The Guggisberg Constitution: Features, Strengths, Weaknesses

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You will see below a simplified outline of the features, strengths and weaknesses of the 1925 Guggisberg constitution of the Gold Coast (Ghana).

Let’s begin with the features of the Guggisberg constitution. Your likely WASSCE Government paper question about this constitution will appear like this:

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OUTLINE THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE 1925 GUGGISBERG CONSTITUTION IN GHANA.

Features of Guggisberg Constitution

Governor Gordon Guggisberg’s 1925 constitution came as a result of calls by proto-nationalist movements to improve on the 1916 Clifford constitution.

Here are the major features of the Guggisberg constitution in Ghana.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL – MEMBERSHIP

 Its membership increased to 30

→ Official members = 15

→ Unofficial members = 14

Below is the breakdown of the 14 unofficial members.

Paramount Chiefs = 6

Elected Africans to represent Accra, Cape Coast and Secondi – Takoradi = 3

Europeans representing the mining and commerce sectors = 5

    → Governor as President

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL – FUNCTIONS

The Legislative Council performed the following functions under the Guggisberg constitution.

It passed bills into ordinances or laws

Secondly, it approved the budget that came from the Executive Council.

In addition to the above, it discussed the grievances of the people.

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EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Membership: 5 Official members with the Governor as president.

Functions:

The Executive Council under the Guggisberg constitution functioned as an advisory body. It advised the governor on all administrative matters.

Also, it assisted the governor in the formulation and implementation of government policies.

It’s time to move to the second part of this WASSCE/Senior High School Government tutorial,

You will now have an outline of the strengths and weaknesses or shortcomings of the Guggisberg constitution.

Below is one more likely question on this topic for you.

OUTLINE THREE STRENGTHS AND THREE WEAKNESSES OF THE 1925 GUGGISBERG CONSTITUTION.

Strengths of the Constitution

1. It increased the membership of the Legislative Council.

2. Secondly, there was increased involvement of traditional rulers in the colonial administration through the creation of the Provincial Councils of Chiefs.

3. The Guggisberg constitution of 1925 introduced the franchise or the elective principle into the Gold Coast (Ghana).

4. Finally, the constitution promoted decentralization in the colonial government. It created Municipal and Town councils to manage local affairs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Decentralization

Weaknesses of the Constitution

Find below the main weaknesses of governor Gordon Guggisberg’s 1936 constitution of the Gold Coast (Ghana).

These shortcomings of the constitution made the educated elite level a number of criticisms against it.

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1. Firstly, the official majority in the Legislative Council remained as it was under the Clifford constitution before it.

2, Again, Africans were excluded from the Executive Council.

3. Another shortcoming was that Ashanti, the Northern Territories and British Mandated Togoland were largely excluded from the provisions of the constitution.

4. Above all, the Governor still had veto power over bills in the Legislative Council.

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About Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph is a professional blogger, founder and CEO of RN Digital Media Ent. He spends his day working as an online entrepreneur, e-learning strategist and a test prep coach. If you can't locate him anywhere online doing what he knows how to do best, then check him out on his farm or in the kitchen. He lives in the Central Region of his native country, Ghana.

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