King Leopold II

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King Leopold II of Belgium Many saw King Leopold II of Belgium as an amazing King who was known as the “Builder King.” Despite this, many people saw Leopold II as a genocidal maniac who was responsible for killing millions of people. This begs the question, who was King Leopold II and what did he do to gain these reputations. Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835. He was the second child of the then Belgian King, Leopold the first and Queen Louise of Òrleans. He was the first cousin of Queen Victoria, who is also in the same royal house as the then royal family of the United Kingdom. Five years prior to his birth. The new country of Belgium was formed and his Father became the first King and established…show more content…
Instead of treating the Congo as a country or colony, Leopold treated the Congo Free State as his own personal property. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, the colonial superpowers of Europe authorized his claim by giving the Congo Free State to Belgium to improve the lives of the native inhabitants. From the beginning, Leopold ignored these conditions and mutilated and killed many Congolese people. He ran the Congo using the money orientated army, Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this…show more content…
After Leopold’s death, an event took place which many historians consider ‘The Great Forgetting.’ Many Belgians in the 20th and 21st centuries remember Leopold II as the "Builder King" for his public works projects, and many remain highly unaware of his big role in the gruesome atrocities in the Congo. In the mid-1990s, the Colonial Museum for Central Africa made no mention of the horrible disasters that took place in the Congo Free State. On a popular resort, a bronze monument shows colonists as heroes protecting a Congolese woman and child with. These events never took place and Belgian colonialists actually mutilated and killed Congolese people, particularly women and children. In 2004, an activist group cut off the hand of a Congolese bronze figure, in protest against the atrocities committed in the
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