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U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Decolonization and Development
Ghana Research Guide
Directions: Read the following information about Ghana’s fight for independence and the
development of its political, social, and economic systems after independence. With your
expert group, conduct research and analyze documents to complete the Decolonization
Graphic Organizer for Ghana. Next, you will teach another group about decolonization and
development in Ghana and learn about the same in India, Israel, and Egypt to complete the
graphic organizer. Your teacher may assign you to do additional research on the
decolonization and development of Ghana.
Background
The Empire of Ghana was a medieval West African Empire that collapsed before the 1100s
CE. No nation called Ghana existed for hundreds of years after that collapse as the region
was controlled first by the Mali and then Songhai empires. When the Portuguese first
arrived, they set up trading forts near the coast. After the Portuguese were banned from
trading there, the Dutch and British set up trading posts around the area called the Gold
Coast.
Analyze the map below to learn about the significance of West Africa in world trade. Use the
questions below to guide your analysis.
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guinea-map.jpg.jpeg is in the public domain.
Page 1 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
1. What do you notice about the details of the map?
2. What do you think is the significance of the names used along the coast?
3. Why do you think other nations might want control of this region?
By the 1870s, the British controlled much of the trade in and out of the Gold Coast. The
Dutch sold their last fort to the British in 1872, and by 1900, the native Africa empires in
the area had been defeated, making the British dominant in the area. By the end of World
War II in 1945, the economy of Ghana was very prosperous and local Ghanaians were
starting to organize political parties to gain more local control.
Research
Directions: Now that you have learned the history behind the nation of Ghana, it is your
turn to find information to learn about the impact of colonization and decolonization on the
development of Ghana.
Your research must answer the research question: How did colonization and decolonization
impact development of the political, social, and economic systems of Ghana?
To help you organize your research, the history has been divided into three time periods in
the development of Ghana: Independence, Immediately after Independence, and Towards
the 21st Century.
Use the guiding questions, resources for research, and documents provided to conduct your
research and complete the Decolonization Graphic Organizer.
Your teacher may provide additional directions as to how you will answer the research
question for Ghana. Remember to use evidence from your research and the documents to
provide evidence for your response to the research question.
Page 2 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Research Question: How did colonization and decolonization impact development
of the political, social, and economic systems of Ghana?
Time Period 1: Independence
Guiding Questions
1. What role did non-violent protests play in achieving independence?
2. What role did Kwame Nkrumah play in achieving independence?
3. What were the key elements of Kwame Nkrumah's independence speech?
Resources for Research
1. A Country Study: Ghana from the Library of Congress
2. U.S. Department of State - Background on Ghana
3. CIA - The World Factbook: Ghana
4. Freedom House - Country Report: Ghana
Page 3 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 1: Kwame Nkrumah Declares Independence
Source: This image from http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/images/kwame-nkrumah.jpg is in the
public domain.
Page 4 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 2: Independence Speech by Kwame Nkrumah on March 6, 1957
At long last, the battle has ended! And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is
free forever!
And yet again, I want to take the opportunity to thank the people for this
country; the youth, the farmers, the women who have so nobly fought and
won the battle.
Also, I want to thank the valiant ex-service men who have so cooperated with
me in this mighty task of freeing our country from foreign rule and
imperialism.
And, as I pointed out... from now on, today, we must change our attitudes
and our minds. We must realize that from now on we are no longer a colonial
but free and independent people.
But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work. That new Africa is
ready to figt his own battles and show that after all the black man is capable
of managing his own affairs.
We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, hat we are
prepared to lay our foundation - our own African personality.
As I said to the Assembly a few minutes ago, I made a point that we are
going t create our own Africa personality and identity. It is the only way we
can show the world that we are ready for our own battles. ...
We have won the battle and again rededicate ourselves ... OUR
INDEPENDENCE IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT IS LINKED UP WITH THE TOTAL
LIBERATION OF AFRICA. ...
Ghana is free forever! And here I will ask the band to play the Ghana National
Anthem.
