Togoland

Togoland (tōˈgōlăndˌ) [key] or Togo tōˈgō, historic region (c.33,500 sq mi/86,800 sq km), W Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea in the south. The western section of Togoland is now part of Ghana, and the eastern portion constitutes the Republic of Togo. The primary inhabitants of the region are the Ewe in the south and various Voltaic-speaking ethnic groups in the north. From the 17th cent. until the early 19th cent. the Ashanti (situated in present-day Ghana) raided Togoland for slaves, who were then sold to European traders at the coast. European penetration of the region began in the 1840s with the arrival of German missionaries and German merchants who bought palm products. In 1884, Gustav Nachtigal signed treaties with several coastal rulers, and a German protectorate over S Togoland was recognized by the Conference of Berlin (1884–85). German military expeditions gained control of N Togoland during the 1890s, and the protectorate's boundaries were further delimited in treaties with France (1897) and Great Britain (1904). Germany instituted much economic development, building roads and railroads, constructing a good port at Lomé, and encouraging the production of palm products, rubber, cotton, and cacao. However, German levies of direct taxes and forced labor aroused resentment among the Togolese. In Aug., 1914, British and French forces easily captured Togoland from the Germans in the first Allied victory of World War I. In 1922, the League of Nations divided the region into two mandates, one French and the other British, and in 1946 the mandates became trust territories of the United Nations. French Togoland was administered as a separate unit (except between 1934 and 1937, when it was joined with Dahomey), and in 1960 it became independent as the Republic of Togo. British Togoland, made up of W Togoland, was administered as part of the British Gold Coast colony and protectorate and in 1957 became part of the independent state of Ghana.

See R. Cornevin, Histoire du Togo (3d ed. 1969, in French).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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