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Congo’s Era Of Damnation Essay

767 words - 4 pages

In the year 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium imperialized the Independent State of the Congo. Leopold set the area up under his own personal rule. His rule was an extremely negative and very unwanted thing that plunged the area into an era of damnation.
The early history of the congo really starts in 150 AD. The indigenous immigrants to the Congo, who were most likely Pygmies, had migrated from the northern area to the savannah regions in the south now called DROC, or Democratic Republic of the Congo (Clarke, John H). These immigrants brought agriculture, and made iron tools. Moving ahead to 1482, the Portuguese navigator, Diogo Cão visited the Congo River marking the first ever known ...view middle of the document...

Now although the intentions were good and some positive things may have been done, the negative outweighs it.
During King Leopold’s reign, his motives were greed and competition. He said that he was going to halt the slave trade and ‘enforces’ it, but his laws force unpaid labor, or slavery of the Africans and uses it to become powerful and rich from certain trades. Genocide scholar, Adam Jones comments, “The result was one of the most brutal and all-encompassing corvée institutions the world has known . . . Male rubber tappers and porters were mercilessly exploited and driven to death”, and Leopold’s agents kept these men’s children and wives hostage until they returned with their rubber quota. It didn’t stop there, if the men didn’t supply enough rubber, their villages were often burnt down, their wives were raped, children murdered, and their hands were cut off (Congo Free State…). According to Hassan Abbas’ article, “Top 10 Genocides in History”, King Leopold II is compared to Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong as his ‘secret’ genocide collected the lives of over 8,000,000 africans (Abbas, Hassan).
Eventually in 1908, the Belgian government took over what was formerly Leopold’s land and renamed it, “Belgian Congo”. Unfortunately though, it didn’t get much...

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