King Leopold's Ghost Essay

1530 WordsSep 30, 20177 Pages
What is Lingering in the Mighty Congo? 1909, over one hundred years ago, was the death of King Leopold of Belgium the sole owner of the Congo. Even years after he has left this earth and is no longer in the reign, the long-lasting effects he has had on the people and the land has forever changed the Congo. The memories left behind from the atrocities that occurred and the diminished resources due to extreme exploitation has prompted the author Adam Hochschild to write the novel, King Leopold’s Ghost. Using an Afrocentric point of view Hochschild describes how the events that took place under Leopold’s orders were acts of true terror and inhumanity. Where is the Congo? Who are they? What is the mighty Congo? The Congo refers to the large…show more content…
During King Leopold’s time he was scrambling for a way to create wealth, but could not dabble in the trade of Africans because of new abolition laws, then he got lucky. In the Berlin Conference held by Otto Von Bismarck, Africa was divided like a cake; pieces were given to European countries. While they had decided that they were “respecting” human rights, it was also believed that Africans needed to be governed. Through this Leopold gained the territory of the Congo, marking the beginning of colonialism, an era of unequal wealth and poverty. The definition of Economic Liberalism is the idea of approaching the market with private property, limited government intervention and the encouragement that a free market will be driven by supply and demand fueled by citizens that desire to succeed…. This is the complete opposite approach Leopold took in the Congo. In a free market, there is the notion that it will succeed because the people want to work for their own success. In the Congo, Stanley, Leopold’s consultant doing the groundwork, refers to the locals as lazy and needing guidance while he promotes “the gospel of enterprise,” (68) known today as free enterprise. Almost as if going along with Modernization Theory, he continues to say that they are too idle and the issue is Africans themselves, they are barbaric and clothesless. In a treaty created between the Belgians and the locals through Stanley, they decide the payment for the forced
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