The Political Nature Of Europe

2056 Words9 Pages
When King Leopold II of Belgium took the throne, he began looking for somewhere that the people of Belgium could colonize, not necessarily to live there, but to offer its economic support to the kingdom. However, the political nature of Europe meant that Belgium would need to look overseas for stability. Thus, Leopold sought a colony for Belgium in Africa, namely the Congo. Throughout the time that Leopold managed this colony, he used a variety of methods to try and convince this people that the imperializing of the Congo was a good thing and helpful to Belgium as well as needful for the people of the Congo. However, the realities of what truly happened in the Congo still leaked out for all to see. At the time that Leopold took the throne of Belgium, the country had only been free since 1830. It’s position in Europe left it vulnerable. Leopold knew from history that countries that expanded were more likely to be stable. For examples, he looked to Rome, Portugal, Spain, and England. These countries all had colonies outside themselves that helped to support them. However, there was no place for Belgium to go in Europe. Europe was thoroughly claimed and trying to expand there would only bring more hardship on Belgium. As Leopold wrote in his diary, “We must raise the question of national expansion…Belgium will choose between the development, work, wealth, and power that brings security, or live ….at the mercy of foreign powers.” So, Leopold sought the continent of Africa.
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