British West Africa
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British West Africa was the collective name for
British colonies A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original coun ...
in
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania ...

West Africa
during the
colonial periodColonial period (a period in a country's history where it was subject to management by a Colonialism, colonial power) may refer to: * Spanish conquest of Guatemala * Viceroyalty of Peru * Colonial history of the United States * British Raj, British ...

colonial period
, either in the general geographical sense or the formal colonial administrative entity. The
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
held varying parts of these territories or the whole throughout the 19th century. From west to east, the colonies became the independent countries of
The Gambia The Gambia (), officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa. It is the smallest country within mainland AfricaHoare, Ben. (2002) ''The Kingfisher A-Z Encyclopedia'', Kingfisher Publications. p. 11. . and is surrounded by ...
,
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...

Sierra Leone
,
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
and
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
. Until independence, Ghana was referred to as the
Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the independent nation of Ghana: ** Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese, 1482–1642) ** Dutch Gol ...
.


Historical jurisdiction

British West Africa as a colonial entity was originally known as Colony of Sierra Leone and its Dependencies, then British West African Territories and finally British West African Settlements. It constituted during two periods (17 October 1821, until its first dissolution on 13 January 1850, and again 19 February 1866, until its final demise on 28 November 1888) as an administrative entity under a
governor-in-chief Governor-in-chief was a title used in the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or admini ...
(comparable in rank to a governor-general), an office vested in the governor of
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...
(at
Freetown Freetown is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, economic, financial, cultural, edu ...

Freetown
). The other colonies originally included in the jurisdiction were
the Gambia The Gambia (), officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa. It is the smallest country within mainland AfricaHoare, Ben. (2002) ''The Kingfisher A-Z Encyclopedia'', Kingfisher Publications. p. 11. . and is surrounded by ...
and the
British Gold Coast The Gold Coast was a British Crown Colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separ ...
(modern Ghana). Also western Nigeria, eastern Nigeria and northern Nigeria were included. Africa's present makeup includes
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
,
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...

Sierra Leone
,
Gambia The Gambia (), officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ca ...

Gambia
,
Western Nigeria The former Western State of Nigeria was formed in 1967 when the Western Region was subdivided into the states of Lagos State, Lagos and Western State. Its capital was Ibadan, which was the capital of the old region. In 1976 the state was subdivided ...
,
Eastern Nigeria The Eastern Region was an administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organiza ...
and
Northern Nigeria Northern Nigeria was an autonomous division within Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Afri ...
. Each of these countries and areas are a
post-colonial Postcolonialism is the critical academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the a ...
period, or what the Ghanaian writer Kwame Appiah dubs
neo-colonialism Neocolonialism is the practice of using Theory of imperialism, economic imperialism, Globalization, cultural imperialism and conditional aid to influence a developing country instead of the previous Colonialism, colonial methods of direct mili ...
. British West Africa's development was solely based on
modernization Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. Modernization theory originated from the ideas of German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Soci ...
, and autonomous educational systems were the first step to modernising indigenous culture. Cultures and interests of indigenous peoples were ignored. A new social order, as well as European influences within schools and local traditions, helped mould British West Africa's culture. The British West African colonial school curriculum helped play a role in this. Local elites developed, with new values and philosophies, who changed the overall cultural development. In terms of social issues with British West Africa; sex and race usually conflicted each other (Carina E. Ray called it the "White Wife Problem"). During British West Africa's history, interracial relations were frowned upon, and couples might be discriminated against. There were even certain policies that deported the wives of these relationships back to Britain and denied them access to any of these colonies.


Aftermath

Even after its final dissolution, a single currency, the
British West African pound British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
, was in effect throughout the region—including Nigeria—from 1907 to 1962. Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Sierra Leone was self-governing by 1958 and gained independence in 1961. Gambia gained independence in 1965. In 1954, the British Gold Coast was allowed by Britain to self-govern and in 1957, the Gold Coast was given independence from Britain, under the name Ghana.


See also

*
British colonisation in Africa British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
**
British Togoland British Togoland, officially the Mandate Territory of Togoland and later officially the Trust Territory of Togoland, was a territory in West Africa, under the administration of the United Kingdom, which subsequently entered into union with Ghana, ...
**
Colonial Nigeria Colonial Nigeria was ruled by the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...
**
Gambia Colony and Protectorate The Gambia Colony and Protectorate was the British colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * ...
**
Gold Coast (British colony) The Gold Coast was a British Crown Colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separ ...
**
Royal West African Frontier Force The West African Frontier Force (WAFF) was a multi-battalion field force, formed by the British Colonial Office in 1900 to garrison the British West Africa, West African colonies of Nigeria, Gold Coast (British colony), Gold Coast, Sierra Leone an ...
**
Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate The Colony and Protectorate of Sierra Leone (informally British Sierra Leone) was the British colonial administration in Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on th ...
*
European colonisation in Africa European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, i ...
**
Brandenburger Gold Coast The Brandenburger Gold Coast, later Prussian Gold Coast, was a part of the Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the in ...
**
Danish Gold Coast The Danish Gold Coast ( da, Danske Guldkyst or ''Dansk Guinea'') comprised the colonies that Denmark–Norway controlled in Africa as a part of the Gold Coast (region), Gold Coast (roughly present-day southeast Ghana), which is on the Gulf of G ...

Danish Gold Coast
**
Dutch Gold Coast The Dutch Gold Coast or Dutch Guinea, officially Dutch possessions on the Coast of Guinea (Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Bel ...
**
Portuguese Gold Coast The Portuguese Gold Coast was a Portuguese colony The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was com ...
**
Swedish Gold Coast The Swedish Gold Coast ( sv, Svenska Guldkusten) was a colony of the Sweden, Swedish Swedish Africa Company, Africa Company founded in 1650 by Hendrik Carloff on the Gulf of Guinea in present-day Ghana in Africa. Under foreign occupation for muc ...
*
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
* West Africa cricket team


References


External links

* {{Authority control Former British colonies and protectorates in Africa History of West Africa History of the Gambia History of Ghana History of Nigeria History of Sierra Leone States and territories established in the 1780s States and territories disestablished in 1957 1787 establishments in the British Empire 1957 disestablishments in the British Empire 1957 disestablishments in Africa 1780s establishments in Africa