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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Bureaucratization of Traditional Authority under Colonial Rule: The Asante Stool Treasuries
Authors:Brempong, Arhin N.
Pavanello, MarianoISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
public finance
Ashanti polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:This paper compares the administrative systems of the Asante kingdom in the 19th century with those of the 20th century, when the Asante traditional authority operated within the framework of British colonial overrule. The objective of the comparison is to evaluate the degree to which the two systems could be said to be 'bureaucratic' in the Weberian sense. It appears that the changes in the administrative system of the historic Asante kingdom attributed by Wilks (1966, 1967) to the Asante King Osei Kwadwo (1764-1777) amounted to no more than the strengthening of the nuclear patrimonial apparatus fashioned in the reigns of the previous Asante kings, Osei Tutu (1685-1717) and Opoku Ware I (1720-1750). By contrast, the British attempted to construct a formally bureaucratic system operating apart from the palace, 'gyase', organization, as a requirement of indirect rule. The British effort at bureaucratization may be seen in the introduction and administration of the stool treasury system, 1927-1944, and in the comments of British officialdom on the operation of the different stool treasuries, which are available in documents kept at the Ghana National Archives. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]