History of Togo

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Little is known about the history of Togo before the late fifteenth century, when Portuguese explorers arrived, although there are signs of Ewe settlement for several centuries before their arrival.[1]

Contents

Pre-colonial

Various tribes moved into the country from all sides - the Ewe from Nigeria and Benin, and the Mina and the Guin from Ghana. These three groups settled along the coast. When the slave trade began in earnest in the 16th century, the Mina benefited the most. They became ruthless agents for the European slave-traders and would travel north to buy slaves from the Kabye and other northern tribes.[citation needed] Europeans built forts in neighboring Ghana (at Elmina) and Benin (at Ouidah), but not in Togo, which had no natural harbours. For the next 200 years, the coastal region was a major raiding center for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast".

Colonial rule

German Togoland

In an 1884 treaty signed at Togoville, Germany declared a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the coast and gradually extended its control inland. Because it became Germany's only self-supporting colony, Togoland was known as its model possession.

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