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A Short History of Ghana

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Ancient Ghana is originally located hundreds of miles at the north of present-day Ghana between the Senegal and Niger rivers. Its actual name is Wagadugu Empire and the name “Ghana” was the title accorded to the rulers of the kingdom. It was then adopted as the name of the land which was known as Ancient Ghana.

Europeans first came into the land in the 15th century. The Portuguese, the 1st Europeans who came to medieval Ghana, arrived in its coast in 1471. Upon settlement, they found huge numbers of gold deposits especially between the rivers of Volta and Ankobra. Thus, they named the land “Mina” meaning mine. After 11 years, the Portuguese built the Elmina Castle where they stayed and inhabited. Their main goal for staying in the country is to trade gold, ivory, and slaves with other European countries. Due to the loads of gold production, Gold Coast became the name of the country popular to other European nations. Soon, Gold Coast became the trade center of European nations.

In 1661, the Danish built a fortress which they called Christianborg Castle in Osu (present-day Accra) which became their center of slave trading. Slave trade became so widespread that different countries like England, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal compete intensely for slaves. /p>

Slave trade was banned in the early 19th century and soon after Britain became the more dominating power in the country. In the year 1874, the Gold Coast officially became a British colony except for the northern region of Ashanti. In 1902, Ashanti became officially part of the British colony of Gold Coast. /p>

During the Berlin Conference in 1884, European countries changed the land boundaries in Africa which resulted to having 50 European colonies. In 1918, the eastern part of Gold Coast (German Togoland) became officially a part of the country. /p>

The year 1957 marked the independence of the Gold Coast from the British and was known as the Republic of Ghana. It was the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence from foreign colonizers.

 
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