Essay King Leopold: The Oppressor

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King Leopold II of Belgium’s speech delivered to missionaries traveling to the Congo describes an attempt by the king to justify the subjugation of the Congolese people for the benefit of the Belgian economy. King Leopold directed his speech to the Catholic missionaries who were planning on working with the indigenous population of the Congo in 1883. Leopold, blinded by racism and imperialist greed, stresses that the missionaries should selectively interpret their Bible teachings in a manner that appears to rationalize the oppression and exploitation of the native Congolese population. In doing so, the missionaries helped Leopold achieve his goal of transforming Belgium into an imperialist country with international influence. Leopold’s …show more content…
King Leopold II of Belgium’s speech delivered to missionaries traveling to the Congo describes an attempt by the king to justify the subjugation of the Congolese people for the benefit of the Belgian economy. King Leopold directed his speech to the Catholic missionaries who were planning on working with the indigenous population of the Congo in 1883. Leopold, blinded by racism and imperialist greed, stresses that the missionaries should selectively interpret their Bible teachings in a manner that appears to rationalize the oppression and exploitation of the native Congolese population. In doing so, the missionaries helped Leopold achieve his goal of transforming Belgium into an imperialist country with international influence. Leopold’s use of inflammatory diction, allusions to scriptures from the Bible, and repetition of a commanding inflection in his speech convinced his myopic audience to commit terrible atrocities in his name. However, it should be noted that his lack of logical development, which includes inconsistencies in his reasoning, ultimately undermines his already weak arguments that he claims are justification for the subjugation of the Congolese population. King Leopold begins his speech by informing his missionaries that they will be carefully interpreting the principles of the Bible in a manner that will benefit the Belgian state during Belgium’s colonization of the Congo. He clearly showcases his strictly imperialist agenda by stating “The main goal of
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