Congo Free State

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    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…

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    Congo Free State Essay

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    expeditions in Central Africa to explore this land and its resources. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, King Leopold II of Belgium was granted the coveted Congo River basin. This territory was called the Congo Free State while it was under the control of King Leopold from 1885 until 1908. Most African colonies at the time, including the Congo Free State, were created primarily for the economic exploitation of natural resources and labor. The major exports from the Congo region included…

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    ongoing competition between European empires. The Free State of Congo was a peculiar scenario and the Belgian monarch had a certain grip on Congo. Leopold’s reign of the Congo started with many promises of great prosperity for the Congolese. His promises would not materialize. Leopold’s main desire was resources and a source of wealth, his false precept of civilization were contradicted by his agents in the Congo. These contradictions…

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    Belgium was already under his restricting rule, he was nowhere near reaching his point of satisfaction. Leopold needed another country to gain personal wealth and power from and intended extracting valuable resources form the Congo Free State. This only begins to explain Leopold’s greed and terror and how he would have to be forcefully removed from power by the many courageous groups of individuals. During this reign of tyranny and terror, missionaries and human rights advocates were exposed to…

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    Belgian Imperialism

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    Central Africa, 1885. The Congo is the personal property of King Leopold II. After the invention of inflatable bike tires, rubber becomes a commodity. The Belgian Congo has the potential to produce millions of tons of rubber a year, and no special cultivation techniques or tools are needed to harvest rubber -only human labor is required. This leads to a multitude of backdoor dealings and atrocities committed in the pursuit of profit and industry. European intervention and Imperialism had a…

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    The Congo Question

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    In John Daniels’ article titled, The Congo Question and the “Belgian Solution” the argument is made for the best way to administer the Belgians newly acquired colony, known as the Congo Free State, after its recent annexation from King Leopold II in 1908. The article was written after nearly ten years of ever increasing humanitarian outcries against the atrocities committed by King Leopold II. The “Congo question” for Daniels and the Western world was how best to reform and govern the colony in…

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    sharing all things equally. We live in peace within your loving arms” (Shawl 63). Everyone yearns for a home where they belong, a place where they can be free from persecution and oppression. This is the ideal society. This is Everfair, a small, bold nation tucked inside of the Belgian ruled Congo, a safe haven for people of any background. Nisi Shawl’s novel of the same name explores the diverse cast of characters that make up Everfair’s population, its founders, and the people who are fighting…

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    invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And…

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    Since the dawn of civilization, the need for stratification, hierarchy, and superiority has taken on numerous visages to establish the dominance of one group over another. Systems of feudalism, slavery, and colonialism have been employed throughout the world to fill this need, opening a Pandora’s Box of hatred, xenophobia, bigotry, and ignorance. These systems of stratification often benefitted their respective societies, but have posed questions to the value of life and moral concerns. The…

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    the rubber trade. The Belgium government was using contracting to get rubber taken out of the Congo Free State. “Leopold II of Belgium ran the Congo Free State as private enterprise from 1885 to 1908, when the Belgium government assumed administrative control and proclaimed Congo a colony” (Morel, 232). Edmund Morel criticize the capitalism system. Morel feels that capitalism is worse than anything because it forces people to work. The title comes from the situation where the work of the rubber…

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