European Colonialism Africa in 1914 was almost entirely controlled by European colonial powers, which had raced one another to acquire territory in the so-called "Scramble for Africa." Only Ethiopia and Liberia remained independent countries.
King Leopold II of Belgium commissioned the explorer Henry Stanley to secure agreements from the tribes who inhabited the Kongo Basin in Africa. Stanley did so through a combination of promises, threats and trickery. One of his methods when meeting a new chief, was to attach a buzzer to his hand which was linked to a battery. When the chief shook hands with Stanley he got a mild electric shock. This device convinced the chiefs that Stanley had superhuman powers. The agreements allowed the Belgians into the Congo to take its rich natural resources. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, the European powers met to carve up Africa. Leopold called Africa "that magnificent African cake." From this beginning, the Kongo Basin became the Congo Free State, 900,000 square miles, in essence the private estate of Leopold.
Below is a portrait of King Leopold II of Belgium, including Congolese stamps (some with him as "Sovereign" of the Congo "Free" State):
Henry StanleySir Henry Morton StanleyBorn John Rowlands (28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904),He was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Stanley is often remembered for the words uttered to Livingstone upon finding him: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
Undated photograph of Henry Morton Stanley with Kalulu, the African boy he “adopted” as his gun bearer and servant. In 1877 Stanley christened the site of the boy’s death on the Congo River “Kalulu Falls”. It remains one of the few Stanley place-names that has not been changed. [Archives of Charles Scribner’s Sons, Manuscripts Division]
Livingstone completely lost contact with the outside world for six years and was ill for most of the last four years of his life. Only one of his 44 letter dispatches made it to Zanzibar. Henry Morton Stanley, who had been sent to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869, found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 27 October 1871, greeting him with the now famous words "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" to which he responded "Yes, and I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you."
David Livingstone died in that area in Chief Chitambo's village at Ilala southeast of Lake Bangweulu in Zambia, on 1 May 1873 from malaria and internal bleeding caused by dysentery. He took his final breaths while kneeling in prayer at his bedside. Britain wanted the body to give it a proper ceremony, but the tribe would not give his body to them. Finally they relented, but cut the heart out and put a note on the body that said, "You can have his body, but his heart belongs in Africa!" Livingstone's heart was buried under a Mvula tree near the spot where he died, now the site of the Livingstone Memorial. His body together with his journal was carried over a thousand miles by his loyal attendants Chuma and Susi, and was returned to Britain for burial. After laying in state at No.1 Saville Row - then the headquarters of the Royal Geographic Society, now the home of bespoke tailors Gieves & Hawkes - he is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Imperialism is the process of extending power & authority of a nation through the attainment of territories and/or the obtaining of political and economical supremacy of territories . Imperialism is the name for the colonial expansion used by European nation-states and eventually Japan and the United States, for basically conquering the "uncivilized" parts of the world for economic benefit. During the 1800’s, imperialism “used” people from weaker countries for their labor and resources. The European countries mainly colonized due to the Industrial Revolution and the necessity for raw materials. Also if a country was prospering economically and came under a larger country's control, then all those profits would belong to the parent country. Imperialism: What is it?
Imperialism: Why? • Nationalism and Eurocentrism drove countries of Europe to become better than other countries and to help the “uncivilized" who would live "better"-(or so the Europeans thought)- lives if they lived the European way. • Process successful for the Europeans --they used military conquest, changed the natives’ culture, and completely overthrew and dominated the political and economic institutions of the seized territory
The White Man's Burden • “The White Man’s Burden” was a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, an English poet born in colonized India. • In the poem, Kipling writes about the burden the white man has. He describes in it that it’s the duty of European citizens to bring European civility to the "uncivilized" in Africa. Because of this obligation, taking control of the African continent was doing them a favor. • Many Europeans believed this was true or used it to justify their conquests in Africa. • It’s still debated today about whether Europeans went to Africa because of their good hearts or for their own personal gain
Carriers • As a result of ruthless colonial exploitation, involuntary servitude, and direct violence, the native people live in an impoverished state. • As many as six million Africans died during the brutal rubber trade, overseen by the Belgians. • Many are forced to be "carriers," for people on jungle expeditions that need to move cargo from one place to another. These packages they carry on their backs, on rough footpaths through the jungle, weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. There are few, if any, breaks to stop and rest. • It is a hard life, but this history sets up the action behind the drama in this book, as far as helping to smuggle ivory out, or carry supplies into the jungle nation
THE CONGO • Known as the heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad, the Congo region has long conjured up thoughts of pygmies, mythical beasts, dreadful plagues, and cannibals. It is a land made famous by the adventures of Stanley and Livingstone and known as a place of brutality and violence for its past -- the days of the Arab slave and ivory trade, its long history of tribal warfare -- and its present -- the ethnic violence and massacres of today.
Heart of Darkness • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, is one of the most well known works among scholars of classical literature and post-colonial literature. Not only is it thought provoking and exciting, but also considered to be one of the most highly stylistic in its class, blending its use of narrative, symbolism, deep and challenging characters, and of course a touch of psychological evaluation that Conrad is well known for. To get a full grasp of the novella, one must first understand the history behind the Congo and its colonization by the Belgians.
Darkness • . The recurring theme of darkness (a symbol for the reality of the society) and fear perpetuate the action, and ultimately envelops the characters that struggle with this dilemma such as Kurtz. • The message is the same however: colonization destroys at the native peoples expense, close-minded European views perpetuate racism in these nations, and evil is a driving and yet sometimes unnoticed force.
A Rebuttal… • . In 1903, Edward Morel, a British Journalist, wrote “The Black Man’s Burden” to counter Kipling's "White Man's Burden. This paper brought to attention the long lasting effects of the white man’s "burden" that the Africans are now left with. He mentions how the Africans were permanently affected by the Europeans. These damages include the deaths of hundreds, racism, and the loss of culture while Europeans helped themselves to their resources.