Cultural Violence In The Congo

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King Leopold II was the second king of Belgium who was known for bringing devastation to the Congo. His interest in the Congo was primarily derived from a large amount of money he would make. There was also ivory which was very valuable at the time, for its ability to be easily carved into anything, like fake teeth. Lastly, when there was a large amount of rubber that was available, that too was one of his interests. The year 1876 was roughly about the time in which he a conference for explorers, as well as his interest in the Congo increasing. Leopold was able to fool the Europeans by creating an act where he seemed sincere, as well as promising to bring Christianity and other amenities of the modern world. He was also able to manipulate local officials by having them sign treaties, with many of them being illiterate. This way he was able to trick them into giving him lots of power. Johan Galtung had predicted that the Belgian government used various types of sources to take control of the Congo. In colonial Congo, Cultural Violence came first, which lead to a more severe Structural Violence, which…show more content…
An example of the direct Violence was the mass cutting of off the hands that Leopold administered, which devastated many young children, “it is to say 10 million dead people according to estimations. That was a hellish period, during which an emblematic practice of hacking off hands was established and affected the country”(Hacked Hands). Not only was the mass number of deaths a huge problem, but he was unnecessarily cutting off the majority of the population 's hands. This ridiculous actions caused by paranoia is the exact reason we know him today as one of the most barbaric leaders ever. Although we do not see the remains of the chopped off hands in our society today, we still do see other forms of direct violence that have had a larger

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