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by parachutes

The Colonization of Two Countries

Unit 4 Project

Mackenzie M Campbell - October 14th, 2019Introduction

The Republic of Ghana and Malaysia are two countries located in the South-East hemisphere. The Republic of Ghana has an estimated 27,400,000 residents (2015 census), and spans over many different terrains. On the southern side there is a sprawling coastline bordering the Atlantic coastline that attract tourists, and on the northern side there are lush tropical forests that produce a lucrative amount of natural resources (predominantly gold and cocoa). The official dialect in The Republic of Ghana is English, and their capital is Accra. Malaysia has an estimated 30,300,000 residents (2015 census), and is a federation with two noncontiguous regions: Peninsular Malaysia, also called West Malaysia, is on the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia, is on the island of Borneo. Malaysia has a rocky terrain, and a long coastline. The official dialect in Malaysia is Malay, but other dialects such as English and Tamil are widely used. The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur.

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Geography and Location

The Republic of The Republic of Ghana (pictured on the right) can be found on the coast of the Gulf of New Guinea. It is pretty small in area and population. The Republic of Ghanas’ has a picturesque coast and miles of sandy beaches. The Republic of Ghanas’ inland is brimming with lush forests. The vegetation is tropical. The Republic of Ghana is relatively flat. The have rivers that deposit alluvium, a fertile soil composed of silt, gravel, clay, and sand. The deposit of alluvium aids in the growth of vegetation.

Since Malaysia (pictured on the left) consists of two noncontiguous regions, its terrain varies greatly. In West/Peninsular Malaysia, at least half of its land is 500 feet above sea level. This causes the surface to be rocky. Half of it is covered by a combination of granite and indigenous rocks, a third of it is is covered by stratified rocks that are older than the granite, and the rest is covered by alluvium, a fertile soil composed of silt, gravel, clay, and sand. This alluvium is deposited from the rivers. West Malaysia does not have level land; it is mountainous. East Malaysia is an elongated strip of land. It’s approximately 1,125 km long, and at its largest point it is 275 km wide. The majority of east Malaysia’s surface can be put into one of the following categories; flat coastal plain, hill/valley, and mountain. East Malaysia has the highest mountain peaks in all of Eastern Asia.


A revolution in The Republic of Ghanas’ history started in 1471 following the arrival of Portuguese mariners. The Portuguese men found an abundance of gold, and initiated a direct sea trade Europe. Originally Europe mainly wanted was a source of gold, a resource that was abundant and readily available on the coastal parts of The Republic of Ghana. They wanted to trade this gold for European resources (cloth, beads, metal, alcohol, weapons, and ammunition). The Republic of Ghana widely became know as the Gold Coast. The leaders of The native states at that time allowed the Portuguese to lease the land from them. This went on until the 17th century when traders from England, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, and the Netherlands discovered that the relations the Portuguese established with the native states could adapted into the exportation of slaves. During this time, America had a heavy demand for slaves. By the mid 18th century the presence of Dutch, British, and Danish merchants was heavy. They established 40 forts/ports to export the slaves.

The revolution in Malaysia’s history took place in 1511. Since the 1st century BC, Malaysia had peacefully traded with several colonies, mainly the Chinese and Muslims. They would trade their natural resources and minerals in exchange for protection and foreign supplies (mainly tea) that they did not easily have access to. That changed in 1511 with the arrival of the Portuguese, the same group of people responsible for the colonization of The Republic of Ghana. This time, the Portuguese were searching for a maritime route to Asia. Alfonso de Albuquerque seized control of Malaysia. This was the first time in history that there was a colonial claim placed on Malaysia. The Portuguese wanted to use Malaysia for a base. Several men of power from Portugal founded States in Malaysia (Sultane of Johore and Perak Sultane to name a few). Malaysia was now heavily trafficked many non indigenous people, and by the late 16th century, European traders discovered the tin mines in Northern Malay. The Perez Sultane grew wealthy, and Portuguese’s influences were now strong.

Life During Colonization and Power Switches

Life for the Indigenous people of The Republic of Ghana and Malaysia was not ideal during Colonization. The Europeans that “claimed” the countries oppressed the original inhabitants. In the case of The Republic of Ghana, Ghanaians were sold to the Americans as slaves. Malaysians were forced to vacate their ancestral homes. Violence against the Aboriginal people was common.

In the 1940s, 6 Ghanaian men became the leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention, a political party in the British part of the Gold Coast. Their goal was to gain independence in The Republic of Ghana from their British “masters” following WW2. These men (Ebenezer Ako-Sdejei, Edward Akufo-Adjei, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Kramer Nkrumah, Emmanaul Obetsebi-Lamptey, and William Ofori Atta) became the backbone of The Republic of Ghanas separatist campaign.

During WW1, (1942) Malaysia was overtaken by Japan. The Japanese viewed Malays as a byproduct of the British, so they treated them terribly. Nonetheless advocates of Melayu Raya collaborated with the Japanese. They were led to believe that Japan would unite the Dutch East Indies, Malaya and Borneo and grant them independence. Shortly thereafter, the sook ching (purification through suffering) took place. This was a slaughter where around 80,000 Chinese in Malaya and Singapore were killed. Chinese businesses were closed and Chinese schools were closed and burned down. Not surprisingly the Chinese, (led by the Malayan Communist Party) became the backbone of the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). With British assistance, the MPAJA became the best resistance force in the Asian countries.

Uncolonization Period

By the 1950s, both The Republic of Ghana and Malaysia were seeking independence from Britain powers. They both successfully gained independence from the British Empire in the 1957. After gaining independence both countries had rich resources and sturdy British political and legal institutions, as well as identical educational systems.

