belgian congo112 Block 4

Gina Ferriola,
Lindsey Carter,
Amy Myers
Initial Occupation
 1885 The Berlin Conference
approves King Leopold’s claim
to “The Congo Free State” as his
personal colony until 1908.
 International investors
supported his claim to Congo.
 He established rule with his
personal army and he also
expected the Belgian army to
Info Source: ("Congo Free State,").
Benefits To The Imperial Power
 Ivory and rubber were the
main exports. Both were
collected through a system of
slave labor controlled by
Leopold’s agents.
 The forest elephant
population was depleted and
the focused changed to
rubber collection
 Pneumatic tires drastically
increases the demand for
Info Source: ("Congo- the Brutal," n.d.).
Treatment Of Indigenous People
 8-10 million people died as
a result of Leopold’s
 They were enslaved
 Families were kidnapped
to force people to produce
 Cut off peoples hands if
they did not produce
enough rubber.
Info Source: ("Congo- the Brutal," n.d.).
Belgian Congo Money
The Congo Free State
Belgian Congo Map
The Democratic Republic
of Congo
Indigenous perspective
King Leopold II and his army
took over power in Congo.
King Leopold II and the Force
Publique terrorized the
Congolese by kidnapping the
families of the workers and
cutting off hands if they didn’t
produce enough rubber
In 1908 Congo was taken from
Leopold and turned into a Conley
ruled but the Belgians
The worst abuses were eliminated
because the Belgians still wanted
the copper, oil, diamonds and
other minerals
Benefits and modernization
 The Belgian modernized
the colony
 The Belgians built
railroads and automobiles
 They brought over
electricity and telephones
 ("Encyclopedia Britannica,“).
Cultural imperialism
 The Belgians forced
many different Congo
tribes to live together
 The Belgians set up
Belgian style schools
 The Congolese lost
their native language
and way of religion
 The Belgians brought a
new system of law
 (Everything Culture," ).
Resistance and independence
 Congo rebelled from
 The first Congolese party
started in 1958 whose name
was Congo nation movement
 In 1959 riots broke out and
Congo people demanded
 Congo became an
independent republic on June
30, 1960
 ("Encyclopedia Britannica," ).
The Congo free state flag
The Democratic Republic of Congo
Red for people's
Yellow for
Blue for hope
Star for unity
(“Democratic republic of
Consequences on the Imperial Power
• Belgium gained wealth from
the rubber in ivory they
• King Leopold was criticized
for exploiting and enslaving
the Africans.
• Edward Morrel wrote about
the horrible situation in the
Belgian Congo.
• Belgium’s treatment of the
African people is an
example of European Social
(Congo Free State, 2011)
Consequences on the Occupied
• When the Belgians left the
country was unstable
• The Congo lost a lot of its
• Most people live in poverty
• Government corruption has
caused civil wars
(Democratic Republic of the Congo, n.d.).
Modern Status
• GDP-$300 per year
• Literacy rate-67.2%
• HDI-.239 (rank 168)
• GDP-$37,900 per year
• Literacy rate-99%
• HDI-.867 (rank 18) (The World Factbook, n.d.).
 when people realized the
Belgians were treating the
Congolese horribly the
international community
forced King Leopold to end
his rule and give control of
the country to Belgium
 Most of the worst abuses
stopped: kidnapping of
families, mutilation, and
 Belgium apologized for
killing the Congolese
president Lumumba.
(Lumumba Apology: Congo's,
 took control of Congo in 1965
 -made all political parties illegal
because they were causing problems in
the country
1967 he made one political party
mandatory it was called the (MPR)
Popular Movement of the Revolution.
Made Congo a policy of Africanisation
country, he made a new flag, new
national anthem, and changed the
name of the country to Zaire.
Mobutu also changed the capital name
from Leopoldville to Kinshasa.
The people of Congo even had to get
African names, if they didn’t have one.
He bribed any of his rivals with money
to keep them happy.
•Nationalized foreign owned business and
made Western investors leave (Zaire).
•1990 had to unban the rule against political
parties and then in 1997 he was over powered
and fled the
country with his family.
• Congo was in debt billions of dollars by the
1980’s because of him but he didn’t care
because he was billions of dollars wealthier
( Mobutu of Zaire, 2005-2011)
Congo Free State. (2011). Retrieved February 14, 2011, from In Encyclopædia
Britannica website:
Democratic Republic of the Congo. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2011, from
International Human Development Indicators. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2011,
from UN website: http:’’ profiles/Bel.html
Lumumba Apology: Congo’s mixed feelings . (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2011,
from BBC website:
The World Factbook. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2011, from
Congo. (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from Encyclopædia Britannica database.
Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Belgian Congo . Retrieved from
everything culture. (n.d.). Democratic Republic of the Congo . Retrieved 2011,

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