King Leopold Summary

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Leopold’s feelings of neglect growing up led him to a life of dominance. As the book says “A person starved for love as a child and now filled with an obsessive desire for an emotional substitute.”( 38) This emotional substitute was to be filled with the desire to be powerful and in control . As king Leopold manipulated situations with his” foxlike ways” he began to plot with Stanley where he needed to further explore in order to claim the lands of Africa. It is hard to understand how and why a person could constitute such a tragedy amongst millions of people. The following are three entities that are responsible for the misfortunes in this book. The entity’s include an individual entity, a group entity, and also a country entity. These perspectives …show more content…
Henry Morton Stanley, which was once known as John Rowlands, is an individual who played a key role in King Leopold’s plans. He too came from a life of being rejected and wanted so badly to make a come up from life of pity. Stanley was noticed for his amazing handwriting during his stay at the St. Asaph Union. As the book states “It was as if, through his handwriting, he were trying to pull himself out of disgrace and turn script of his life from one of poverty to one of elegance” (22) Stanley was destined to become a famous writer which led him to eventually become a well known explorer and writer for a newspaper. Stanley went to extreme measures to stretch the truth and manipulate situations so that he could make himself look good in hopes of success one day. Stanley and King Leopold met on June 10, 1878, King Leopold had “Eagerly devoured Stanley’s newspaper articles and had a rough idea of what …show more content…
As Hochschild states, “ In 1888 he formally organized them into the Force Publique , an army for his new state.” ( 123) This Force republic was mainly made up of African mercenaries’ who would soon be in for a lot of controversy. Many people fought back against the Force Publique for years before being defeated. The Force Publique became one of the strongest armies in Africa and was extremely harsh with the way they carried out enforcements. They had a reputation for killing large amounts of peoples at a time. A lot of these killings had to do with the failing to make quota on products. “When a village or district failed to supply its quota of rubber or fought back against the regime, Force Publique soldiers or rubber company “sentires” often killed everyone they could find.” (226) The Force Publique tortured people in disturbing ways, as an eye witness Swedish missionary E.V. Sjoblom states “ I saw dead bodies floating on the lake with the right hand cut off, and the officer told me when I came back why they had been killed. It was for the rubber. When I crossed the stream I saw some dead bodies hanging down from the branches in the water.” (227) The Force Publique had gained the dominance that was initially hoped and could defeat any peoples that they

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