This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Colonialism In The Congo Essay

1833 words - 7 pages

The first successful exploration of the Congo was by journalist Henry Morton Stanley,between 1874 and 1877. Upon his return to Europe, Stanley petitioned the Britishgovernment to colonize the region, but he was refused. However, King Leopold II of Belgiumhired Stanley to return to the Congo to set up trading stations and establish relations withthe native chiefs. In 1876 he hosted a meeting of world explorers, sayinghe wanted to develop central Africa for European trade and help advance the people inAfrica, therefore creating the International Africa Association was created. The"philanthropic" organization, controlled by Leopold himself, had a goal to acquireterritory in Africa. It had a stated purpose of promoting the explorationand "civilization" of Central Africa in order to end the slave trade. Representing Leopold,Stanley signed over 450 treaties allowing Leopold exclusive trading rights and alsocontrol of the local land. The Africans were often given nothing in exchange and weretricked into thinking that Stanley was sharing rights to the land. Eventually Stanleyfounded a number of posts, including Leopoldville and secured Leopold the rights toextensive regions bordering the Congo River. The King's real motives, which he did notexpress in public, were hardly unselfish. "I do not want to miss a good chance of gettingus a slice of this magnificent African cake"Unlike colonies ruled by France and Britain, the Congo was ruled by Leopoldhimself, directly from Belgium. In the Congo, the Belgian government officials powerswere limited to the goals of King Leopold. After he had established major posts andbases, he simply placed European white men there to carry out his directives.Low level Africans reported to middle level officials, which reported to a governorgeneral who acted on behalf of Kind Leopold. There was also a cabinet of about 4 peoplewho acted as intermediaries between the King and the governor general. The long termimpact was that there was no stable government system in the Congo. Essentially it was aone-man rule. Leopold himself had never been to the Congo, so he ran thingsdifferently. To bolster his ego, he created a new title for himself to symbolize hissecret control of the Congo. The Sovereign King of the Etat Independant du Congo, (TheCongo Free State), which he unlawfully named in 1885.The people in the Congo that Leopold was subduing were not willing to sit idleand be taken over. Leopold needed a military system to control the people. The Belgiumgovernment did not want to send their own army to the Congo, so Leopold set up an armyof essentially mercenaries. In 1888, he made everything official by christening the armythe "Force Publique" and making it the army of the colony. "At its peak, it had 19,000soldiers." It was common for black civilians to be forced into the Force Publique. Thearmy used brutal force over the people and yielded to Leopold's will.All that the King cared about was money and power. Naturally, Leopold set...

Find Another Essay On Colonialism in the Congo

Horror and Tragedy in The Congo

4042 words - 16 pages promoting a self-sustained economy that was entirely independent from the European nations.. He opposed the forces of colonialism throughout Africa. The riches of the Congo and the presence of Lumumba’s movement could not be allowed to coexists in the view of the United States and European political and business interests. Lumumba eventually became the victim of a coup funded primarily by the United States and Belgium, under the protection of the

Genocide in the Democratic Republic Of Congo

1038 words - 5 pages Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination or destruction of a racial, national, political, and cultural group. Genocide is being tolerated everywhere because almost nobody knows or talks about the problem. For example the democratic republic of Congo is at risk since 1996. Genocide also occurs because of hatred and different viewpoints. This problem of genocide occurring or about to occur in the D.R.C. is one example of tolerance

Congo-Kinshasa: The Country in Decline

1090 words - 5 pages Although there is no official religion of Congo-Kinshasa, most people practice a form of Christianity. Most of the population (about 50%) practice Roman Catholicism. Protestants make up 20% of locals, along with another 10% who are Muslim. Half of the remaining 20% are Kimbanguist, an African Christian religion founded by Simon Kimbangu, who rejected magic and polygamy and believed in a black god. The remainder of the

Post-colonialism in The Hunger Games

2344 words - 9 pages Shows and televised news events (Blasingame 726). The dystopian world portrayed in the book is rife with Post-colonial themes. There are many opinions about the proper definition of Post-colonialism even going so far as to argue about whether the prefix “post” should be added to the word Colonialism. For the sake of clarity, I will use the term Post-colonialism as it is broadly defined in Post-colonial Studies: The Key Concepts, “the effects of

