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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Capitalists and Chiefs in the Cocoa Hold-Ups in South Asante,1927-1938
Author:Austin, GarethISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
economic history
traditional rulers
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/219890
Abstract:This paper identifies the dominant groups involved in capitalist relations in cocoa farming in the Amansie district of Asante, Ghana, in the 1930s, and considers their relationships with each other and with European capital. It argues the labour-hiring farmers, brokers, and moneylenders were overlapping sets which, in an economic sense, constituted a capitalist class. The chiefs participated in these sources of wealth, while retaining nonmarket instruments of enrichment in addition. The cocoa holdups (producers' strikes) of 1927-1938 are used to explore whether these cocoa capitalists should be regarded as compradors - subordinated to foreign capital - and whether their emergence undermined the political authority of chieftaincy, and therefore of 'indirect rule'. In the process, one set of conditions are revealed under which a mass of small farmers and brokers could become united in sustained and rather effective economic prostest. It is argued that the Amansie case suggests limits to the usefulness of the concept of 'comprador bourgeoisie'. Notes, ref.