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Scramble for Africa

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Introduction

Scramble for Africa King Leopold II of Belgium in Congo: Between the years 1877 through to 1908, King Leopold the second of Belgium owned the Congo Free State as a private colony. This came about due to the research and exploration of Africa by Henry Morton Stanley, who went in search of Dr. Livingston and after finding him continued on to come in very close proximity of the Congo. When Stanley returned to Europe, he began tell the leaders of the great potential in Africa, but as majority of the European countries had not yet begun to look at Africa as a place of great economic benefit but were still focusing on lands such as India, China, East Indies and Australasia, none of them were interested in colonialising. King Leopold II heard of Stanley and took great interest. He had wanted to set up a Colony for over twenty years, almost to the point where people began to call in an obsession. ...read more.

Middle

This was balanced out by Leopold working on the European Powers agreeing to him having the Colony. This was done through playing countries off one another. He discredited the Portuguese in front of the British by emphasizing their slave trade record. He also offered a favored nation position to the British in terms of trade. He then said to the Germans that no one was to be offered favored nation position meaning no extra benefit to the British or the French, as well as offering free trade to Germany. Along with officially agreeing to French ownership of the French Congo, and also a deal to say if he was unable to sustain the Congo financially, France would get his land, this made the French happy as it meant the British were not receiving any benefits. And finally he assured the United States that he was going to focus on the humanitarian concerns of The Congo. ...read more.

Conclusion

A set of rules as to how to go about future occupation of territory in Africa was also laid down. In terms of what the outcome of the Congo situation was, Leopold came out successful in his planning and thus triumphant. He received 905,000square miles, The Congo Free State. It is also during this conference that Leopold got the European countries to agree that he as an individual would be the sole owner of this colony as opposed to him as the King of Belgium or the chairman of the Association Internationale Africaine. The conference is also considered as another spark of the scramble of Africa because when the European countries heard the conference was going to be held, they strived even harder to attain the colonies they could before the conference was held, as they must have hypothesized that it would set rules down for future colonizing. Anisa Dewji, 11Manyara October 30th, 2003. ...read more.

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