Henry Morton Stanley's Impact Upon Imperialist Congo

2164 Words Sep 15th, 2007 9 Pages
For Europeans, the African Congo was a land full of unsolved mysteries and intriguing economic prospects in the second half of the 19th century. It was the last region of Africa to be explored by Europeans; for over 400 years, Europeans had attempted time and time again to explore the region, and yet all had succumbed to unbearable hardships and impassible terrain. It is likely that this region would have remained unexplored until very recently if it were not for a man named Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley was the first European explorer to lead a successful journey into Congo, overcoming the unbelievable probability of failure to open up the heart of tropical Africa to European imperialism. However, his journey was neither smooth nor …show more content…
However, before he began his association with the Belgian Congo, he first made a second journey to Africa to explore today's D.R. Congo and Uganda after briefly traveling to London to reinforce his supplies. He began this expedition with several hundred men, modern equipment, and a state-of-the-art ship. This time, Stanley opted for guns rather than whips to force his men forward at a faster pace, as he was still in competition with other explorers and felt the pressure to travel at a rapid pace. Using this tactic, Stanley was able to navigate Lake Victoria and follow the Congo River all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. He became the first European to map these areas. Satisfied with his work, he returned to Europe in 1878 (Bierman 176). Upon his return, Stanley was hailed as the man who had resolved one of the greatest exploration mysteries, found Dr. Livingstone, and eventually became the catalyst to what would become a significant example of imperialism's influence upon Europe's subject peoples. Factories could now utilize material goods from Congo, exploit the peoples of Africa, and increase income from trade an immeasurable amount. Stanley received a hero's welcome everywhere he went; his works were widely published and distributed to people in Europe and the United States. Encouraged by positive