King Leopold's Ghost Analysis

Decent Essays
In the book King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild, King Leopold is the King of Belgium. Leopold does not want to be King of Belgium because he believed that “the country he was to inherit seemed too small to hold him.” (King Leopold’s Ghost 36) King Leopold gives up his reign as King of Belgium in search for something better. “For him colonies existed for one purpose: to make him and his country rich.” (Leopold’s Ghost 38) He wants to have a land that is only under his personal control. “His drive for colonies, however, was shaped by a desire not only for money but for power.” (Leopold’s Ghost 39) After many attempts to buy many different areas of land King Leopold wants to buy Congo in Africa. He likes Congo for many reasons. “Of the…show more content…
He tells the people what they want to hear and he continues to do so until he knows that he can gain total control. He finds a man named Stanley that he wants to assist him in selling his ideas to the people. He likes the way that Stanley ran his expeditions and asks him to come to the Congo and work for him. Him and Stanley create a plan, and they would tell people “Only scientific explorations are intended.” (Leopold’s Ghost 65) He says this because he wants to protect himself and also “He wanted to do nothing to alert any potential rivals for this appetizing slice of the African cake, especially France, which was starting to show interest.” (Leopold’s Ghost 65) Leopold convinces Stanley to negotiate treaties with African chiefs who lived near the river. Many of the African chiefs do not realize what they are signing because most of them have never seen written word. “Stanley’s pieces of cloth bought not just land, but manpower. It was an even worse trade than the Indians made for Manhattan.” (Leopold’s Ghost 72) He also drags a man named Sanford along to help him “sell” what he is doing. “Leopold was delighted to hear his own propaganda coming so readily from the president's mouth . . . Sanford next went to work on Congress.” (Leopold’s Ghost 79) Leopold is very successful “In the end, though, Leopold outsmarted even the Iron Chancellor, once again by working through the perfect intermediary.”
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