Former Gold Coast had been a battle zone for many imperialists in colonial era. Portuguese were the ones who began the onslaught in 1471. Portuguese ‘trade mission’ constructed Elmina castle along modern day Ghanaian coast to strengthen their position in the region.
Portuguese gained momentum and unilaterally ruled the region without any challenge from other colonial regimes.
The Portuguese authority in the region was challenged by Dutch, British, Danish and Swedish traders in 17th century.
Portuguese lost Elmina castle to Dutch intruders in 1642 and moved out and away from the region for good.
18th century was a period of turmoil amidst internal conflicts, ethnic divide and lust for power, authority and wealth.
Dutch West India Company remained in control of local resources for most part of 18th century.
Dutch West India Company lost the territory to British in the year 1850.
British followed suit of their predecessors and not only exploited the natural wealth of the region but also gave new impetus to human-trafficking (slave trade).
More than 6 million people were traded from West Africa as slaves to America and Europe in 18th and 19th century.
Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle are two prominent remnants of Colonial era. More than 100 castles were built by imperialistic regimes along the 300 miles long coastal belt of Ghana.
One has to hold his breath while he visits a museum built in Cape Coast Castle which is a store-house of belongings pertaining to the colonial era.
Ghana declared its independence from British Crown in 1957. Nkrumah was a standout figure in Ghanaian history as he intelligently and belligerently forced the intruders out. It was a long fought effort by the Ghanaians, a nerve-wrecking contest which engulfed hundreds and thousands of precious lives.
Road to victory wasn’t easy but Ghanaians eventually won the rights of exercising all powers on indigenous territory which always belonged to them.
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