In King Leopold's Congo Free State
alone, for example, seven million Africans perished due to forced labour, genocide and the most brutal abuses known in the annals of human infamy.
Belgium's rule in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo was particularly cruel, especially between 1885 and 1908, when the country, then called the Congo Free State
, was run as a private fiefdom by King Leopold II.
He was a key part in opening up the lower Congo to trade which meant the creation of the Congo Free State
under King Leopold II of Belgium.
However, the museum in its original form never mentioned the millions of people who died during Leopold's ruthless extraction of natural resources from the Congo Free State
. Instead it paid homage to its missionaries and explorers, those who brought the contents of the museum back to Belgium in the spirit of the mission civilisatrice.
An international reform campaign forced the transfer of the Congo Free State
to the Belgian government, which was expected to rule the colony in greater accordance with the vision of imperialism articulated in the General Act.
At the peak of European imperialism in Africa, Belgium's King Leopold II ran a personal empire known as the Congo Free State
, and he stood as its only slave master.
Increasingly illegitimate, his polity suffered from an internal rebellion, collapsing after his assassination by a Congo Free State
officer, with his remaining fighters absorbed into a ruthless section of the colonial army, the Force Publique.
This was the transformation of Leopold IPs International Association of the Congo into the Congo Free State
. While there were no obvious precedents in the law of nations for making the kind of metamorphoses Leopold required, the salient experience in Twiss's life of working outside recognised conventions and laws in creating a new kind of person was that which he had performed with his wife in her own transformation.
It was particularly bad during the rule of King Leopold II in the Congo Free State
up to 1909.
The Congo Free State
was a large state in Central Africa which was in personal custody of King Leopold II.
Combing through a vast array of primary source material--from Lomongo memory essays, colonial records, photography, songs, and her own ethnographic encounters--Nancy Rose Hunt argues that the nervousness at the core of the two colonial states, the Congo Free State
(1885-1908) and the Belgian Congo (1908-1960), stimulated oscillating regimes bringing the state, its actors, and the local Congolese into collision.
Williams is an African-American veteran of the Civil War who the US sends to King Leopold II's Congo Free State
to investigate reports of slavery there.