King Leopold II Of Belgium

1473 Words Nov 4th, 2015 6 Pages
Characterized by ambition and restlessness from an early age, King Leopold II of Belgium utilized his desire to make a name for himself, while increasing his personal wealth and power, and deftly harnessed subterfuge in order to convince the Belgian government that his interests in Africa were philanthropic, all the while exploiting and deceiving the native peoples of the Congo. However, it was this same relentless ambition which would eventually lead to Leopold’s being forced to sell his colonial holdings, as the moral limits of the observers and of participants in the king’s imperial system were pushed to their breaking points.
King Leopold II began his career on the world stage as a young individual leading an almost equally young nation. Much of his life was devoid of genuine human connections and emotion, and he ruthlessly pursued power and profits, likely in an attempt to fill this void. He went about this pursuit by modeling the nation which he so admired, Great Britain. He was entranced by its methods of imperialism, and he came to the conclusion, after investigating a multitude of other options, that Africa offered the most opportunities for his individual profit, as the majority of the wild lands on other continents had already been colonized by more influential European powers.
After he came into power, Leopold broached the topic of a Belgium-controlled colony in a much different manner than he had while his father was still king. Previously, Leopold was…
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