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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The fall of Kaku Aka: social and political change in the mid-nineteenth-century western Gold Coast
Author:Valsecchi, PierluigiISNI
Periodical:Journal of West African History (ISSN 2327-1876)
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Subjects:colonial conquest
Nzima polity
political change
social change
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/jwestafrihist.2.1.0001
Abstract:This article deals with the radical reshaping of a system of power and a hierarchy of personal and group dependency in an area of the western Gold Coast (today's Ghana) in the mid-nineteenth century. The article focuses on the events surrounding the 1848 British expedition against King Kaku Aka of Appolonia (Nzema), which resulted in the end of the exceptionally strong monarchy and its replacement with a looser form of oligarchy. Kaku Aka's defeat was mainly caused by the defection of his body of direct royal servants and dependents, who constituted the core of the kingdom. The abrupt end of Appolonia's monarchy coincided with the final crisis of a system of power created in the eighteenth century, and the political seal to a wave of social change sweeping the area-and the western Gold Coast more generally-in the mid-nineteenth century. Sources convey a strong impression of growing mobility within the social landscape and substantial changes in the condition of the bonded sections of the population. The case of Appolonia provides also an excellent example of the ruling elite's tentative responses to these growing challenges. Notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]