Following the separation, Malaysia was expected to do poorly. Malaysia had racial tensions among the three dominant ethnicities (Chinese, Indian, and native Malays). This racial tension affected the political landscape in Malaysia. Each racial group had different opinions/goals for Malaysia. So, they requested British supervision, and the three groups the created a unified alliance. The Malays were assigned to handle government affairs while the Chinese and Indians were assigned with dealing with the economy. This went well until the Malays started complaining about not getting their rightful share of money. A new policy was established, and that was rectified. Malaysia has been living rather peacefully and prosperously since then.

The Republic of Ghana was expected to do well. But they didn’t. The Republic of Ghana became independent on March 6, 1957. The former separatist movement kingpin, Kramer Nkrumah, was named the first prime minister of The Republic of Ghana. Nkrumah was influenced heavily by socialist ideologies. These ideologies made him demand people to have greater participation in the economy. When these demands were not met, he began borrowing mass amounts of money, all the while becoming less and less popular with the people. These financial burdens led to Nakrumha being overthrown in a coup dʼétat in 1966. The military coups kept sweeping through The Republic of Ghana. The country slipped into two decades of instability following this.


Although Malaysia and The Republic of Ghana started out in the same situation, the results, hardships, and evolution of the 2 couldn't be more different. Itʼs been over half a century since Ghana and Malaysia gained their independence from the British. Here in 2019, Malaysia has 13x the average income of The Republic of Ghana. The Republic of Ghana still exports the same raw products (gold, cocoa, etc), while Malaysia houses car factories, large corporations, and opportunities galore. It really shows how circumstances can drastically effect the future of life as we know it.


Ahmad, Z. B., & Leinbach, T. R. (2019, October 24). The impact of British rule. Retrieved from

Davies, O., & Fage, J. D. (2019, October 7). Independence. Retrieved from

Davies, O., & Fage, J. D. (2019, October 7). Contact with Europe and its effects. Retrieved from

Davies, O., & Fage, J. D. (2019, October 7). Contact with Europe and its effects. Retrieved from

Ghana. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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History of Malaysia. (2019, September 20). Retrieved from

History of Malaysia. (2019, September 20). Retrieved from

Malaysia. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Site designed and built by Hydrant ( (n.d.). Ghana : History. Retrieved from

Site designed and built by Hydrant ( (n.d.). Malaysia : History. Retrieved from

The Big Six (Ghana). (2018, November 14). Retrieved from

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951 Reviews

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Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:47 am
alliyah wrote a review...

I found this essay pretty interesting as I didn't know very much of the background of either Ghana or Malaysia so it's cool to learn something!

I thought the organization could be a little improved by highlighting a central theme from all this information and then running that through your essay.

I felt a big confused about what the essay was doing - because it started out with an overview, but didn't have a transition that explained the countries commonalities or why the essay was jumping to colonization. Having an introduction that gives the premise of the paper and possibly gives information about what the essay will cover can help readers in understanding why you're making those jumps so they can follow along and pick up on important information.

I thought your sentence flow was pretty good, there were a few grammatical mistakes here and there but overall I didn't have trouble understanding what you were saying at all - though I did want some over-view for why learning the information was important, which does come in the conclusion a bit.

Also, for informal informative type pieces citing wikipedia is probably alright, but for more formal academic pieces, this often looks unreliable to readers - I'd recommend finding a more reliable source or even clicking on the bottom of the wikipedia page to see what citations that the information was added from.

This is a nice introductory essay, I look forward to reading some more of your work!


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Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:05 pm
JabberHut wrote a review...

Hello! Welcome to YWS! :D

This looks like it might've been a fun history project at school, though I could be mistaken. Nonetheless, I can tell you did a lot of research and learned a lot about Ghana and Malaysia! I don't know how much help I could or should be if this is actually a school assignment, as I don't want to lead you astray from the requirements and what your teacher expects of you.

It's an interesting style to divide this essay into small segments like you did! I think it kinda helped to understand where the paper was going and what I was about to read, staying in line with the timeline of the history story. It was very easy for me to get lost since we were jumping around from Ghana to Malaysia a lot. I'd have liked to see more commonality between the two rather than a this-side, that-side perspective. It would leave me kind of dizzy and wondering what the point of what I read was.

I liked that at the end, it finally did come together in a way. Ghana and Malaysia both were seeking independence from the British.

So I definitely found a theme at the VERY end! Right here:

It really shows how circumstances can drastically effect the future of life as we know it.

I think it would really do your essay justice if you referred to this theme a lot. You ended the essay on this note, and I was left crying for more! I didn't know I was reading for that kind of idea! The paper itself felt like a bullet point of history facts, so I didn't get any sort of correlation. I can definitely tell that despite gaining independence, the two countries ended up with different economical situations, but that was about it. (i.e., Malaysia seems better off than Ghana.)

So integrating this theme with the rest of your paper will really help. Particularly for the parts like geography. How did geography affect their future with the British and independence? It wasn't until the Portuguese found gold that all the action started.

I'm not going to check your bibliography, so I'm going to trust you'll verify this. I did notice some of your references are from wikipedia, and I would verify with your instructor this is okay. There are several scholars who wouldn't accept wikipedia as a reference since anyone can sign in and edit the article you're referencing.

Aside from some spelling/grammar issues, I generally like what you have. You have a ton of information, and I'd suggest tying it all together into a more coherent history lesson. This is, in fact, a story being told from a non-fictional/documentary point-of-view with an overall theme or point you're trying to make. Ghana and Malaysia have fascinating history and should be expressed as such! The fact that you put so much work into the research proves you have the enthusiasm for it!

Keep writing! :D

Jabber, the One and Only!

parachutes says...

Thanks for reading my piece! I appreciate all of the feedback.

[as a roleplayer is feeling sad about torturing her characters] RavenLord: "You're a writer, dear. Embrace it."
— RavenLord