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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Chiefs, Colonial Policy and Politics in Northern Ghana, 1897-1956
Author:Brukum, N.J.K.
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:indirect rule
traditional rulers
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Abstract:The British occupied Northern Ghana in the closing years of the nineteenth century after the area had been devastated by the slave raiding activities of Samori and Babatu and civil wars had weakened the precolonial empires. After formally declaring a Protectorate over Northern Ghana in 1901, Britain took practical steps to enforce and consolidate its rule. Political expediency and economic necessity dictated that the colonial administration should govern through chiefs. If necessary, chiefs were created. Although the official policy was to rule through chiefs, in practice the chiefs were at best agents of the colonial administration. From 1932 there was a marked change when three ordinances - Native Authority (Northern Territories), Native Tribunal and Native Treasuries - were passed giving legal backing to indirect rule. In 1946 the colonial administration created a 'chiefs' council, the Northern Territories Territorial Council. Over time the chiefs were able to entrench themselves. When direct elections were introduced in 1954 politicians, recognizing the influence of the chiefs, courted chiefly support. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]