King Leopold 's Ghost : A Story Of Greed, Terror, And Heroism

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King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild explains the lead up to and the establishment of the Congo Free State under Belgium. Hochschild does so through many accounts of the life going on inside the Congo during the exploration of the Africa and the beginning of an established government in the Congo. The death toll during Leopold’s reign could have reached over 10 million before the Belgium government would take the Congo away from the out of control Leopold. This could make the Leopold’s Congo one of the worst genocides in human history. Unfortunately there was no basis for recording the murders by Leopold’s officers, so we will never know the exact figure of the death toll. The book aims to show the beginning to the end of a colony and increase public awareness of the atrocities committed in most colonies during the 1800s and into the 1900s. Hochschild does this using King Leopold II of Belgium, who was able to grab the Congo in the scramble for land in Africa. Leopold had always seen Belgium as a neutral weakling in the sense that there was no land to explore. By the time Leopold came into power, all of the land of the known world had been colonized. All that was left on the map was the large blank spot of Africa. Leopold saw the chance of creating Belgium’s first colony, and he took it. Leopold was one of the first in the race for land in Africa and he began exploring Africa with the help of Henry Morton
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