Gold Coast (region)

Gold Coast (region)

The Gold Coast was the region of West Africa which is now the nation of Ghana. Early uses of the term refer literally to the coast and not the interior. It is not until the 19th century that the term comes to refer to areas that are far from the coast. It was to the east of the Ivory Coast and to the west of the Slave Coast. It was first colonised by the Portuguese, with the Portuguese Gold Coast first settled in 1482. In 1642 this became part of the Dutch Gold Coast, which had been colonised by the Dutch since 1598. The Dutch stayed in the region until 1871, when the last of their settlements were taken over by the British Gold Coast. There was also the Brandenburger Gold Coast which established a colony in the area in 1682, which later became the Prussian Gold Coast, and was then sold to the Dutch in 1721. The Swedish also had settlements in the area, with the Swedish Gold Coast established in 1650, but seized by Denmark in 1663, and made part of the Danish Gold Coast. The Danes had been in the gold coast since 1658, and in 1850 all of the settlements became part of the British gold coast.

The British had taken over all of the gold coast by 1871. They captured more territory inland in the late nineteenth century after the Ashanti wars. The nation of Ghana made from the former Gold Coast territory, was one of the first European colonies to become independent, in 1957.

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