African Abolitionist Initiatives: The attitude of Gold Coast elites towards slavery and slave trade
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Brigitte Reinwald (Department of History)
Researcher: Steffen Runkel, M.A. (Department of History)
This project investigates the attitudes of African elites towards slavery and the slave trade in the period following the abolition of slavery on the Gold Coast (1874). It aims to identify the position of individual representatives of this “intelligentsia” against the background of competing economical and political goals as well as expectations about the future between 1860 and 1900.
As these elites played a significant role in achieving the abolition of slavery, especially by negotiating post-emancipation arrangements and interdependencies during the transition to a “legitimate” trade system, this study wants to shed light on the complex relationship between elites and former slaves, particularly in view of the former’s impact on the latter’s room for manoeuvre in the economical, social and political spheres.