THE BOND OF 1844

THE BOND OF 1844
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The majority of the Gold Coast’s fortresses were under British control by the early 19th century. Seeking a peaceful environment in which to conduct trade for raw materials, Britain viewed Ashanti efforts to assert dominance as a threat to Britain’s commercial interests and began to intervene in local conflicts.

The Ashanti, on the other hand, saw British interference in its conquered territories as infringement on its sovereignty and fought back. During a confrontation in 1824, the Ashanti army routed a British force and killed its commander, Charles MacCarthy, the colonial governor of Sierra Leone. In 1826 the Ashanti launched an offensive against British coastal positions.

They suffered high casualties and were turned back by an alliance of British and Danish troops in a fierce battle on the plains near Accra. The Ashanti signed a peace treaty with Britain in 1831. The subsequent peace coincided with a period of increased European Christian missionary work in the region.

In 1844 the British signed a political agreement with a confederation of Fante states. Known as the Bond of 1844, the agreement extended British protection to the signatory states and gave Britain a degree of authority over them. In subsequent years, additional coastal and interior states signed the Bond. Britain bought all of Denmark’s Gold Coast territory in 1850 and purchased the Dutch fort at Elmina in 1872.