Violence And Exploitation Mar Colonial History Essays

1092 Words Feb 6th, 2016 null Page
Violence and exploitation mar colonial history as empirical powers justified their use as an inherent aspect of colonization. Foreign powers used brute force as a means to maintain and expand control over their realm. King Leopold II of Belgium wanted to expand his own power and secure resources by having Belgium become an empire nation like other European countries. To recognize this goal Leopold created the Congo Free State (CFS) in what is presently the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While all colonial empires did exercise violence against native populations, the case of the CFS reveals a more sinister insight into the mass violence and inhumane atrocities committed against the Congolese. In fact, historians often categorize the violence that occurred as exceptional. Many historians focus on the top-down approach to explain the violence in the CFS. However, the violence purported to have been committed in the CFS under King Leopold II can hardly be attributed to a single individual. By analyzing the state organization and attitude of officials of the CFS it becomes clear that mass violence, on a scale of brutality beyond the norm, was a characteristic of Belgian colonialism. The structuring of the CFS itself established the framework that allowed the level of cruel and inhumane violence to propagate. Primarily, Leopold’s inner circle founded the state with the intention that all power in the CFS would be granted to white men only and no concessions would be made to…

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