The Anglo-Asante War of 1873-1874 : a narrative and analysis.

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Kilby, Peter
The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it is intended to be the narrative of a war which resulted in a radical change in British policy on the West Coast of Africa. Second, it is an attempt to assess, in military terms, the manner in which the British conducted their campaign against the Asarite in 1873-1874. The information upon which the study is based was secured primarily from the Colonial Office Confidential Print, the Sessional Papers of the British Parliament, and several edited collections of documents - notably those compiled by J.J. Crooks, G.E. Metcalfe, and C.W. Mewbury. In addition, however, works published by many of the participants themselves proved to be invaluable. Although studies published by V/.V.T. Claridge, U. Kimble, and W.E.F. Ward were used somewhat extensively, secondary materials provided little more than background information. As an introduction, the growth of British involvement on the Gold uoast and the development of the Anglo-Asante dispute is traced from the time of the first British contact with the region up to the very eve of war. The study then proceeds to examine in detail the conduct of the campaign against the Asante. Finally, because the official documents and much of the primary source material present a distorted view of the roles played by the various participants, an attempt is made to re-evaluate the - IV - performance of those participants. This approach has revealed that much of what was written of this war was either biased or incomplete. For example, Colonel R.W. Harley, the Administrator of the Gold uoast until October 1S?3, was a ?who received little recognition for his role in the war yet he is revealed as a man who accomplished much in the face of almost overwhelming odds. Similarly, the Fanti tribesmen, who were consistently reviled for their laziness and cowardice at this time, emerge in a considerably better light. In addition, the role which Captain John Glover, R.M., played in the war is proven to have been much more significant than hitherto acknowledged. Above all, Major-General Sir Garnet Uolseley, who is often referred to as one of Britain's greatest generals, is proven in this instance to have been a soldier of far less merit than previously supposed.
Thesis (M.A.) - Dept. of History - Simon Fraser University
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Kup, Alexander Peter
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