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White King, Red Rubber, Black Death

Autor:   •  November 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  554 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,677 Views

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White King, Red Rubber, Black Death

By the late 19th century and early 20th century the continent of Africa went from being ruled by the indigenous people to controlled by European powers. By far one the most brutal colonization of the Africa continent was that of Congo and its people.

During this period in time the European countries measured there power by the amount of colonies they possessed and how the colonies provided for the mother country. Belgium never had a colony before Congo despite many tries. King Leopold II tried attaining the Fiji Islands, Philippines and other areas around the world. Congo was the last chance for King Leopold and Belgium to have a colony and he would stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

Europeans had contact with Africans before through the slave trade but stayed at the coast and never came inland due to heat and diseases. Henry Molten Stanley made the colonization of Congo possible. He sailed into Africa from the east making his way west; taking the "backdoor" to Congo. To gain support King Leopold told his aunt Queen Victoria that he wanted to bring civilization and Christianity to Africa and its people. He entertained generals, explorers and delegates to further push his goal. He was able to trick the Congolese people into signing treaties that gave him control of the land. Even though King Leopold was not at the Berlin Conference he was still able to get the other Europeans powers to give him the Congo by telling him that he there would be free trade and open to all European nations.

When the first tire was created it made out of rubber and the Congo was rich with rubber. The need for rubber grew enormously. Congo was the primary place to get rubber since rubber hadn't been found in such large quantities anywhere else around the world and King Leopold used it to his advantage. This started King Leopold's brutal and bloody rain over the Congolese.

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