March 4th, 2013
Stanley and King Leopold compared
King Leopold, the ruthless ruler of Belgium is remembered for the exploitation of the Congo Free State, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the terms and conditions of the Berlin Conference in hand, Leopold disregarded them and decided to use a violent approach in his colonization of the Congo. Henry Morton Stanley, a man who loved to explore the African continent, helped in the discovery of the Congo. Both men had the same intentions, they all wanted to extend European domination in Africa and create names for themselves. However, King Leopold wanted to extend his rule in Africa and he wanted to achieve this at whatever cost, and this explains his mass murders and the use of mercenaries in his quest. Even Stanley, the man who was solely interest in exploring, ended up abusing his power and took total advantage of the Congolese people. Stanley and Leopold were morally corrupt at the core; they both entered the Congo for separate selfish reasons. Leopold just wanted to extend his rule because he was too obsessed with power and Stanley on the other hand wanted to explore for self-satisfaction.
King Leopold, the man who took over Belgium in 1865, believed that obtaining foreign lands was the key to a successful state. He wanted both money and power, and in the 1870s Africa seemed the best place to find a colony. Initially, Leopold tried to acquire the Philippines, but after failing multiple times to obtain the lands from Queen Isabella of Spain, he focused on acquiring the center of Africa. An International Scientific and Philanthropic Association known as the International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of the Congo, was a private company set up by Leopold in order to take over the Congo and deceive others. Leopold knew that the only way he could set up a colony successfully was by hiring Henry Morton Stanley, a man who was a famous African explorer at the time. Leopold would secretly send Stanley to set up colonies but he claimed that these were exploration missions. Leopold acquired a lot of wealth by colonizing the Congo because the African nation was the biggest source of rubber and ivory in the world at the time. The increase in demand of rubber by many people led to the multiple killings in the Congo, which tolled up to fifteen million. Leopold was a merciless man who only cared about his wealth rather than the well being of the Congolese people working tirelessly in the rubber fields. Leopold led the European people to believe that he was against the slave trade and that he was working towards the abolishment of the slave trade, yet he was doing the exact opposite. He killed multiple people, mutilated dozens of innocent children and even worsened the slave trade situation.
Henry Morton Stanley was a man who loved to explore Africa. He was known to have explored all of Africa from west to east. King Leopold