The Abolition Of Slavery During African Colonialism Essay

940 Words Nov 15th, 2016 4 Pages
The nineteenth century saw the abolition of slavery among most of the world’s great powers but a dramatic increase in African colonialism. The rush to gain precious African land motivated all the major powers including England, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal to possess holdings in the continent. The European powers obtained colonies throughout Africa for social and religious reasons but mainly for economic ones. Leopold II of Belgium under the guise of African advancement and free trade, obtained the Congo secretly to enrich himself on the backs of the native population. Unrestricted in his power, Leopold II ruled the Congo with an iron fist extracting as much profit from the region as possible at the expense of the Congolese and their own systems. E.D. Morel orchestrated a successful campaign to rid Leopold of the Congo with the backing of the European powers for a variety of reasons. However, England, France, and Germany operated similarly run colonies neighboring the Congo suggesting that the Belgium Congo was targeted. From the get go, the Belgian Congo centralized around the exploitation of the Congolese and the massive export of profit out of the region back to Leopold. At first Ivory was the key “cash crop” in the Congo with large amounts of Africans being conscripted into the hunt for elephants. Leopold created a system of commissions that encouraged his men to extract ivory at the lowest possible price point in order to increase their own profit (Hochschild,…

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