Constitution of the Fante Confederacy

(1871)

In 1868 a group of chiefs of the Fante people, an ethnic group largely from the coastal region of modern-day Ghana, met at the town of Mankessim and founded the Fante Confederacy, often called the Fante Confederation. Then, in 1871, Fante leaders and members of the nascent educated class in the region wrote the Constitution of the Fante Confederacy, designed to create the framework for Fante self-government; this constitution is sometimes referred to as the Mankessim Constitution. The Fante Confederacy was the product of several closely related factors, notably the growing threat of Europeans on the African coast, the need to check the centrifugal forces that fragmented the Fante states, and the ever-present fear of imperialism from the Ashanti (also spelled Asante) Empire in western Africa.

The period from the 1750s to the early nineteenth century was the great age of Ashanti expansion. The burgeoning Ashanti Empire had incorporated much of the area of modern-day Ghana,...