Article in a working paper series
""Intimate Knowledge of the Country": Factions and Struggles for Administrative Control in the Early Gold Coast Government, 1844-1854"
, , 2017
This paper examines conflicts between factions in the early British colonial administration in the Gold Coast. The reversion of administration control from the company of merchants to the Colonial Office generated hostility within the administration. Mercantile resentment stemmed from a perception that metropolitan control was likely to undermine the results of their labours and jeopardise their commercial interests. These circumstances provided a fertile breeding ground for the pattern of conflicts that embroiled officials of the colonial administration from 1844. However, when allowed the opportunity to influence administrative policy, merchants adopted cordial relations with the new officials and readily offered their cooperation. This study suggests that we cannot assume that colonial administrations functioned as coherent units. Another implication is that uncritically accepting the ‘coloniser’ and ‘colonised’ dichotomy obscures many important differences within each category and blinds us to the important social and political implications of these internal divisions.