Austin, Gareth. ‘No elders present’: commoners and private ownership in Asante, 1807-96

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Title: ‘No elders present’: commoners and private ownership in Asante, 1807-96

Published in: Journal of African history -- Vol. 37, no. 1

Published By: Journal of African history -- Vol. 37, no. 1 London ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 1-30 p.

By line: By Gareth Austin

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Akan (FE12)

Subjects: Production and supply (433); Internal trade (438); External trade (439); Mercantile business (441); Slavery (567); Chief executive (643); Taxation and public income (651); Revolution (669);

Abstract: In this article, Austin reexamines the reasons for the overthrow of the ASANTEHENE Mensa Bonsu in 1883 and the ensuing civil war (1884-8.) Ivor Wilks attributed the rebellion to an emergent class of wealthy private traders, who were frustrated by state commercial monopolies and regulations. However, Austin disputes the evidence of a strong state commercial sector that directly competed with a growing private sector. Instead he claims that the trouble stemmed from the widespread opposition of small producers and traders, who reacted to extortionate high taxes and fines. According to Austin, small producers and traders participating in export and domestic markets became a major component of the Asante post-Atlantic slave trade economy and a force to be reckoned with.

Document Number: 38

Document ID: fe12-038

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: Not Specified

Evaluation: Historian-4

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ;1999

Coverage Date: 1807-1896

Coverage Place: Ashanti; Ghana

LCSH: Akan (African people)

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