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The following program is produced under a grant and aid from the educational radio and television centers and is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters and the University of Michigan proudly presents. One nation indivisible. Self-determination. Independence. Sovereignty. These are the catch words of one of the most powerful forces on march in the world today. Words which symbolize the desire of people everywhere. To be masters of their own political destiny. This is our story. The story of nationalism in the twentieth century. Told in a series of 13 radio
documents created by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. And now. One nation indivisible. There must be order. What about a body being gonna come out with a prayer. To the creator of the Beth of Guyana says. I have a reason in my majesty
the Creator of All Things. What he did create he created to the Kieve he created the course. He created to be divine. He created. The law he created. Gonna read softly. This is the voice of 20th century nationalism in Africa. The ancient talking drum of the primitive tribes combined with the voice of the educated citizens speaking English. This is the voice of Gunnar one of the youngest nations on earth whose independence was achieved March six thousand nine hundred fifty seven. The world is watching Ghana. To her leaders the new nation is hardly an experiment. It's an
established fact. But still it is a nation created almost overnight. It is a nation without a history without a unified cultural heritage. A nation without precedent on the continent of Africa. It is a nation with extremes of poverty and wealth education and illiteracy with arbitrary boundaries. It includes peoples of varying languages and religions owing allegiance to jealous tribal overlords accustomed for 100 years to the colonial way of life. Africa is watching Ghana the world is watching. Will it succeed. God is situated in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. It lies a few degrees north of the equator entirely within the tropics. It comprises what was formerly known as the Gold Coast and British Talkalakh and to explain the name. Prime Minister has said the name of Ghana is
rooted deeply in ancient African history especially in the history of the western portion of Africa known as the western Sudan. It kindles in the imagination of most modern West African youth. The ground you are in the achievements of a great medieval civilization which our ancestors developed many centuries before the European penetration and subsequent domination of Africa began according to tradition. The various peoples or tribal groups in the Gold Coast where originally members of the great Ghana empire that developed in the West in Sudan during the medieval period. For 1000 Yes the Gahanna Empire was known to have covered what is now the greater part of West Africa namely from Nigeria in the east to send to Gambia in the West. It is from this rich historical background that the name Ghana has been proposed. We take pride in the name not out of
romanticism but as an inspiration for the future and speaks of history but historical Ghana is almost buried in the legends of the past. Medieval writers refer to such a state and all negro Empire lying somewhere in the heart of West Africa but almost any group of people in West and Central Africa could like equal claim to the name among the requisites of nationalism however are a cultural heritage. However remote and the glorious past however Legendary the resurrection of the ancient name is an attempt on the part of modern goddess leaders to supply these needs. It provides a rationale for coming into existence and a frame of reference for future development. The Gold Coast itself is a colony of Great Britain was arbitrarily carved out of West Africa in the course of the great power scrambles for colonies in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Gunna. Old Guinea is the greatest city in all of the countries of Negro
land. The most populous and the most abounding with merchandise. And not only very wealthy merchants traveled to all the neighboring pots but also from the most remote corners of the West. But what is extraordinary is that govt has found that. It is completely pure malleable without being at all melted by the ordinary arts of refining and separation. So wrote a British merchant in 1741 but for nearly three hundred years preceding this date beginning with the systematic exploration of the coast by Portuguese adventurous Europeans had been made aware of the rich resources of this part of West Africa. Was it any wonder they called it the Gold Coast. But there was another natural resource of this area which Europeans could not overlook. Manpower in response to the needs of the British West Indian sugar plantations in particular the slave trade was developed around the beginning of the 17th century. Both the Dutch and British sought
to establish a monopoly in the region. The process of penetration lasted for centuries. But by the middle of the eighteenth century the great British private companies like the Royal African company of England had won control the most approved judges of the commercial interests of these kingdoms have ever been of the opinion that our West Indian and African trades are the most nationally beneficial of any we carry on. It is also allowed that the trade to Africa affords our American colonies and plantations a constant supply of negro servants for the culture. The extensive employment of our shipping in to and from America the great brood of seamen consequence thereupon and the daily dread of the most considerable part of our British manufacturers being primarily for the labor of Negroes. The negro trade therefore and the natural consequences resulting from it may be justly esteemed and inexhaustible found of wealth and naval power to this nation.
