Thesis Critique Of King Leopold's Ghost

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Thesis Critique of King Leopold’s Ghost Adam Hochschild's King Leopold’s Ghost is a story recalling the effects of European imperialism in Africa. Hochschild writes about the Belgian King Leopold’s exploitation over the Congo. Leopold’s rule over an African territory becomes a devastatingly lucrative monopoly over rubber. Leopold’s brutal tactics and use of forced labor ultimately leads to millions of deaths of the Congolese natives. 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 …show more content…

By leading the readers to the main story by telling its backstory, Hochschild effectively supplements his argument of these effects of European imperialism. As Hochschild states briefly in the beginning sentences of the introduction, “The beginnings of this story lie far back in time, and its reverberations still sound today… a central incandescent moment, one that illuminates long decades before and after, is a flash of… moral recognition” (Hochschild 1). He maintains this claim throughout the story by recounting the devastating atrocities that only occurred because of the greedy proclivities of European empires in that time period. Although the book did not maintain a complete chronological order, Hochschild’s fundamental thesis was still manifestly supported and

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