The population of the central mountains is perhaps the oldest in Togo, with recent archeological research dating the presence of the Tchamba, Bogou, and Bassar people as far back as the ninth century. Northern Mossi kingdoms date back to the thirteenth century. Ewe migration narratives from Nigeria and archaeological finds in the region of Notse put the earliest appearance of Ewe speakers at c. 1600. Other research suggests the Kabye and others were the last to settle in the Kara region coming from Kete-Krachi in Ghana as recently as two hundred fifty years ago. Parts of north Togo were for a long time under the influence of Islamic kingdoms, such as that of Umar Tal of the nineteenth century. European presence began in the fifteenth century and became permanent from the sixteenth. Though the Danish, Dutch, Spanish, British, German, and French all sailed the coastal region, the Portuguese were the first to establish local economic control. For the next three centuries the area that is Togo today was sandwiched between the two powerful slave trading kingdoms of Ashanti and Dahomey. Consequently the Togolese population was overrepresented among those unfortunates sold into the trans-Atlantic slave trade. During the same period a growing Arab controlled trans-Saharan trade in slaves, kola, and gold passed through Togo. Missionaries arrived in the mid-1800s and set up schools and churches in the regions of Ho (present-day Ghana), Kpalimé, and Agou. The Berlin Conference led to the annexation of Togo as a Schutzgebiet (protectorate) by the German Empire in 1884, under the leadership of Captain Gustav Nachtigal. Initially the treaty negotiated covered only the coastal region of about fifteen miles, though over the next fifteen years the German colonial administrators moved their capital from Zebe to Lomé and extended control north as far as present day Burkina Faso. The borders were finalized in treaties with France (1897) and Britain (1899). German colonial rule consisted largely of export-oriented agricultural and infrastructural development, and frequent accounts of barbarity reached international attention. The most significant contribution was an system of roads and railroads built by German money and Togolese forced labor. British and French troops invaded and captured German Togoland in 1914. For the duration of World War I, British troops controlled much of the region, including the capital, but with the Treaty of Versailles and the creation of the League of Nations Mandate system, Togoland was repartitioned. Officially in 1922, one third came under British control, and two-thirds under the administration of France (modern-day Togo), including the capital Lomé. After World War II, the mandates passed to the control of the United Nations (UN) Trusteeship in 1946. In 1956, in a UN-sponsored plebiscite, the British section voted to join the Gold Coast Colony as independent Ghana in 1957. Emergence of the Nation. During the interwar period, several organizations—including the Cercle des Amitiés Françaises, the Duawo, and the Bund der deutschen Togoländer—organized and militated in public and private against French rule. The Cercle became the Committee for Togolese Unity Party (CUT), under the leadership of Sylvanus Olympio. The Togolese Party for Progress, led by Nicolas Grunitzky, offered a more conservative message. In 1956 France made French Togoland a republic within the French Union, with internal self-government. Grunitzky was made prime minister and against the wishes of the UN, France attempted to terminate the trusteeship. In a UN-sponsored election, the CUT won control of the legislature and Olympio became the country's first president on 27 April 1960. In 1963 Togo gained the dubious distinction of being the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to experience a military coup d'état. National Identity. Until the dictatorship of Gnassingbé Eyadema, the southern Ewe culture predominated in all realms of life and was second only to the influence of French. After 1967, however, the president deigned to redress the southern bias in cultural, political, and social life, and to this end created authenticité, modeled on the same program of the Zaire dictator Mobutu. This movement attempted to highlight the many and diverse cultures of Togo, but resulted in reducing them to two only: that of the north and south. More recently, the idea of Togolese nationhood has become submerged to that of Kabye ethnicity. Ethnic Relations. Ethnic tensions are minimal, despite the persistent murmurings of certain politicians. Political strife came to a head in 1991–1994 and did result in south against north violence and the reverse, with its concomitant refugees and resettlement, but Togo's thirty ethnic groups continue to mix and intermarry throughout the country.
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