Challenging Leopold Name of Student Class, Subject Name of Professor Dec 5, 2013 Challenging Leopold Introduction Edmund Dene Morel was a British politician. Earlier in his life, he started off as a clerk of a shipping firm in Liverpool. Later on, he began part time journalist, writing exclusively based on information he received from information supplied by shipmen and other merchants who visited the shipping office especially regarding the British trade in Africa…
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King Leopold II was Belgian King between 1865 and 1909. Under Leopold II control, the regime became notorious for forced labour used to gather ivory, palm oil and rubber. It killed so many locals in turn, until its misdoings were eventually exposed and widely reported by the Congo Reform Association, which had been established by Edmund Dene Morel, after which King Leopold was forced to transfer control to the Belgian government. Edmund Morel discovered that the trade in Congo was based on slave labor while in the course of duty at the Shipping Company where he worked. He realized that most ships landing were laden with valuables: ivory, rubber and minerals. However, the ships departing to Congo mainly carried soldiers, ammunitions and other weapons of destruction. There was only one conclusion from the discrepancy: slave labour was ongoing in Congo. Chapter 1 Henry Morton Stanley was an American journalist and an explorer, who was born in Wales. He explored through the Congo River and Basin and vast lands of the present DRC. He teamed up with resource hungry King Leopold II to establish the Congo Free State. In Europe, explorers were respected and treated in awe. This explains why many European countries competed to send explorers. The motives of British Exploration in Africa were several. Importantly, it was to acquire resources and new market for its product. Secondly, it was as result of political reasons as major European nations were competing for colonies. Importantly, Britain desired to spread religion, open up the region and stop slave trade. The targets of anti-slavery fervor in the 1960s were mainly Arabs operating mainly from East Africa. Dr Livingston was a Scottish born explorer, famous for his works in Central Africa. His initial aim was to spread Christianity and commerce in the region. While in Africa, he developed illness and was not heard from for a long time prompting his search. Henry Morton Stanley is famous for having found Dr. Livingstone in Africa. This was after being commissioned by the New York Herald to go and search for him. His search for Dr Livingstone was important to his future career because after finding Dr Livingstone, he preceded with exploration in the Congo Basin and River, and it his findings which prompted him to team up with Leopold to establish Congo Free State. Chapter 2 Leopold was obsessed with making Belgium an imperial power, succeeding at what his father did not. Edmund Dene Morel account describes him as a cruel, greedy yet with a charming personality. Leopold believed that one of the key to building a powerful, imperial Belgium was to through colonial expansion. One of the core reasons why he wanted a colony was to establish recognition: he felt that he was not truly in charge of Belgium because of Parliament. Therefore, he wanted a colony in order to establish his recognition, and create a profit to build monuments. He promoted his interests in Africa through creation of Congo Free State, which was a privately held state. The Brussels Geographical Conference took place in September 1876 at the request of Leopold and its agenda was to discuss Europe activity in Africa. H invited several experts and explorers to the conference. He used this conference to rubber stamp his interest in Africa,
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