King leopold's congo free state was an economic, environmental, cultural, and human disaster for the congo people historians estimate that 8-10 million persons perished from the violence, forced labor, and starvation caused by leopold's lust for power and profits. Mark twain wrote a satire about leopold called king leopold's soliloquy a defense of his congo rule, where he mocked the king's defense of his reign of terror, largely through leopold's own words it's an easy read at 49 pages and mark twain is a popular author in american public schools. Leopold's main opponents would be british, especially edmund morel his drive for colonies, however, was shaped by a desire not only for money but for power (chpt 2, p 39)hochschild suggests that leopold ii resented being king in a constitutional monarchy where his powers were restricted, and that he enjoyed his absolute power over. This made tip a rival to leopold ii, and the belgian king's pretense of ending slavery in africa made any negotiation awkward nevertheless, leopold ii eventually appointed tip as a provincial governor in exchange for his noninterference in the king's colonization of the western regions.
And especially the personal fiefdom of king leopold ii, brought a particularly brutal brand of slavery enforced through torture, limb amputation and murder by the mercenary force publique this was slavery on a massive. For decades, most europeans mistakenly believed that king leopold spent his considerable fortune funding public works in the congo and stopping slavery in east africa he was the unintimidating king of belgium, cousin of queen victoria of england—a wealthy, noble and philanthropic modern king. In adam hochschild's book, king leopold's ghost,he uses his educational and life experiences as historian additionally, not only does this book reach from an education of politics but also human rights.
Leopold ii took the throne in 1865 and he ruled with the kind of soft touch belgians expected from their king in the wake of the multiple revolutions and reforms that had democratized the country over the preceding few decades. Granted to king leopold ii of belgium, the congo was a personal concession for the king, rather than a colony the king, not the belgian government, effectively owned and controlled the congo leopold administered the congo in a notoriously brutal manner, using it to augment his own personal wealth. King leopold also had collected slaves and ivory to trade away to other countries and further enhance his profit ( terrorism: essential primary sources) king leopold and belgium treatment of the people of congo was brutal. King leopold ii of belgium was responsible for the deaths and mutilation of 10 million congolese africans during the late 1800's the spoils of modern day belgium owes much to the people of the.
1876: leopold hosted anti-slavery conference in brussels as the group's host, he was named chair of the new group as the group's host, he was named chair of the new group later, the group met once more and voted to name leopold its chair, then never met again. Clip from episode 3 of bbc documentaryracism: a history leopold ii of belgium orchestrates one of the most appalling and forgotten acts of slavery, genocide, and robbery in history. In addition, by 1914 the growth of plantation rubber, the collapse of world prices, and king leopold's wasteful methods of collection had finished the congo wild-rubber industry.
Leopold ii offered to reform his congo free state regime, but international opinion supported an end to the king's rule, and no nation was willing to accept this responsibility belgium was the obvious european candidate to annex the congo free state. Early life leopold was born in brussels on 9 april 1835 he was the second child of the reigning belgian monarch, leopold i, and his second wife, louise, the daughter of king louis philippe of france. As adam hochschild's disturbing new book on the belgian congo makes clear, however, kurtz was based on several historical figures, and the horror conrad described was all too real. 'in the rubber coils', a punch cartoon of 1906, shows king leopold's stranglehold on the congo when i was a boy we used to play a car game called name five famous belgians the game speaks to a lazy stereotype among britons that belgium is a country without history or character, lost somewhere between france and germany. Leopold was just one of thousands of things that helped construct white supremacy as both an ideological narrative and material reality i don't pretend that he was the source of all evil in the congo.
Find this pin and more on sadistic king leopold ii of belgium by gary garrett congolese slaves on a belgian rubber plantation slavery was a widespread occurrence in the congo they were used to collect ivory minerals and rubber for the profit of leopolds companies and added to his personal wealth. Leopold ii, french in full léopold-louis-philippe-marie-victor, dutch in full leopold lodewijk filips maria victor, (born april 9, 1835, brussels, belgium—died december 17, 1909, laeken), king of the belgians from 1865 to 1909. Built to celebrate king leopold ii's acquisition of the congo a century ago, the greenhouses stretch for more than half a mile and are among the most visible and grandiose remaining symbols of a once enormous african empire, 60 times the size of belgium.
King leopold's ghost was a finalist for the national book critics circle award, as was his recent to end all wars his bury the chains was a finalist for the national book award and won the los angeles times book prize and pen usa literary award. Leopold has put the entire state of congo under his slavery he was not alone in this, as the king had his soldiers and generals to conduct orders and enforce laws in the state according to some estimates, he killed, murdered and then cannibalized between 10 and 15 million people. Still, he needed a loan and decided to approach the belgian parliament, and for this, he used his human rights disguise holding an anti-slavery conference in brussels in 1889, leopold urged his development plans for the congo as a plan to defeat the arab slavers with a series of fortified posts, roads, and railways.