King Leopold II developed his dream for colonization at an early age. Before he even took the throne he was on the lookout for unconquered land that could later be in his possession. The king wanted to become rich as a result of his new land through the process of trading. Once King Leopold II set his sights on the Congo, he would not give up until the land was his. He connived, manipulated and conned his way into the land. He did not care who got hurt; he just wanted his dream to be fulfilled.
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great
Morel was one of the bigger people that helped end King Leopold's reign over the Congo. He was employed by Elder Dumpster to supervise the arrival and departure of ships coming to or from the Congo. Just like Sheppard and Williams he saw the atrocities that Leopold was doing to the territory. He did dabble with freelance writing which he then used to write about what he saw. Elder Dempster did try keep him quiet, but Morel decided to devote his life to exposing Leopold’s plans.
Leopold’s actions towards the Congo affected it greatly. To begin this he set up a humanitarian veneer. Humanitarian means to be nice to others and veneer means covering that is fake to cause another object appear appealing. Leopold did this by claiming to the Africans along with all the other countries that he attended to free the slaves and help with stopping the slave trade. He also claims to build a railroad in the Congo to help slave trade, but in
Throughout King Leopold’s 44 year reign of the Congo, he managed to diminish his population in half, causing 8 to 10 million Africans to lose their lives. (USSLave) Some were worked to death, some lost their lives during transportation because of malnutrition, but many other’s died due to diseases that were brought over by the Europeans. The main theme that reappeared throughout Hochschild’s novel was Leopold’s goal of colonialism and how he was going to use his African people to accomplish it. This is seen when Leopold analyzes Livingstone, Stanley, and other explorers. Hochschild states, “As king of a small country with no public interest in colonies, he recognized
William Sheppard was a black man who called out Leopold's injustice in the Congo. Interestingly enough, he was supported by white supremacists who help in the idea of getting African Americans back to Africa. He was one of the first missionary black american missionary in the Congo. He worked there for about 20 years writing articles, speeches, and a book. He worked with the Kuba people who were artists. But unfortunately, the was ransacked when King Leopold discovered the profits he could make with rubber. Leopold used forced labor and made villages meet a certain quota before letting go of hostages/food. It was pretty terrible. William Shepard came to investigate to what had happened and found destroyed villages and corpses. He then went
The history of the Congo from the late 19th century to the early 20th century reveals much of the cruelty and darkness of European colonization in Africa. After establishing the Congo Free State in 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium controlled the Congo as his personal state and justified the two-decades-long reign by the need of the civilization in the Congo. However, under King Leopold’s moral statement is his hunger for wealth and power. As one of the enduring themes in the study of international relations, the pursuit of individual’s or national self-interests can result in the recurrence of conflicts, the rise of colonialism and the outbreak of wars in political history. This paper exams that how King Leopold, driven by the greed and self-interests,
Starting from the European colonization period, Congo has constantly been plagued with foreign interference, namely by external countries and multinational corporations looking to gain wealth. They have demolished the “magnificent African cake” systematically throughout the years, starting primarily from Leopold’s Congo Free state, which he ruled single handedly, to the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo. Leopold began his regime by holding conferences regarding Africa, and formed organizations that he claimed would aid Africa. Not only did Leopold abuse the abundance of natural resources out of greed, he also destroyed the economy, political system, and the people for generations to come. Leopold’s framework of a Congo whose resources
King Leopold II was a cruel and greedy man who wanted to expand Belgium’s power by taking over the Congo. He would kill to better his country. He convinced the Congolese people that he wanted to colonize Africa. Little did they know, it was the start of Leopold taking over the Congo, stealing their riches, and enslaving the Congolese people. Adam Hochschild's King Leopold’s Ghost illustrates the five themes of AP World History in the following ways:
Colonial rule in the Congo started in 1908 when King Leopold II of Belgium had the government support colonial expansion, known as Imperialism, in the unexplored Congo Basin. King Leopold II colonized Congo himself, with support from many other Western Countries, making the Congo Free State. The Congo Free State is recognition for a personal colony, in this case Belgium colonizing the Congo in 1885. However, violence from free state officials on native cologonese peoples put a large amount of diplomatic pressure on Belgium to take control of the country. This was done by King Leopold also in 1908 when he created the Belgian Congo officially and lawfully. Rule by Belgians in the Congo was based on the “colonial trinity” of state, missionary
In conclusion, the era of the rubber trade in the Congo Free State is one of most scandalous periods of Africa’s history. It continues to put images of the horrific violence of the forest, where greed exists. By the European rubber agents caused untold human suffering among an overwhelmed and defenseless African population. These nightmarish visons first emerged from the publication of the Congo Reform Association an international organization dedicated to inform, shock, and mobilize public opinion against the autocratic rule of King Leopold II. Their goal was ultimately successful: in the face of mounting criticism at home and abroad, the King was forced to abdicate his sovereignty over the Congo Free State to Belgium in 1908.
In the year 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium began to display an interest in the civilization mission in Africa. The documents on European Imperialism provide evidence for how the individuals in the Congo are being exploited for European benefit, under the profit-making aim of King Leopold II. European brutality in the Congo was the logical result of the European desire to implement ‘proper’ civilization in the Congo, albeit through a lack of cultural understanding and compassion towards the people of Congo.
The Berlin Conference in 1884-1885 granted King Leopold II of Belgium the state of Congo. During the time of colonialism Belgium colonized Congo, he exploited the natives for rubber and ivory. The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II, through the Association Internationale Africaine, a non-governmental organization. Leopold was the sole shareholder and chairman. The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo. Under Leopold II’s administration, the Congo Free State became the site of one of the most infamous international scandals of the turn of the twentieth century. The report of the British ConsulRoger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of white officials who
Leopold was born in Brussels on April 9, 1835. He was the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, and his second wife, Louise, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. When he was 9 years old, Leopold received the title of Duke of Brabant. Leopold's public career began in 1855, when he became a member of the Belgian Senate.
Africa was a very large continent back then and everyone was spread apart. Also, everyone worked for their selves and didn’t have to be told what to do. No one was expecting hardships or forced labor until the British and many other countries came into play. The British were not happy until they found the “Free State” of the Congo. They were led to investigate by a man named Roger Casement.