In his book King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Hochschild argues that King Leopold’s dreams and aspirations of expansion and conquest are reflected due to his insignificant size of his homeland. The action’s he is willing to take show that he will stop at nothing until his dreams are met. Not only does Hochschild, give several facts about the brutality shown in the Congo. He also gives background information stating Leopold’s profound love for Geography, as well as England’s empire.
When Leopold II rose to the Belgian throne in 1865, he did so with the goal of building and ruling his own colony and financially profiting off it. Leopold’s acquisition and eventual conquest of the Congo was very meticulous and orchestrated and revealed his greed and willingness to exploit people and territory in order to acquire wealth. He created a guise by proclaiming his motivations toward colonization as being philanthropic and humanitarian. He did this by setting up the sham International African Association and by using pawns explorer Henry Morton Stanley and American ambassador to Belgium, Henry Sanford. In 1876 King Leopold II formed the International African Association as a front organization to portray that he was a humanitarian by promoting his efforts to civilize and educate the indigenous peoples of the Congo.
Beginning in the mid 1800’s, the scramble for Africa proved to be one of the most important events in World History. The term “scramble for Africa” describes the rush and uttermost important desire that European countries had to imperialize the countries in Africa. Imperialism is the dominance of a stronger country over a smaller one politically and economically. Stronger countries imperialize weaker countries in order to gain new resources and acquire a better trade system. The Europeans desire to imperialize Africa was driven by their perception of god, gold, and glory.
The driving force behind European imperialism in Africa is resources. Africa provided resources that the European countries desperately needed. You see, there was competition in Africa among the European countries, technology development increased, and power gain. These reasons may sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple each reason
Sitting Bull was considered a great leader and helped shape the way we treat Indians today. Throughout the 1800s the U.S. Government fought against many Indian tribes because of the rich land that promised gold. Sitting Bull and many others “set aside their differences in the face of intolerable abuse by the U.S. Government” (www.californiaindianeducation.org). Sitting Bull fought in wars and united with other tribes to protect his land. Since Sitting Bull worked to preserve his land he allied with the other tribes to fight against the government.
In King Leopold’s letter to Henry Stanley, a journalist and Central African explorer, he tells him that it is “indispensable” to buy land from the Africans and have it under his “suzerainty”. This shows Leopold’s desperation to take control of as much land as he can. Furthermore, it is Leopold who will end up profiting from this lan purchase if it ends up happening, and it was also his idea for it to happen. In addition, Leopold is responsible for the mistreatment of the Africans, for as he says in his interview with Publishers’ Press in 1906, “It would be absurd for us to mistreat the blacks because no state prospers unless the population is happy and increasing … cruelty, even crimes have been committed … convictions before Congo tribunals for these offenses”. By publicizing this, King Leopold is hoping to gain the respect of Africans so he can expand his Congo and get more slaves for collecting rubber.
Stanley is an explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and the Nile, he was associated with King Leopold II of Belgium. Stanley mapped the great Congo River and this was crucial because it was the gateway for central Africa to open up to foreign trade. King Leopold viewed the Congo as one of the vital transportation networks for the Europeans. Stanley had finally conquered the Congo River in the nineteenth century, He was financially supported by King Leopold, who secretly purchased the Congo and developed its infrastructure before anyone was aware of his intentions. King Leopold wanted diplomatic recognition of his Congo state.
Economic were more of a driving force because they were in need for natural resources for them to improve technology and their nation. Europeans wanted African resources like rubber and oil.They also wanted to create new markets for their goods that would lead them to great wealth for their nation. Several European industries benefited from African resources. Cotton, rubber, oil, zinc , coffee, gold, diamonds, peanuts, bananas, cocoa, sisal, ivory and gum were exported(Doc D). Out of all these resources they made lots of products and made money off of it.
America may be thought of in the same way. America wanted the rich minerals that could be gathered from the soil in Africa, mainly the Congo. They tried to have relations with them in order to get these resources, and provide help and introduce democracy. Nonetheless, the United States caused more harm than good from these interactions and it took them having to take a step back to evaluate
The more the Europeans immigrated to America, the more the demand for African slaves increased. Naturally, this explained how the climax of migration of Europeans coincided with the peak of exports . Racism did not take a role in why Europeans specialized in African slaves instead of crossing to other racial lines. By then, the Europeans were not racist yet. It was just easier to buy African slaves because Africans were already dealing with slavery by themselves.
The United States, and other Western powers, felt that although the South African apartheid was idiosyncratic, they valued the economic relationship they had with the Afrikaans. At the height of the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, some of Africa was being influenced by Communism. South Africa was the key for Western powers to maintain capitalistic ideals on the African continent; likewise, the thriving capitalistic economy in South Africa prevented the United States from interfering with the apartheid. And during this time, blacks were marginalized and oppressed in the name of economic unity and white supremacy. For fifty years this apartheid looked unbeatable, if not for the perseverance of the ecumenical