Encouraged by their knowledge of iron technology and agriculture, the Bantu-speakers moved to the Congo and South Africa by the end of 1st millennium, while they were developing new related languages. From about A.D. 700 Bantu worked in the copper deposits of South Katanga and traded with overseas. By about A.D. 1000 the Bantu had settled in the Congo. By the beginning of 2nd millennium, the Bantu population had increased and were united into states. some of them had large governed areas and complex administrative structures. Most of the states were ruled by a monarch, whose authority, although considerable, was checked by a council of high civil servants and elders. Notable among the states were the kingdom of Kongo, founded in the 14th century (cent.), centered in modern North Angola ,but including extreme West Congo and a Luba empire, founded in the early 16th century, centered around lakes Kisale and Upemba in central Katanga.The Kuba kingdom was famous for its sculpture and decorative arts.
In 1482, Diogo Cão, a Portuguese navigator was the first European to visit the Congo. After that the Portuguese build deep relationships with the king of Kongo. The Portuguese had increased their influence on the Congo in the late 18th cent., when the African and mulatto traders, whom they backed, traveled far inland .By the mid-19th cent., Arab, Swahili, and Nyamwezi traders established themselves into Congo. They traded and raided for slaves and ivory. Msiri, a Nyamwezi established himself near Mwata Kazembe in 1856. He enlarged his holdings in Congo until he was killed by the Belgians in 1891.
Leopold encouraged Henry M. Stanley in 1878 to establish the king’s authority in the Congo basin. By 1884, Stanley signed treaties with several African rulers. In 1884-85, Leopold recognized the claim to the Congo basin and announced the establishment of the Congo Free State. Because of the lack of funds to develop the Congo, Leopold received loans from the Belgian parliament in 1889 and 1895. The Belgian parliament did not exercise its right to incorporate the Congo in 1901. because of the brutal treatment of Africans, Belgium government led a popular campaign to take over the state from Leopold. After exhaustive parliamentary debates, in 1908 Belgium annexed the Congo.
After the Belgium government takeover, economic development was furthered the construction of railroads and other transportation facilities. Africans formed the labor pool for plantation operations, and Europeans were the managers. In 1920s, mining was the supporter of the economy. Mining companies built better housing for their workers. There was respectable movement of Africans from the rural area to urban areas.Christian religious person were very progressive in the Congo. They were the main reason for high rate of the educational level in the Africans and for medical attentions.
African were impressed with French president Charles de Gaulle, where he offered Africans the opportunity...