This chapter addresses the importance of the arguments made in the preceding chapters for understanding the nature of the Asante state. This book explores the unusually rich European archival documentation in tandem with Asante oral accounts in order to explain and evaluate both the history of Asante's relations with the Dutch and the character and development of the Asante state. It starts by describing Asante-Dutch relations. In addition, the character and development of the Asante state are explained. An assessment of Asante as a patrimonial state brings it more into line with the historiography of other West African precolonial states. The evidence from Asante permits a deeper analysis of the changing connection between the king and his administrative staff and of the various methods employed by successive Asantehenes to maintain control over an officialdom which actively sought to appropriate authority for itself. This is an issue which might fruitfully be pursued in the study of other precolonial African states as well.
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