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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We Cast about for a Remedy': Chinese Labor and African Opposition in the Gold Coast, 1874-1914
Author:Akurang-Parry, Kwabena O.ISNI
Year:2001
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Volume:34
Issue:2
Pages:365-384
Language:English
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Subjects:colonialism
Chinese
miners
labour recruitment
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3097486
Abstract:A major problem British colonial officials had to confront in the Gold Coast (Ghana) from the last quarter of the 19th century was the scarcity of labour - the 'native labour question'. This study examines colonial policymakers' preoccupation with importing Chinese mine labour as a means to solve the labour question between 1874 and 1914 and probes their beliefs in the superiority of Chinese over African labour. The author shows that in their challenges to this prejudicial ideology, the Gold Coast African intelligentsia revealed that the Gold Coast labourers' disinclination to accept wage labour was not innate. Rather, the African intelligentsia argued that Africans' refusal to work was due to problems inherent in the prevailing wage labour economy in the Gold Coast. Following a consideration of comparative and historiographical perspectives, the study is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the evolution of the idea of using Chinse labour in the Gold Coast; the second section examines the African intelligentsia's opposition to these proposals; and the third evaluates the arrival of Chinese labourers in the Gold Coast and African responses in 1897, 1902, and 1914. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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