a national Ghana Legion. Although it supposedly represented all Ghanaians, the establishment of the Ghana Legion marked the end of independent political action by ex-servicemen.

  7. British Control
    By 1874, the British were the only Europeans in the Gold Coast and thus made it a crown colony. This in effect gave them total control. The British government established their headquarters at Cape Coast Castle. This had been their headquarters since 1662 and is one of the greatest historical sites in the country. It has numerous dungeons which were used to keep slaves before being transported to the Diaspora.
    There had been many wars fought between the people of the Gold Coast and the British over governance. In 1874, an army under Sir Garnet Wolseley crossed the Pra River into the Asante territory. The Ghanaians referred to this War as the “Sagrenti War” because they could not pronounce Sir Garnet’s name correctly. The British force, this time proved too strong for the Asante who, after a long and brave fighthing, agreed to sign a peace treaty at Fomena. At about the same time the British defeated the Anlo people in the Volta area. On the 12th of September, 1874, the whole of Southern Ghana including Anloland became a British colony. The Capital was removed from Cape Coast to Accra two years later.
    After the Second World War (1939-1945), things began to change in the then Gold Coast. The discrimination against educated Ghanaians in the civil service was on the increase and high positions were reserved for white men while Ghanaians became “hewers of wood and drawers of water”. The European and Asian firms were also seriously exploiting the Africans. The Ex-servicemen (Ghanaian soldiers who fought in the World War), helped in another way to expose the weakness of the British.
    They realized that they performed better than the whites on the battlefield. These Ex-servicemen again saw the struggle for independence in India and Burma where most of them went to fight. They were therefore inspired to struggle against the same British in Ghana after their return from the war.

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