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Title: Examining The Darkness. This Essay Is About The Belgiam Congo Under The Leadership Of King Leopold Ii And The Treatment Of The Native Inhabitants/Congolese.

1699 words - 7 pages

Examining the DarknessWelcome Ladies and Gentlemen to the grand opening of our new exhibit, examining the darkness. It has been many years since Belgium first discovered the vast new area of land known as the Congo. It has been many years since America first recognized our claim on the Congo. It has been many years since we have felt the economical and cultural growth in our country because of the Congo. And it has been many years since we set the Congo free from our rule. With these years came a great forgetting. As young Belgian school children, we are taught to honor Henry Morton Stanley for his great contribution of the mapping of the Congo. We are taught to honor the force publique soldiers who gave their lives to end the Arab slave trade in the Congo and of those who died later. We are taught to honor the young pioneers who dared to venture in this new land, but there is one body of people we fail to honor and recognize, the native Africans who gave their lives to fuel our economy. This exhibit has been created in order to share the truth about what really went on deep in the heart of the Congo. Be prepared to be shocked, horrified, and saddened by the images and stories that you will hear and see today. With the strong desire for wealth and power came the destruction and devastation of the Congolese race, culture, and traditions.Before we begin our tour of the exhibition, it is important to understand how Belgium acquired the Congo first. It was the age of the "Great scramble for Africa." Many European countries were in competition for territory. The amount of colonies a country had signified the amount of power and influence it had over the world. Belgium, a small country barely gaining its own independence in 1830 was considered weak. King Leopold II knew this and his desire to expand his territory became stronger and stronger during his youth and so once he became King of Belgium, he too wanted his piece of the "African pie." In order to make his dreams come true, King Leopold II began looking for places to claim as his own territory in Africa. He soon found it. The Congo was a vast area of space in Africa unexplored and unclaimed by any European Nation. Because no other European country seemed to be interested in this territory at the time, King Leopold took this as the perfect place to set up his own colony. Unfortunately, there were a few obstacles in his path: 1. There was no map of the Congo and 2. The willingness of the current inhabitants to comply with his wants. He conquered both these obstacles with the help of an already famous explorer, Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley was already a famous explorer beloved by the world because of his successful expedition, "finding Livingstone." Stanley would be the first person to map out the Congo. He is also responsible for making treaties with the natives in which the natives agreed to give all of their land to Leopold. But this acquisition of land was not agreed upon nobly like we have...

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