The Ashanti Empire was in a perpetual state of conflict during the late 18th century and early 19th century as it sought to expand its territory. While the Fante were its primary threat in taking territory, the end result of the Ga-Fante War in 1811 saw Fante ally the Akim-Akuapem force give their side the victory over the Ashanti-Ga forces. The Ashanti-Akim-Akuapem War is something of a continuation of this conflict.
FOLLOWING THE ASHANTI’S DEFEAT
In 1811, the Ashanti Empire had the Fante alliance on the ropes and followed the Akim-Akuapem into the Akuapem Hills to press their momentum. The Ashanti didn’t have the advantage in Akuapem territory and effective guerrilla tactics resulted in the powerful Ashanti military retreating. With a major victory to their name, the Akim-Akuapem forces decided to take a page out of the Ashanti Kingdom’s book and built on their momentum. They would take a fort from the Dutch and the British as a result.
THE ASHANTI-AKIM-AKUAPEM WAR
The Akim-Akuapem alliance originally formed to hold down the coast of Ghana and protect it from Ashanti dominance. In losing the coast to the Ashanti, there would be little chance to expand the own territory. The war ran from 1814 until 1816 with the Ashanti, led by Asantehene Osei Bonsu, wanted a way to the lucrative Gold Coast. In years since their 1811 loss, the Ashanti had bolstered its numbers, being a threat to any alliance or kingdom in Ghana.
The Ashanti-Akim-Akuapem War saw victories for both sides but ultimately marked a major loss for the Akim-Akuapem forces. As a result, the Ashanti expanded their empire and their presence along the coast. They weren’t finished as they would attack their ally from earlier in the decade, the Ga. Their former ally’s establishments along the coast were the target of aggressive raiding.
This would see colonial forces come to an uneasy, fragile agreement with the Ashanti. In the next decade, the Ashanti would take on a major enemy in the British.