Strong arguments for an eighteenth century merchant but the British government was not convinced the lucrative slave trade threatened to undermine the strength of the British Navy in 1870 the British Parliament declared the slave trade illegal then began a battle between the private companies and the government for control of the resources of the Gold Coast. Both human and non-human said the government. It appears pretty obvious that the establishments of the African company and either calculated to prevent or even to check the slave trade to improve the character or condition of the natives nor to inspire them with any degree of respect for the British name. The merchants countered with this play. The company hopefully is suggests that trade might develop in rice maize Indigo palm oil and timber to supplement trade in gold and ivory and to replace the slave trade. But the British government once committed would not retreat in 1821 control of the Gold Coast settlements was transferred from the African company of merchants to the British Crown. For a brief period between 18 28 and 1843 a committee of London merchants was
permitted to exercise control but at the end of this time England took over once and for all. In 1944 the British government negotiated a treaty with a group of tribes. This treaty was regarded by Gold Coast politicians as their Magna Carta. It was called the family bond the bond established a British protectorate in the Gold Coast. British legal principles and concepts would henceforth be followed. But even more important than the use in terms of later national aspirations was Britain's acknowledgement of limited jurisdiction. Mother's robberies and other crimes and offenses will be tried and inquired of before the queen's judicial offices in the chiefs of the districts molding the customs of the country to the general principles of British law. From this time forward there were frequent indications of England's willingness to advance self-government in 1850 the first legislative and executive councils were set up with members nominated by the governor. There were no Africans on these councils until 1888. But
about the turn of the century the first stirrings of what can be labelled nationalist sentiment began to make themselves evident in the Gold Coast. The Aborigines rights protective society was formed. The success of this organization in defeating government bills aimed at destroying the land tenure system gave heart to the growing anti-colonial forces the desire to be rid of the colonial masters now became the central theme of Gold Coast nationalism in one thousand twenty five the first of a series of constitutions was granted to the Gold Coast by the British government in response to nationalist pressure but it was not until the period following the Second World War the ten years from one thousand forty seven to one thousand fifty seven. That nationalism in the Gold Coast finally came of age. The story of those CEOs in a moment on March 6 1957 Kwame Nkrumah appeared before the crowds in the main square of a crop. His speech announcing the independence of Ghana a sovereign state within the British Commonwealth of Nations will undoubtedly be remembered for a long time to come as a milestone in the history of Africa. Here are his actual words.
I send it. To above. The bus. Or. The bus. And yet again I'm willing to take the opportunity. The decent people of this country. Do you. The families. Of the women. Who have shown mobility. And want this book also. I want. You to accept this man who was. With me in this
matter. From foreign rule in unison. And. Pointed out. That the fund raiser for whom. I made it very. Clear. That from now. We must. Use our minds. We must realise that from memory. It was for her. I can see that you have unions. Going into you. Yes. Yes. He said. It was a hoot. I know.
This was a proud moment in the history of a former colonial country but as the fiery words of the prime minister in the sound of the new national anthem died away. The people of gonna realize that they still had a long way to go. Let's examine briefly some of the statements made by increment in that speech not to criticize but to find them clues as to what had been happening in Ghana. What is happening and what may possibly happen in the future. Prime Minister said. I want to thank the valiant accept his men who have so cooperated with me in the mighty task of freeing our country from foreign rule and imperialism. What about these acts serviceman. Where do they fit into the picture. From the record it appears that these men unwittingly became the Minutemen of the Gold Coast revolution. They are now cast in the role of heroes our martyrs symbols of Ghana's defiance of colonialism. These are the historical facts. On February 27 one thousand forty eight in the Gold Coast
city of Accra a procession marched on the governor's palace. The procession included members of the Gold Coast ex serviceman's Union. These men Africans all that served under the British flag in both world wars in all the major theaters they returned with the knowledge of other nations who though no more advanced than theirs had nevertheless been allowed to govern themselves. Their plan on this day in one thousand forty eight was to present a petition for redress of grievances to the governor. These grievances included racial discrimination while in military service. Failure on the part of the British government to implement promises made to Gold Coast soldiers while in the army. I just disabled veterans pension rates to meet the rising cost of living to make special tax relief provisions for veterans. The High Cost of Living contributed another factor to the growing unrest on that day. Under African leadership a rather effective boycott had been underway against European goods in
