I'm aghast at the democide I missed. It is probably over many millions, possibly 10 million murdered or more from when The Berlin Conference formally recognized the Congo Free State now the Democratic Republic of the Congo-formerly Zaire to when Belgium took it over as a colony. And the massive killing did not stop when Belgium took it over.
The fever-ridden mangroves of the lower Niger by the brothers Richard and John Lander in The upper Nile by BurtonSpekeand Baker in a succession of expeditions between and Though the Congo had been one of the first to be attempted, it remained a mystery.
The Congo Free State It was not until that the Congo was explored by Europeans, and even then it was not from the sea, but from the other side of the African continent.
Livingstone had not been heard from in several years and was, in fact, exploring the upper reaches of a great navigable inland river called the Lualabawhich Livingstone hoped was connected to the Nilebut which turned out to be the upper Congo. Then, rather than perish in the impenetrable country of the cascades, Stanley took a wide detour overland to come within striking distance of the Portuguese trading station at Boma on the Congo estuary.
Prelude to conquest[ edit ] Henry Morton Stanleyabove, found Dr. Livingstone in Africa and brought tales back to Europe When Stanley returned to Europe inhe had not only found Dr. Livingstone an event remembered to this dayresolved the last great mystery of African exploration, and ruined his health: This was to be his most enduring legacy.
Stanley was lionised across Europe. He wrote articles, appeared at public meetings, lobbied the rich and powerful tirelessly; and always his theme was the boundless opportunity for commercial exploitation of the lands he had discovered or, in his own words, to "pour the civilisation of Europe into the barbarism of Africa".
Birmingham's factories are glowing with the red metal that shall presently be made into ironwork in every fashion and shape for them The focus of the great powers was still firmly on the lands that had made Europe's fortune: There seemed no economic sense to investing energy in Africa when the returns from other colonies were likely to be both richer and more immediate.
Nor was there a strong humanitarian interest in the continent now that the American slave trade had been extinguished. Stanley was applauded, admired, decorated—and ignored. In Peter Forbath's words, Leopold was: A tall, imposing man He was, nevertheless, an extremely minor monarch in the realpolitik of the times, ruling a totally insignificant nation, a nation in fact that had come into existence barely four decades before and lived under the constant threat of losing its precarious independence to the great European powers around it.
He was a figure who, one might have had every reason to expect, would devote himself to maintaining his country's strict neutrality, avoiding giving offence to any of his powerful neighbours, and indulging his keenly developed tastes for the pleasures of the flesh, rather than one who would make a profound impact on history.
Yet, in the most astonishing and improbable way imaginable, he managed virtually single-handedly to upset the balance of power in Africa and usher in the terrible age of European colonialism on the black continent.
He had no power to decide policy. But for over 20 years he had been agitating for Belgium to take its place among the great colonial powers of Europe. Leopold noted, "Our frontiers can never be extended into Europe.It was against this background of genocide in the name of “European civilisation” that Africans in the Diaspora who had been shipped from Africa and enslaved in the West Indies and in the Americas realised that the solution to Africa’s people both at home and abroad was Pan-Africanism.
of European Colonization: Leopold's Congo" Having just read Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, and followed up on its reviews and what I could find about the Congo Free State on the internet (such as this website).
European nations saw opportunity for new trade routes and potential wealth in some of Africa's natural resources. The The primary reason . John Gunther (Inside Africa () estimates million deaths. Adam Hochschild (Leopold's Ghost mentioned above) estimates 10 million, or half the original population from to Fredric Wertham, A Sign For Cain: A Exploration of Human Violence () estimates that the population of the Congo dropped from 30M to M, a loss of .
African nl0des of thought, patterns of cultural development, and ways of life were forever impacted by the change in political stnlcture brought about by colonialisln. The African economy was significantly changed by the Atlantic slave trade through the process of imperialisnl and the economic policies that accompanied colonization.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy "uses the term 'colonialism' to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world, including the Americas, Australia, and parts of Africa and Asia".