During the second half of the 19th century, Leopold II, King of Belgium, claimed the Congo Basin during the scramble for Africa and attempted to maintain the area for his own profit, resulting in the annihilation of over half of the basin’s population through unspeakable violence and brutality. While the imperialism of the Congo may have been beneficial to Leopold II and Belgium, the impact on the Congo itself was much, much more serious and detrimental, and nothing that either side may have gained can change that. In 1878, King Leopold II of Belgium, after failed attempts of creating colonies in Africa, hired the explorer Henry Stanley to explore the Congo. Then, with the Congo being brought to the attention of Europe, Leopold established
When he goes to Africa, he is very idealistic about the European presence there despite some of the stories he has heard. From the beginning of his journey, Marlow is confronted with the insanity of imperialism in Africa when he sees a French ship repeatedly shelling a spot of forested coast for no apparent reason saying, “Nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of native–he called them enemies!–hidden out of sight somewhere.” Pg.
The “moral victory” stands in contradiction with “abominable terrors” and “abominable satisfactions”. Conrad uses this contradiction to emphasize the price of Kurtz’s moment of reflection and realization. Although he finally realizes how his actions have impacted numerous individuals, this realization has come at the expense of those who suffered under the colonialists. The word “abominable” is used to emphasize effect that greed and destruction had on the inhabitants of the Congo jungle. It was chosen specifically to create a stark contrast with the idea of morality and “moral victory”.
The incident had caused an uproar because the cargo and falsified evidence were justification to send the incident to court, but it’s captured by slavers endangered the lives of freemen. From the outside perspective of those who were not on the ship, but the officials in control varied their opinion. One opinion coming from the British and French naval and colonial officials, the other coming from British and French diplomatic officials. The Neirsee Incident outlined in the novel, Inhuman Traffick, expands on the differing beliefs of colonial and diplomatic officials where one follows the standard protocol for slave freedom, and the other tries to free those who are
Throughout the novel, Nathan 's conceit towards the native people of the Congo is exhibited by his consistent disapproval of their culture. His nature and character easily resembles that nature of the west when they would send missionaries to Africa. Christians believed it was their moral duty to convert African people to Christianity. They would often push aside their cultural beliefs and make them convert. This is showcased by Nathan’s character because he could not let the idea go of having people not destined to God.
The quotes is an interpretation of the late 1800’s King Leopold enforced ivory raids through military force of trade, capture, and/or killing to expand his colony. King Leopold exploitative traits of African men, women, and children as porters calling them “volunteers” were harsh and cruel amongst the land. Volunteers were treated as slaves, who were once natives of the capital of Leopold’s Congo in Boma. Many of the mercenaries in Leopold’s army that were black were known as “liberated men” set to serve under the Force Publique.
Obviously, no one is never going to freely allow others to take over their nation. So, imperialism was mostly done using force. One area that was deeply affected by imperialism was Africa. While the positive effects of imperialism in Africa were Africa at the end was freed from European control and Africans were able to govern themselves & in Europe they access raw material and vase amount of land; the negative effects of imperialism in Africa caused great damage to human rights, social division, murder and raped of Africans and spread of racism throughout the continent; for Europe, the
Unfortunately, since rubber has been a ubiquitously used material, King Leopold II would like to gain an immense profit from mass production of rubber in Congo at all absurd lengths after it became a Belgian realm (Hochschild, 1998). For the sake of boosting the production, the Belgian colonial government exploits the indigenous by oblige them to work under inhumane working conditions (Hochschild, 1998). If the native refused or failed to meet the production target, they would suffer from various means of mental and physical abuse, such as having skeletons
At last, when they remove Mr. Kurtz from the Congo, he cannot handle it and sickness overcomes him. Marlow ties his identity so closely to Mr. Kurtz that when Mr. Kurtz dies, “they very nearly buried” Marlow as well (87). By seeing the monster that Mr. Kurtz becomes, Marlow eventually sees his own dark potential. The jungle could just as easily corrupt him and cause his
The legacy of colonization in the African country of Congo has been incredibly devastating. Both the people and the economy were dealt a low blow by King Leopold of Belgium’s invidious, violent regime from 1885-1908. Leopold’s soldiers committed acts so barbaric towards the Congolese that Europeans did not believe the reports of it at first. Following his rule, the actual Belgian government reluctantly took over the Congo. Congo finally gained independence in the early 1960s.
George Washington Williams, an African American legislator, and Kande Kamara, an African colonial subject, both experienced some of the most brutal products of European Imperialism. Williams, in the late nineteenth century, toured the Belgian controlled Congo and witnessed the harsh measures King Leopold implemented to maintain absolute control and bleed the country of its resources. Kamara, on the other hand, bore witness to the end result of overzealous imperial ambitions when he was forced to fight for the allies in the trenches of WWI. These two men’s experiences, although considerably different, both shed light on Europe’s colonial philosophy of racism and ethnic superiority and its position of immense power during this period.