In Hochschild book, he describes how although Leopold never stepped foot in Congo, he exploited the region for its ivory and rubber, while oppressing the natives to forced labor for his own personal gain. In addition he used and army of mercenaries to force the indigenous people into slavery to work mines, extract ivory, hardwoods, or on rubber plantations. While King Leopold exploited ivory, rubber, mining, and hardwoods, other European powers exploited their colonies raw materials. Davidson highlights how raw materials were made into finished products and sold back to colonies for profits. The Senegalese (colonized by French) economy was focused on exporting cash crops to France, while in Kenya (colonized by British) Africans worked on tea and coffee plantations.
The reason Europe imperialised is due to their crave for power and wealth. Europe imperialised Africa because they could mine for diamonds, gold, iron, silver, etc… Europe aswell imperialised to have power and control. Europe aswell though they were a superior race then the Africans, so they decided to enslave the Africans due to them being superior. Europe aswell used imperialism to explore other areas and such. Thoe Europe was imperialising africa so was Germany, Portugal, France, Britain, and other countries.
King Leopold claimed his interest in the Congo was motivated by the desire to extend the benefits of European civilization to Africa. This ideology is referred to as the civilizing mission- the belief that it is Europeans duty and responsibility to bring forth civilization to non-European nations. Leopold hoped to achieve this by establishing trade relations for which the people of the Congo and Belgium could benefit. For his humanitarian efforts, he received support from other European nations as this justification was integral to European imperialism. The ideology of the civilized mission can be seen in a letter from King Leopold in which it states, “The aim is to regenerate races whose degradation and misfortune is hard to realize.
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
Summary of the text: Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa is a historical fiction published in 1998 (Hochschild, 1998). It comprises a myriad of evidence to testify the Belgian King Leopold II’s atrocities in Congo between 1885 and 1908 for the sake of capturing the attention of various readers towards the Belgian imperialist delinquencies through a detailed narration of a number of main characters’, including George Washington Williams and William Henry Sheppard, experiences in Belgian Congo (Hochschild, 1998). In this excerpt, it illustrates William’s peaceful exploration in Congo as the first American-Black missionary. During his journey, not only did he explore the Congolese culture,
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
Specifically, the loss of profit with the abolition of slavery alongside the high demands in raw materials in the Industrial Revolution led to “Scramble of Africa” (Colonization). For instance, after Great Britain declared the Lower Niger River Valley a protectorate in 1885, they granted the “National African Company” or a British trading company a royal charter, which secured their monopoly over the palm oil exports (West Africa). This was a win for Great Britain as palm oil was rare in Europe and highly sought-after for its versatile uses in products, such as soap to lubricant for steam engines (Palm Fruit). The economic interest was another primary cause because of the access to rare raw materials there that were also immensely needed in European goods. This was a solution to their high demand yet low supply.
The novel also raises the issue and impact of slavery on the natives. People are exploited so that the colonizers can build their riches. This is a predominant theme of colonization on a continent such as Africa, where individuals are vulnerable to the manipulation of the colonizers.
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.
The limbs weren’t only the workers, but the wives and children of the workers, to make them work harder. King Leopold should be punished for the actions and hardship that he made the people of Congo go through, and how many lives were innocent lives were lost. Another piece of evidence that King Leopold was abusing the Congo people is “When quotas were not met, beatings by the chicotte (whip) were common, as was the practice of taking women and children hostage to force their husbands to meet the tax.” (Background Essay.) This is just another example that King Leopold went to far to get what he wanted, and that he didn’t
What was the most important motive for european imperialism in Africa? The motives for imperialism in Africa was political competition, moral duty, and most importantly economic motives. A motive for european imperialism in Africa was political competition. All together there was 7 countries that colonized Africa. “ Make your country a royal throne of kings… the world a source of light, a center of peace.
When Britain invaded Africa, their presence altered the natives culture and traditions such as religion, and language. In addition, Europeans carried something called the “White Man 's Burden.” The so called burden was the fact of being forced to help the natives under political pressure. As more and more white men came over from Britain, conflicts erupted because both the natives and white men were unhappy with each others presence. Imperialism played a strong role leading up to World War I because nationally, more land equaled out to more power and resources.
into harsh captivity until the male’s practically unattainable quotas were met and satisfied. Decapitation, exhaustion, and starvation became routine among impoverished slaves working under this corrupt regime. To show that they hadn’t wasted their ammunition, the army would cut off and collect native hands as a sort of trophy explained by author Mark Dummett (2004) as, “They needed these to prove to their superiors that they had not been ‘wasting’ their bullets on animals” (Chopping Hands section, para. 3). The pernicious act of severing and compiling hands also signified verification of the army’s efforts to halt any rebellious activity that may disrupt order. The army’s terrorization and brutality of adult and children, coupled with the infestation of European disease, exponentially decreased the Congo Free State’s population by millions.
The African people naively trusted and obeyed, unknowing that they were aiding Europe to more easily monopolize Africa. African people were exploited even further and put into the slave trade, or overworked in the mines and fields of Africa where the resources were shipped away to Europe. The African people, confused and betrayed, organized militantly in an attempt at resistance. However, the damage had already been done. They had been exploited in human trafficking for hundreds of years, robbed of their natural resources and homes, pinned against one another, disrespected and
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.