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5. Economic Activities and social-economic relations

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Chapter Summary

Dutch relations with Ghana and other parts of West Africa were always dominated by economic motives. Until the end of the seventeenth century the West India Company (WIC) dominated the trade on the Gold Coast, but under an increasingly stiff competition from the English, Swedes, Danes, and Dutch interlopers, who not only undercut the Dutch trade, but also required the WIC to enhance economic policing. In the late seventeenth century, the Atlantic slave-trade gained dominance as economic activity. After the abolition of the slave-trade in 1814, the Dutch government periodically tried to improve the economic situation by developing new projects that could yield an income for the government. Records of the gold trade are available in the surviving general correspondence of the First West India Company (OWIC) and miscellaneous other records.

Keywords: Atlantic slave-trade; Dutch; economic activity; Ghana; Gold Coast; gold trade; West Africa; West India Company (WIC)

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