Reshaping Ghana's destiny, I am depending on the millions of the country,
and the chiefs and the people, to help me to reshape the destiny of this
country. We are prepared to pick it up and make it a nation that will be
respected by every nation in the world.
We know we're going to have difficult beginnings, but again, I am relying on
your support.... I am relying upon your hard work.
Seeing you in this... It doesn't matter how far my eyes go, I can see that you
are here in your millions. And my last warning to you is that you are to stand
firm behind us so that we can prove to the world that when the African is
given a chance, he can show the world that he is somebody!
We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now one, there
is a new African in the world!
Source: This document from http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/focusonafrica/news/story/2007/02/070129_
ghana50_independence_speech.shtml is in the public domain.
Page 5 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Research Question: How did colonization and decolonization impact development
of the political, social, and economic systems of Ghana?
Time Period 2: Immediately Following Independence
Guiding Questions
1. What type of government was established by Kwame Nkrumah after independence?
2. What freedoms and rights were guaranteed to the people?
3. Why did the economy suffer after independence?
4. How did other countries see Ghana's struggle?
5. Why was Kwame Nkrumah overthrown in 1966?
Resources for Research
1. A Country Study: Ghana from the Library of Congress
2. U.S. Department of State - Background on Ghana
3. CIA - The World Factbook: Ghana
4. Freedom House - Country Report: Ghana
Page 6 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 1: Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nkrumah-King.jpg is in the public domain
Page 7 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 2: Kwame Nkrumah's Famous Saying
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kwame.jpg is in the public domain.
Document 3: Kwame Nkrumah's Tomb
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kwame_nkrumah_tomb_accra_ghana.jpg is in the public
domain.
Page 8 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Research Question: How did colonization and decolonization impact development
of the political, social, and economic systems of Ghana?
Time Period 3: Towards the 21st Century
Guiding Questions
1. How did the military intervene in Ghanaian politics after Kwame Nkrumah?
2. Why did Ghana finally transition to a democracy in the 1990s?
3. What rights are guaranteed to the people?
4. What accomplishments and struggles does Ghana face in the 21st century?
5. How does Ghana's GDP compare with Kenya and Egypt?
Resources for Research
1. A Country Study: Ghana from the Library of Congress
2. U.S. Department of State - Background on Ghana
3. CIA - The World Factbook: Ghana
4. Freedom House - Country Report: Ghana
5. CIA - The World Factbook: Kenya
6. CIA - The World Factbook: Egypt
Page 9 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 1: Excerpt from the Constitution of Ghana
12 1) The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter
shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and
all other organs of government and its agencies and, were applicable t them,
by all natural and legal persons in Ghana, and shall be enforceable by the
Courts as provided for in this Constitution.
(2) Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political
opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental
human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but
subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public
interest.
13 (1) No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in the
exercise of the execution of a sentence of a court in respect of a criminal
offence under the laws of Ghana of which he has been convicted.
(2) A person shall not be held to have deprived another person of his life in
contravention of clause (1) of this article if that other person dies as the
result of a lawful act of war or if that other person dies as the result of the
use of force to such an extent as is reasonably justifiable in the particular
circumstances(a) for the defence of any person from violence or for the defense of
property; or
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person
lawfully detained; or
(c) for the purposes of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny; or
(d) in order to prevent the commission of a crime by that person.
Source: This document from http://www.parliament.gh/chapter_five__fundamental_human_right_
and_freedoms.html is in the public domain.
Page 10 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Document 2: Flag of Ghana
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Ghana.svg is released into the public domain by
the copyright holder.
Document 3: 50th Anniversary of Ghana's Independence
Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ghana%27s_50th_Independence_Anniversary.jpg is
licensed with Creative Commons Attribution. Attribution: Niyyie.
Page 11 of 12
U6: Modern World History 1945 – Present
Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics — Decolonization
Student Resource: Decolonization and Development
Answer the following question based on your review of your answers to the guiding
questions and the evidence from the research resources and documents provided.
Research Question: How did colonization and decolonization impact development
of the political, social, and economic systems of Ghana?
Page 12 of 12