response the administration had promised to reduce prices on certain commodities. But the price reductions had been disappointing. The procession of ex-servicemen was joined by gangs of boycotters and grumbling citizens some 2000 were in the mob when it reached the crossroads an important intersection in Accra a British superintendent of police commanding fewer than 100 men ordered the procession to halt and disperse on the grounds that it had deviated from the route authorized by the administration. The procession surged forward. The officer commanded his men to fire and they did not obey he seized the rifle himself and fired six shots. Two of the marchers fell dead. Four of five were wounded. Rioting followed by looting broke out in a crowd and other cities of the Gold Coast. By the time the disturbances had been suppressed a month later twenty nine had died and two hundred and thirty seven had been wounded. As is often the case a nationalist group not directly concerned with the cause of the ex-servicemen
was determined to make these shots heard round the world. The incident at the Crossroads was to be exploited in the greater cause of anti-colonialism and nationalism. At the height of the rioting a rather presumptuous telegram was sent to the secretary of state for the colonies in London after permitting peaceful demonstration of ex-servicemen police fired without provocation. Several killed many wounded police unable to protect life and property. People demand government immediately recall the governor sent commission supervised formation of constituent assembly. Now wouldn't this attempt to capitalize on a crisis to mobilize world opinion in favor of an early transfer of power to the Africans was signed by the general secretary of the group Kwame Nkrumah. The group in question called itself the United Gold Coast Convention. It had been formed in the late spring of 1907. An upper middle class political organization its major aim was the attainment of self-government at the earliest possible time. Kwame Nkrumah had been hired to strengthen the organization and to widen the
popular base. One wonders if the business men of across knew exactly what sort of a man they had appointed from the start it was apparent that interim a hope to transform the UGC see into a full fledged political party. His words and his methods however though they smacked of Marxism met with the approval of some of his sponsors at least Iran has a new sense of national pride and indicated a way in which national sentiment might be trying to affect the goals of independence and freedom. What do we know about in Chroma. He said. Yeah but. This has been a key phrase in an groomers rise born in an arc on tribal village improvement worked hard for an education in 135 friends helped him to come to America. He won a scholarship at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and was given his B.A. in 1039. The same year he began work in the Lincoln Theological Seminary and studied for a master's degree at the
University of Pennsylvania. Degrees from both institutions followed in one thousand forty two and forty three. A master of science an education a master of arts and philosophy a bachelor of theology in order to pay for his schooling he worked in the shipyards in a soap factory as a waiter. Finally his health gave out. He sailed for England hoping to complete a Ph.D. there and study law in England as in the United States he kept up his contact with West African students and with the affairs of his native Gold Coast. From the start he seemed to have only one goal in mind independence for his country and the role of leadership for himself. In England he had many contacts with Marxist thinkers as well as communist organizers and sympathizers but he never became a card carrying member of the Communist Party is dog food. His attitude then is now seem to be. What can I learn from them. What ideas do they have that might be adapted successfully in the fight for African independence. When his influence first began to make itself felt through the UGC sea Britain was concerned over and
groomers apparent communist orientation but their accusation that he aimed at establishing a Soviet West Africa seems hardly justifiable in time of Great Britain evidently came around to the view that Kwame Nkrumah might well be England's best defense against communism in West Africa. Certainly by 1948 and I had already demonstrated that when the African is given a chance he can show the world that he is somebody. Under his leadership. The control of the nationalist movement in the Gold Coast passed out of the hands of the British educated upper middle class into the hands of the middle class and to borrow a phrase from trade unionism. The rank and file. Failing to convert the UGC say into the kind of organization he wanted and groom founded in 1909 the convention People's Party among its aims to fight relentlessly to achieve and maintain independence for the people
of Ghana and the achieves to serve as a vigorous conscious political vanguard for removing all forms of oppression and for the establishment of a democratic government. The masthead of the Party's newspaper proclaims the party slogan we profess our government with the danger to servitude. Interim quality. The party grew in strength and continued its agitation to prod the colonial government still further and resorted to a weapon which had proved itself in India. Civil disobedience he called the new strategy positive action a place no trust in the statement issued by the British are AM and purpose is to guide the colonial territories to responsible self-government within the Commonwealth and to that and to assist them to the utmost of our capacity and resources to establish those economic and social conditions upon which alone self-government can be solidly biased.
