Imperialism In King Leopold's Congo

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Imperialism is the act of a stronger nation extending its powers over a weaker nation to dominate its economics, political and cultural lifestyle. This is a common practice among the Europe nations, seeking new resources and materials. The materials than gets transported back to companies to manufacture into products to be sold to the markets. During the 1870s, Belgium became one of the most modernised nations at the time. It was prospering due to the success in the textile and iron industries. However, King Leopold II did not want just wealth. He desired to be the most prosperous and best nation in Europe. Africa was a country that was rich in raw materials and resources such as ivory and rubber. Therefore, Leopold commanded the Europeans…show more content…
Leopold commissions Henry M Stanley to create trades in Congo. After Stanley reports that Congo may potentially harbour vast resources, Leopold joined the Berlin Conference in 1885. He claimed that he was interested in ‘promoting Christianity in Congo and civilise the nation to profit the Congolese’. He was mistaken as a philanthropist and no one had suspected him; “He has welcomed Christian missionaries to his new colony; his troops, it is said, have fought and defeated local slave traders who preyed on the population; and for more than a decade European newspapers have praised him for investing his personal fortune in public works to benefit the Africans.” [1] In reality, Leopold’s policies were callously ruining the land and petrifying the Congolese, abusing the labours to work long hours without…show more content…
During the Berlin Conference, the European nations only approved Belgium to imperialise Congo because they were manipulated into believing Belgian had a pure aim to aid the Congo and spread the Christian religion. However, in harsh reality, King Leopold II took advantage of Congo for his own greed and wealth, invading the rights of the Congolese. Hands were chopped off and wives and children were hostage to force labour upon the Congo men. Leopold controlled Congo for approximately 45 years, but the aftermath of his reign lingered for years including death of fellow Congolese and loss of religion. He was a huge role in the deterioration of the Congo’s social, economic and political status. Without a doubt, Leopold played the major role in the atrocities committed by the Belgian in the Congo with the partial support of
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