Colonialism in the Literary Short Story

1079 words - 4 pages Men’s Path” use characters and conflict to make a statement about the loss of tradition and heritage in order to demonstrate the effect of colonialism on indigenous people and their culture. The representatives of colonialism in these stories are white men in positions of superiority. In King’s story, they take the role of anthropologists, well-educated and well-dressed, while in Achebe’s story, the white man is a supervisor in charge of

Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora

1048 words - 5 pages Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora The Kenyan feminist and environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, explores the legacy of colonialism and oppression in her native country through her moving 2006 memoir, Unbowed. Maathai explains that over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Africa experienced a massive influx of white settlers. In an effort to solidify control over recently acquired colonies, many

Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora

2248 words - 9 pages Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora The experiences of the women of the African diaspora are as diverse as the regions they have come to inhabit. Despite the variety in their local realities, African and African-descended women across the planet share in many common experiences. Wherever they have made their homes, these women tend to occupy inferior or marginalized positions within their societies. Whether in the United States

The Theme of Colonialism in Shakespeare's Tempest

2640 words - 11 pages believe that the play is about the Americas, I argue that the play reflects on colonialism in general and how it is destined for failure which is shown through the character’s relationships throughout the play. During the 1600’s the English decided to have people colonize in the Americas for the potential resources and wealth that they may find. During this time Spain, France, Portugal, and the Dutch have already began trade and exploration in Africa

Imperialism and Colonialism in The Tempest

1118 words - 4 pages The Tempest was Shakespeare’s last play that was written shortly after England colonized Virginia in 1609. Throughout the play, there are many different references to imperialism and colonialism within the characters. The Tempest analyzes the imperialistic relationships between England and America but applies it to personal human interaction between the central characters. The island gives newcomers a sense of endless possibilities like

Genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

1133 words - 5 pages The Democratic Republic of the Congo, a.k.a. the DRC, or more commonly “the Congo”, has experienced an endless nightmare of violence, poverty, famine, sickness, and murder for the past 16 years. The constant bloodshed between the national and armed forces has led to countless civilian deaths, or the genocide in the Congo. Before I go on any further, I must explain what a genocide is. A genocide is the attempted destruction of an entire group of

The Rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo

687 words - 3 pages Since 1996, nearly four million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These tragedies evolve from several rebel armies that have a very important aspect in common: they target innocent people and they all use rape as a weapon of war. Although the civil war in Congo has only been going ongoing for five years, only recently has attention been drawn to the astounding number of rapes committed during the conflict. It is not known yet

Similar Essays

Cold War In The Congo Essay

1010 words - 4 pages Kathleen NixonTHE COLD WAR GETS HOTThe Cold War and the Congo:Context:The Congo was under Belgian rule - before the Cold War the Congo was a Belgian Colony ruled by King Leopold II in Brussels. The society was treated with cruelty and unjust, there was no exercise or any care in reforming or helping the Congo develop.Around 1957 the Congo began demanding independence. Although it did not have much of a political structure the Congo began

Colonialism In The Caribbean Essay

1548 words - 6 pages Colonialism in the Caribbean Although Michelle Cliff, Antonio Benitez- Rojo, and Sidney Mintz all discuss the Caribbean in their writings they all have very distinct perspectives. In his writing, The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area, Sidney Mintz discusses the Caribbean from a historical standpoint in which he characterizes it as a socially united, rather than a culturally united one. Antonio Benitez- Rojo tries to explain the distinct

Justified Violence In The Belgian Congo

1343 words - 5 pages The Scramble for Africa was essentially driven by the idea of “New Imperialism.” “New Imperialism” started the era of colonialism amongst the European powers – specifically Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. It was driven by the idea of Social Darwinism, to aid the “dark people” on the “dark continent” of Africa because they were in need of “saving.” Imperialism became the primary focus through the late nineteenth

Belgian Colonializm In The Congo Free State

1040 words - 4 pages The violent and forced rule of the Congo is a horrific time in African history. The time period beginning with Henry Morton Stanley's first exploration to the Congo, and King Leopold's desire of this area, had been a nightmare for the people of the Congo. The civilizing mission to the Congo not only resulted in the killing of thousands of people but also the destruction of a culture. The two articles, 'Belgian Colonialism in the Congo', and the