British West Africa (General)


In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. British West Africa (General) is Number 90 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study provides a general and comparative overview of the four British dependencies in West Africa, each of which is also covered in detail in a separate volume in the series. The territories discussed are the Gambia colony and protectorate; the Sierra Leone colony and protectorate; the Gold Coast, with its dependencies, Ashanti and the Northern Territories (present-day Ghana); and the Nigeria colony and protectorate. Topics covered include the European population, the indigenous population, government, defense, the liquor traffic, international policy, and the success of British administration. The study is written partly from the perspective of the relationship of these dependencies to the British war effort, as is seen in the discussion of such topics as the activities of France and Germany in West Africa, the status and activities of German firms, the recruitment of African troops into the British and British Imperial defense forces, and the perceived enthusiasm of the Mohammedan (i.e., Muslim) states of northern Nigeria for the British cause.

Last updated: July 23, 2015