Africa had an abundance of natural resources at this time and was easy to imperialize as it was not industrialized meaning that it lacked proper weaponry in order to defend itself. The European imperialism of Africa was fueled by the industrialism and market force in the 1800’s as the Europeans gained the motivation and tools necessary to imperialize Africa so they would not have to worry about whether or not Africa would let it set up spheres of influence. . Spheres of influence were areas in Africa that in which Europeans controlled the resources and trade in the area. The motivation to imperialize Africa for the Europeans was that the nation with the most raw materials would become the most industrialized and therefore, the most powerful.
He also gives background information stating Leopold’s profound love for Geography, as well as England’s empire. Hochschild makes it clear that his argument is valid, when Leopold rose to the throne and only was ambitious about ruling and owning his own colony. Also shows a display of racism at the time Hochschild shows a sign of this when over throwing
“The official Belgian attitude was paternalism: Africans were to be cared for and trained as if they were children. They had no role in legislation, but traditional rulers were used as agents to collect taxes and recruit labour; uncooperative rulers were deposed” (Belgian Congo). Unlike Leopold II, Belgian imperialistic powers focused on civilizing the Africans. “Belgium proclaimed its colonial mission to be that of spreading civilization… Belgium 's attention was focused overwhelmingly on the vast, resource-rich Central African territory of Congo, 75 times larger than Belgium itself. The deal was implicit: in exchange for extracting immense wealth from its colony, Belgium offered schools, roads, Christianity and, yes, civilization” (Riding).
When Leopold II rose to the Belgian throne in 1865, he did so with the goal of building and ruling his own colony and financially profiting off it. Leopold’s acquisition and eventual conquest of the Congo was very meticulous and orchestrated and revealed his greed and willingness to exploit people and territory in order to acquire wealth. He created a guise by proclaiming his motivations toward colonization as being philanthropic and humanitarian. He did this by setting up the sham International African Association and by using pawns explorer Henry Morton Stanley and American ambassador to Belgium, Henry Sanford. In 1876 King Leopold II formed the International African Association as a front organization to portray that he was a humanitarian by promoting his efforts to civilize and educate the indigenous peoples of the Congo.
Similar to Africa, colonisation allowed for infrastructure to be vastly improved and modern technology improved their lives. Again, like Africa, the negatives heavily outweigh the positives, including famine, genocide and racism (Mueller, 2017). Despite this, both the positives and negatives can be seen today, and the size of the European empires and the length of time they reigned makes it clear that they shaped the
During the period of imperialism in Africa all of the countries were competing for the title of being the richest and the strongest. In fact, the whole scramble for Africa was an opportunity for countries to enhance their overall economy. For example, King Leopold II of Belgium was determined to get the area of land so he can become more wealthy. France’s politicians thought that an overseas company would strengthen the country when it came to wealth, prestige, and power, so as a result they invested in land more toward the west and north-west. Britain wanted to protect their trading routes which required them to purchase land in East Africa, and they they soon discovered the rewards of the land so the were determined to obtain as much as possible.
In King Leopold’s letter to Henry Stanley, a journalist and Central African explorer, he tells him that it is “indispensable” to buy land from the Africans and have it under his “suzerainty”. This shows Leopold’s desperation to take control of as much land as he can. Furthermore, it is Leopold who will end up profiting from this lan purchase if it ends up happening, and it was also his idea for it to happen. In addition, Leopold is responsible for the mistreatment of the Africans, for as he says in his interview with Publishers’ Press in 1906, “It would be absurd for us to mistreat the blacks because no state prospers unless the population is happy and increasing … cruelty, even crimes have been committed … convictions before Congo tribunals for these offenses”. By publicizing this, King Leopold is hoping to gain the respect of Africans so he can expand his Congo and get more slaves for collecting rubber.
Stanley is an explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and the Nile, he was associated with King Leopold II of Belgium. Stanley mapped the great Congo River and this was crucial because it was the gateway for central Africa to open up to foreign trade. King Leopold viewed the Congo as one of the vital transportation networks for the Europeans. Stanley had finally conquered the Congo River in the nineteenth century, He was financially supported by King Leopold, who secretly purchased the Congo and developed its infrastructure before anyone was aware of his intentions. King Leopold wanted diplomatic recognition of his Congo state.
In the 19th century imperialism was an important part of building European empires. The four major motives for imperialism are economic, strategic, religious and political. These motives helped great empires expand their territory and brought new cultures and languages to both the colonised countries and the countries colonising them. European countries such as Britain and France would use their colonies in Africa for economic gain. They would be able to exploit the country’s natural resources and bring them back to the “mother country” to sell and use.
Hochschild's argument successfully claims that European imperialism in Africa (specifically that of King Leopold) led to devastating effects on the natives and their land. The nineteen-chapter, two part book starts off with a brief introduction. This introduction sets up the first part of the book, where the Hochschild describes the early life of Leopold and his main explorer: Henry Morton Stanley. From the first European-completed expedition of the Congo River and its basin to the Berlin Conference, Hochschild explains the story behind Leopold’s reception of the Congo - specifically how he gained power of the Congo with only the permission of