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The Belgian Congo (Le Congo Belge)

The Belgian Congo (Le Congo Belge). The Origins. Former name of the current Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC)

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The Belgian Congo (Le Congo Belge)

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  1. The Belgian Congo(Le Congo Belge)

  2. The Origins Former name of the current Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC) Existed between the time that King Leopold IIof Belgium was forced to relinquish it as his own personal country (November 15, 1908) to the time of DRC independence from Belgium (June 30,1960 During the time that it was a corporate state privately owned by Leopold it was known as the Congo Free State

  3. Rise of the Congo Free State Europeans had not ventured into Congo until later 19th century Rainforests, swamps, malaria and other dangerous diseases and landscapes made it a difficult environment for exploration Henry Morton Stanley’s exploration to the region in the 1870’s put the Congo River Basin on the map because of rich resources “the Congo Crisis” Belgium was not interested in becoming am imperial power – Leopold was forced to pay for any colonies he wanted out of pocket February 5, 1885 – bought ownership of Congo Free State as a “philanthropic” project at the Berlin Conference

  4. Fall of the Congo Free State Went bankrupt twice – Leopold had to take loans from his country Tide changed during the rubber boom Forced exploitation of rubber, copper, and other resources in Lualaba River Basin created a surplus of money for Leopold which he used to buy luxuries for his country (Royal Galleries in Ostend, Palace of the Colonies in Tervuren, and Arch in Brussels) Congo Free State became one of the worst man-made humanitarian disasters of the turn of the century Brutality used to harvest rubber became public when exposed by U.S. and European Press Leopold forced to give up private ownership and the area became a colony of Belgium known as the Belgian Congo

  5. The Belgian Congo Executive power removed from Leopold and given to Belgian minister of colonial affairs and the colonial counsel (both of which remained in Brussels ) Colony divided into four districts run by a vice-governor Léopoldville (Kasaï), Equateur, Orientale and Katanga Was greatly involved in WWI Congolese forced fought off the Italians in Ethiopia Belgian Congo was the major source of income for Belgium during the war

  6. Belgian Congo Economy based off of a monopoly of Congolese resources such as diamonds, rubber, and copper forced labor and physical abuse were still commonplace but no longer as brutal as in Congo Free State Peasants forced to grow cash crops like cotton coffee and peanuts The main mission was to get as much money and as many resources out of the Congo to Belgium with minimum cost to Belgium Usually at the expense of the Congolese citizens

  7. Reality Propaganda

  8. Inequality unofficial apartheid- no specific laws separating black from whites the city centers were reserved to white population only Hospitals, department stores and other facilities were often reserved for either whites or blacks In the police, the blacks could not pass the rank of non-commissioned officer The blacks in the cities could not leave their houses from 9 pm to 4 am segregation began to disappear gradually in the 1950s Very few Congolese began to vote in the 1950s

  9. Independence Uprising of the Congolese “evolved” elite Demanded more voting rights and a say in the government Patrice Lumumba Charismatic leader of the Congolese people Was imprisoned for dissent against Belgian government and anti-colonialism views Belgian leaders feared that he would negatively impact their economic gains in the Belgian Congo region (Congo- Kinshasa)

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