King Leopold II ruled the Congo from 1885 to 1908. “He ruled the Congo less as a colony but more as his own personal priority. He treated the native Congolese nearly as slaves and used the wealth of the Congo to grow his own personal wealth.” (http://drcimperialism.weebly.com/life-under-imperialist-power.html). Under his rule the people of the Congo were treated horribly. The Congolese experienced a humanitarian disaster consisting of enslavement, exploitation, and even extermination. Moreover, by the end of this era it was estimated that the population was cut in half. “Eventually international outrage forced Leopold to turn over his personal colony to the Belgian government.” (Esler 572) Nonetheless, during the years of Leopold’s rule imperialism thrived.
In order to achieve his dream, King Leopold II wanted to be sure that no other country got in his way. Belgium was a small country and Leopold knew that his country posed no threat to others. If he started to conquer the Congo, other
Between the years 1881 and 1914, African territory was being invaded by Europeans during the New Imperialism period. Before Europe’s invasion, Africa consisted of various tribes and had no central government due to this during the mid nineteenth century. Europe attempted to colonize Africa using harsh military force and resulted in the European Scramble for Africa. The European Scramble for Africa caused African leaders to have different reactions such as some wanting to have no conflicts, but peace, surrendering to the Europeans due to fear, and also attempting to fight back against the Europeans.
The Renaissance was a period of time in European history in which many countries experienced a great rebirth due to individual thinking. People were no longer subject to accepting artistic and political traditions, classical texts and/or scientific theories without question. Peaking in the 1500s, there was an apparent reformation in many different areas culturally, politically and socially, but especially in people’s perceptions of themselves. These new ideas about government, science, and the arts paved the way for the modern world.
Jules Ferry was a French politician who served two times as a Prime Minister during the Third Republic. Third Republic was the name of the French government for nearly 69 years from 1871 to 1940. Jules Ferry was known as the passionate imperialist. During his time as the Prime Minister, occupied Tunisia, some parts of Indochina and he also started exploring certain parts of Africa. In his speech, Ferry is urging the French Parliament to expand the borders in order to increase the economic and political as well as the military power of France as other countries began to export more goods than France. Therefore if they had more colonies they set up more so that they could send more of their goods out of the country. Jules Ferry believed that France should push its politics onto less developed countries with the goal of increasing revenue and becoming economically powerful. What made it urgent for France to have colonies are the recent events in the world trade in order to broaden their own trade lines. In the text Ferry states,
In the late 19th century, the Congo was but a peaceful African country – a land rich in farms, rainforests, and hard workers, but by the time the imperialist King Leopold II finally ceded the Congo Free State to Belgium in 1908, the Congo was without 10 million people and those that remained were scarred with terrible memories. Imperialist countries seek to expand their empire or create an empire by taking control of another country for a number of reasons including political, social, cultural, military, and economic dominance. Africa was a coveted continent to be colonized especially by Europeans because of its abundance of natural resources that were highly profitable and in high demand. Belgium was one of those imperialist European countries
Present day Haiti, once the French colony of Saint Domingue, previously bolstered the status of the wealthiest colony in the world based primarily on slave labor and cash crop production. Its economy was based off of the refining of sugar/sugar cane which proved to be the most profitable of their cash crops. In 1803 however, rebel forces comprised primarily of slaves and free Blacks, defeated the French army. This made the Haitian Revolution the first successful slave revolt in the world, and established Haiti as the first Black Republic in the Western World. Subsequently, with the decline of the sugar plantation as a major benefactor to the French empire after the Haitian Revolution, there was overall increased economic opportunities for the
The start of a significant rebellion against authority initially began on the 5TH of July 1960 where it rapidly spread throughout the Congolese state. Europeans, with the majority of them being Belgians fled from the indigenous army, renamed the Congolese National Army, and returned with colossal and forceful Belgian troops. There was no authorization from president Josh Kasavubu and prime minister, Patrice Lumumba and so, this caused mayhem. Independence was gained yet Belgian
Many white Europeans believed that they lived in a civilized nation with the right religion and culture and had a duty to influence the less developed non-whites by taking care of the inferior civilizations; this is known as the white man’s burden. According to Prince Leopold, the heir to the throne of Belgium, “[L]et us see where there are unoccupied lands...to prove to the world that Belgians also are an imperial people capable of dominating and enlightening others.” He states that Belgium wants to imperialize in order to “dominate and enlighten others” with the others being the “uncivilized” cultural groups as stated in the white man’s burden. Even though it is not explicitly said, it can be inferred that a major motivation for Belgium was
Imperialism helped the Belgians discriminate, segregate, brutally torture, and even kill the Congolese in genocidal proportions worse than the Holocaust, for economic benefit. Imperialism is what let the Belgians easily seized all control of the Congolese’ supply of ivory, rubber, and minerals for economic power and benefit. Because the Congolese did not want to be controlled the Belgians inflicted brutal control over the people, then after that they started killing them in inhumane ways. The Congolese’ also lost most of their own culture, but when the Belgians invaded their country and took over they did bring religion and education. Overall the Belgians destroyed the Congo because of their greed, and their past is still remembered today.
The Belgian independence was recognized in 1931 by the Treaty of London. Treaty in which the major powers recognize the existence of our country. Belgium exists only through the agreement of these powers.
Belgium had joined the rest of Europe in its creation of colonies and decided they needed their own, and in their journey to find one, they found the Congo.
Siam was a small country that was slightly smaller than france. It was never colonized during the Age of Imperialism and instead managed to stay independent. It was the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European colonial rule. Siam, now modern day Thailand, was located at the center of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. To the north was Burma, which was ruled by Britain, and to the east was Cochinchina and Cambodia, which were annexed by France. With these two superpowers and their mutually competitive imperial projects closing in around Siam, it was a very dangerous time period for them. They had to remain vigilant against the two countries or else be annexed by either one.
Legally, a country has full rights to the natural resources present within its borders. However, this right has not always been respected by other countries in the past; and in some cases, the present. Many nations have had their resources taken away forcibly, either by colonialists or plundering invaders. This often leads to the pauperization of the general populace and the fall of the nation’s economy. The Kingdom of Belgium (hereinafter Belgium) itself has suffered in such a way when Belgium was invaded by the Prussian Empire. Belgium’s natural resources were stripped and its populace humiliated.
Due to the clear and present danger of the Belgian people living in the Congo, the Belgian government felt that they had to intervene. Soldiers from Belgium were back on the ground in the Congo to bring stability to the situation. This was a horrific sight to most of the Congolese people as