King Leopold should be held accountable for his actions in the Congo because he caused a genocide and massacred half of the population. Some people say that Leopold II’s action in the Congo Free State cannot be viewed as crime, because they were typical of the Europeans’ actions in their colonies. But, the treaty that was made by the powerful countries during that time clearly stated that they believed Africans should be treated as people, and that they should be provided with food, shelter, education, etc. King Leopold ignored these terms and was using the Congo only to increase his wealth, rather then provide for the people of
Instead of giving the people of Congo freedom, he took it away and made them work extremely hard, and giving them impossible quotas to meet. If they were not meet, he would cut off their family members hands, and their own to make them work harder, and as punishments. He would take the resources that they got, and used them to make him rich, and make the land flourish in terms of buildings, and making it more urbanized, but the Congo people were struggling to live everyday. As a result, thousands of Congo people were killed for the brutal work King Leopold made them do, and the population decreased significantly. Because of his actions King Leopold should be condemned as a criminal for his exploration and abuse to the Congo land and people.
For example, Leopold establishing three colonies for children for education and military purposes. Most of conquerors would not think twice about the kids enough and the value of education. Their idea was to keep them ignorant enough, therefore the slaves were easy to manipulate. For Africa, their main goal was to raise soldiers and “gather the most male children possible”. In conclusion, the Congo was an Empire of ivory, built on exploitation.
Consequently, violence became an element implemented by all European nations to retain control and subdue the population. However, in Leopold II’s Congo Free State the levels of violence and brutality were excessively high. As a protest against the cruelty and abuses conducted by the Belgian troops, Edward Morel, a British journalist and socialist, wrote “The Black Man’s Burden” in 1903. In this document, the author condemned the conditions of African people in Belgian Congo, reconnecting them to the presence of European
The contract at this time is not void if the tribesmen don’t understand the language it is written in and its significance. This creates another mental justification for violating Africans rights while somehow not the principles of Liberalism. King Leopold and many Europeans rationalized the violation of Liberalism for civilizing or practical reasons and sometimes both. When reading King Leopold’s Ghost, the reader is informed of the hoops that Leopold went through in order create a nation that rivaled its neighbors. It took the perseverance of many to not only bring down Leopold but to even open a dialogue with the people of “enlightened” nations to condemn a blatant
The Black Man’s Burden In the late-nineteen century, the term new imperialism became an element of politics implemented by many European powers to impose their supremacy around the globe. Between 1870 and 1914, as a result of the Great Depression (1873-1879), imperialistic powers such as Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, constructed colonies and protectorates in Asia and Africa in order to exploit their resources and their labor . After the decline of the transatlantic slave trade by the late 1860s, a change occurred around 1880 when France and Britain led European nations in the “scramble of Africa,” which divided the continent from 1880 to 1914. Indeed, after king Leopold II of Belgium conquered most of the Congo River with the excuse of promoting
Although he failed to bring the religion to Congo, he became a popular in Congo and the old world. 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
LEOPOLD II To be able to understand thoroughly Leopold II motivation in occupying the Congo, one essential question could help us: Why was Leopold II or Belgium interested in the acquisition of the Congo? A country in central Africa seventy-six times the size of Belgium (H.J. Blij and P.O. Muller, 1994). Over the years, many historians and academics have formulated several motivations and reasons to assist us in our research.
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