And group proclaimed in spite of Britain's apparent willingness to grant self-government in time true independence could only be achieved by political agitation and constant pressure worn by British officials that any rioting and bloodshed would be his personal response about a day and pushed ahead for boycotts strikes and non-cooperation. He was promptly jailed. But victory was almost in sight and even imprisoned was permitted to remain politically active. A short time later he was released and asked by the administration to serve as leader of his Majesty's Government business in the Gold Coast. The convention People's Party consolidated its gains they did encounter opposition from groups attached to traditional ways of life from tribal leaders from intellectuals who considered improvement measures premature. Some thought they detected authoritarian tendencies in the CBP. But the colonial administration now placed full support behind chroma meeting his demands as rapidly as dignity and expediency allowed the colonial office persuaded the interim government to
hold a general election. The Colonial Secretary pledged if a general election is held. Her Majesty's Government will be ready to accept a motion calling for independence within the Commonwealth passed by a reasonable majority in a newly elected legislature and then to declare a firm date for attainment of that purpose. The c p p was again victorious in the 1056 of actions promptly the government in London fixed the date of Ghana's independence March 6th 1957 as the great day approached the royal highness the Duchess of Kent representing Queen Elizabeth the Second arrived in Accra and spoke these words. Tomorrow with midnight the First off I met African to achieve the status of an independent commission. What.
Do you want if you. Have one wish. Warmest wishes for the future. Make good. Yes. That's the history of Ghana as a nation began on March 6 957 one of the foremost problems facing the young state lies in the economic sphere. Although politically and legally independent economic status is because cocoa is the only crop of significance on the major export item. A drop in the price of cocoa on the world market could prove disastrous for Gonna radical measures may have to be taken to recast the economic foundations of the nation. Food production is inadequate. Another major difficulty confronting the new state is political. It involves a conflict between the forces counseling moderation and observation of democratic procedures and those preferring totalitarian solutions of Ghana's pressing problems.
As said capitalism is too complicated a system for a newly independent nation. Hence the need for a socialistic society a socialistic society to the ears of potential investors in the Western democracies. This has an ominous ring. The influential London Economist has observed it is no secret that Mr. Bedell garners minister of finance is firmly opposed to policies which will make his task more difficult. He will not find it easy to raise the revenue needed to meet expenditures Gharlane must pay for its own diplomatic service and the much increased police force which the government feels is necessary now that imperialism has been crushed. The country's reserves are fully committed. Mr. Benjamin knows that the government's actions now will have a crucial effect on the attraction of new overseas capital in spite of these factors militating against radicalism.
The West should be prepared to accept substantial modifications of Western political institutions in Ghana. The time crim has said even a system based on social justice and a democratic constitution. We need backing up during the period following independence by emergency measures of a totalitarian kind. Without discipline. True freedom cannot survive aren't groomers words prophetic of things to come in Ghana. I believe in his opinions one day be considered too moderate. Only the future can tell. In maintaining contact with the 20th century world the emergent African nations will have to take truly gigantic strides covering in decades what it took Western countries centuries to accomplish. The forces of tribalism still predominate in part of the country and is only one man younger more impatient men are waiting behind the scenes. They may want to advance Ghana into the atomic age without having it passed through the intervening stages. The slow and deliberate process ease of Western democracy may be deemed unsuitable by these men.
If the West should turn a deaf ear to Ghana's pleas for assistance the Soviet Union stands ready to take its place. At any rate whatever the news may be that will come out of Ghana in the coming months or years. Ghana is now a fact. The world at this moment in history is inclined to listen sympathetically to the demands of nationalist forces everywhere for recognition. This was forcefully demonstrated when the delegates of 79 nations assembled in the great hall of the United Nations one by one voice the approval of their governments of the admission of Ghana as the 80th member of that august assembly. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH.
Let me have it. One nation indivisible. One of a series of 13 radio documents on nationalism in the twentieth century. Resource advise of all this program was Henry L. Broughton assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan. The program was written and narrated by e.g. Burroughs also in the cast was a student from Ghana attending the university. Gratefully we acknowledge the cooperation of the Ghana Broadcasting Company on The Voice of America. The programme was directed by Williams and was produced and transcribed by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. One nation indivisible is produced under a grant an aid from the educational radio and
television center. And is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcast. This is the NEA E.B. Radio Network.
One nation indivisible
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Ghana: The first African nation to achieve independence in the British Commonwealth faces unique problems. Features Kwame Nkrumah, prime minister of Ghana.
Series Description
A documentary series about nationalism in the 20th century.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Politics and Government
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Narrator: Hemmers, Lou
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Speaker: Nkrumah, Kwame, 1909-1972
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-17-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:12
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Chicago: “One nation indivisible; Ghana,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “One nation indivisible; Ghana.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: One nation indivisible; Ghana. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from