The Congo, Past, and Present

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Congo; Past and Present From the 1800’s to present day the Congo has changed substantially, and today still continues to change. The French, and Belgium both had a substantial effect as to how the Congo has ended up today. People such as David Livingston, H.M. Stanley, Leopold II, and Joseph Conrad all had their own influences towards the Congo whether it is negative or positive. Under these three locations and the different people the Congo has experienced changes in imperialism, colonialism, trade, the coming of missionaries, atrocities, ivory, and native populations. Leopold II is known for being the sole founder and owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken by him ("Leopold II of Belgium"). He is solely responsible for the killing of thousands of Congolese people, the main point in time in which he did this was that of when he tried to extract rubber and ivory thus requiring forced labour, which is “employment against their will by the threat of destitution, detention, violence (including death), or other extreme hardship to themselves, or to members of their families” ("Forced Labour"). The mineral sources that Leopold found in the Congo were also of great importance in his decision of getting them any way that he could. Leopold would have his men go to cities and hold people hostage until his rubber quota or ivory quotas were met thus giving him what he wanted. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people yet his good deeds cover up his bad deeds, which is idiotic. He should not be remembered for being the owner of the Congo Free State; he should also be remembered for causing the genocide of many Congolese people. After Leopold had relinquished the Congo the Belgium government still governed a substantial amount in the Congo (" Afterward..."). After years of the Belgium government running the Congo they
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