Oppression of the lesser In the year 1876 Abina Mansah, from the Gold Coast of Africa, escaped slavery and declared herself a free women. The Gold Coast became a British protectorate in 1834 and experienced some political turmoil with the transition of powers. The British governed the area under their crown and expected the natives to adhere to the rules of their empire. Problems arose when enforcing their government involved impeding on their newly joint economy. The British magistrates had concern with trial cases concerning “important faces” of the natives. In Abina’s story magistrate Melton was unsure with the case because it involved Quamina Eddoo, owner of a palm oil farm, which incidentally paid many British taxes. The trial is
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She then instructs Abina whom to speak to in order to take her case to court. It is very important to notice that in this busy market place of people, only the women are sitting on the ground. The men were standing behind stands vending goods while the women were sitting on the ground with their baskets. This physically shows how the men towered over the women in society. Slaves and women were seen as the lesser in society and thus forcibly oppressed in one way or another.
The slaves were under the control of their respective master however these respective masters were ultimately under the control of the crown of England. Originally at the time of the British’s arrival on the Gold Coast the natives considered them strong allies. Strong allies quickly shifted to the British, being far more advanced and powerful, over taking the land and governing the natives. The British believed themselves as far more civilized than the natives. They had recently introduced a new ideology to their culture. Children, criminals, and women were to be considered unequal with the rest of society. These groups were to be watched over by the male head of household or the British crown (Getz 105). This same ideology is carried over to the British’s rule in the Gold Coast. The British deemed the natives as “savages” thus not entirely worthy of full human rights. The governing British men stationed in the