Allman, Jean Marie. The youngmen and the porcupine: class, nationalism and Asante’s struggle for self-determination, 1954-1957

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Title: The youngmen and the porcupine: class, nationalism and Asante’s struggle for self-determination, 1954-1957

Published in: Journal of African history -- Vol. 31

Published By: Journal of African history -- Vol. 31 [London ; New York]: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 263-279 p.

By line: By Jean Marie Allman

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

Culture: Akan (FE12)

Subjects: Cultural identity and pride (186); Age stratification (561); Territorial hierarchy (631); Chief executive (643); Political parties (665); Political movements (668);

Abstract: This article is a very good analysis of the failed Asante National Liberation Movement (1954-1957.) Allman traces the root of the movement back to the 1860s and the rise of the Asante ‘young men’ (NKWANKWAA) who were the disaffected heirs of downwardly mobile Asante elite. Angered by an increase in taxes and an imposition of fines for petty offenses, the nkwankwaa led the movement to overthrow the ASANTEHENE Mensa Bonsu in 1883 (see Austin, document no. 38.) On the eve of national independence in the 1950s, the nkwankwaa were angered by the under-representation of Asante in the new parliament. They formed the NLM and advocated Asante independence. Allman argues that the NLM was not a tribal movement, but represented a clear bid for power by an economically diverse, but politically motivated group. According to Allman, the movement failed, because the nkwankwaa had no strong class base and their nationalist rhetoric was co-opted by the ruling Asante elite, who were the true representatives of traditional Asante culture.

Document Number: 57

Document ID: fe12-057

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: Not Specified

Evaluation: Historian-4

Analyst: Ian Skoggard;1999

Coverage Date: 1860-1956

Coverage Place: Ashanti; Ghana

LCSH: Akan (African people)

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