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Imperialism in the Congo


									Imperialism in the
  The Dark Side of Empire
                        In theory,
Imperialism, the principle, spirit, or
system of empire, is driven by ideology,
whereas Colonialism, the principle, spirit,
or system of establishing colonies, is
driven by commerce. In practice, it is
often difficult to distinguish where one
ends and the other begins.
Pre 19Th Century Trade with Africa
                                        Belgiu    Netherla   Germany
****1939              Britai   France
                                           m         nds       (1914)

Area in Square
                   94,000      212,600 11,800     13,200     210,000

                   45,500,10 42,000,    8,300,0   8.500,00
Population                                                   67,500,000
                      0         000        00        0

                   13,100,00 4,300,0
Area of Colonies                        940,000 790,000      1,100,000
                      0         00

Population of      470,000,0 65,000,    13,000,   66,000,0
  Colonies            00        000        000       00
Colonial Africa
       What is Colonialism?
   Political Domination
   The Establishment of a Government
   Large-Scale Religious Conversion
   Forced Economic Dependence
   The Creation of a Mass Market
   The Building of an Infrastructure (roads,
    railroads, hospitals, schools, etc.)
Exploration, Imperialism & Racism
   1863: British explorers       View of Africans:
    Speke & James Augustus         "primitive, pre-literate,
    Grant, traveling               undeveloped” a/c
    downstream, & Sir Samuel       Eurocentric theories of
    White Baker, working
    upstream, locate sources       evolution of civilized
    of Nile                        culture.
   Christian missionaries &
    European merchants
    come with European
The point of divergence
 Imperialism is a system where by foreign states
  impose their will - in a political or economic or
  cultural sense - on other countries without
  necessarily taking over formal control of
  their territory.

    There is no doubt that Imperialism was the
    principle vehicle used to spread European
    influence throughout the whole
    world. Imperialism had profound impact on:

   The countries subjected to the imperialism
   The growing power of the European nations.
   The spread of the western model of governance
    and the European state system and all its
The Second Wave of Imperialism
   “In 1800 Europeans occupied or controlled 35% of the land surface of the
    world: in 1878 that proportion rose 67%: by 1914...the European world
    occupied or controlled 84% of the habitable land surface of the globe"
   Again motivated by economic and political factors
   Major expansion of imperialism during the thirty years 1870-1900
    during which the European powers, without the need for a
    display of superior military power extended their control over
    existing colonies and divided up the rest of the world among
3 types of socio-economic system develop
 under colonial rule:

1. settler economy
2. Plantations and mines
3. coastal trade based economy
The “White Man’s Burden”

       Rudyard Kipling
The White Man's Burden
Rudyard Kipling

Take up the White Man's burden--   Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--     The savage wars of peace--
Go, bind your sons to exile        Fill full the mouth of Famine,
To serve your captives' need;      And bid the sickness cease;
To wait, in heavy harness,         And when your goal is nearest
On fluttered folk and wild--       (The end for others sought)
Your new-caught sullen peoples,    Watch sloth and heathen folly
Half devil and half child.         Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,              Take up the White Man's burden--
To veil the threat of terror       No iron rule of kings,
And check the show of pride;       But toil of serf and sweeper--
By open speech and simple,         The tale of common things.
An hundred times made plain,       The ports ye shall not enter,
To seek another's profit           The roads ye shall not tread,
And work another's gain.           Go, make them with your living
                                   And mark them with your dead.
The “White Man’s Burden”?
Social Darwinism
    1. Where Is Dr. Livingstone?

                    I Presume?

                                   Sir Henry Morton
Dr. David Livingstone
King Leopold II:
(r. 1865 – 1909)
                            Raw for
                             Source           Nationalism
     Industrial                                                   Missionary
     Revolution                                                    Activity

            Markets for
                                    Motives                            Military
                                                                       & Naval
                                For Colonization                        Bases


                                                                  Places to
             European                                               Dump
              Racism                                             Unwanted/
                                                                Excess Popul.

                               Humanitarian     Soc. & Eco.
                  “White         Reasons        Opportunities
Timeline of Colonisation
   Belgian colonisation
   1879-87 - Leopold commissions Stanley to establish the king's authority in the
    Congo basin.
   1884-85 - European powers at the Conference of Berlin recognise Leopold's claim to
    the Congo basin.
   1885 - Leopold announces the establishment of the Congo Free State, headed by
   1891-92 - Belgians conquer Katanga.
   1892-94 - Eastern Congo wrested from the control of East African Arab and Swahili-
    speaking traders.
   1908 - Belgian state annexes Congo amid protests over killings and atrocities carried
    out on a mass scale by Leopold's agents. Millions of Congolese are said to have
    been killed or worked to death during Leopold's control of the territory.
   1955 - Belgian Professor Antoin van Bilsen publishes a "30-Year Plan" for granting
    the Congo increased self-government.
   1959 - Belgium begins to lose control over events in the Congo following serious
    nationalist riots in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).
 World Opinion Turns Against Leopold
Pattern of Takeover
   In many cases Europeans managed to
    secure colonial acquisitions by making
    alliances with local rulers.
   Europeans would promise to sustain the
    local ruler against his enemies in exchange
    for a degree of control and supply of labour
Force Publique
   Serving under European officers was an ethnically-mixed
    African soldiery. Many were recruited from warrior tribes in
    the Upper Congo. The role required of the Force Publique
    was to defend Free State territory and combat Arab slavers.
    Under Leopold however a major purpose of the force was to
    enforce the rubber quotas, and other forms of forced labor.
    Armed with modern weapons and the chicotte — a bull whip
    made of hippopotamus hide — soldiers of the FP often took
    and mistreated hostages (sometimes women, who were held
    captive in order to force their husbands to meet rubber
Impact of colonialism on
  population: forms of
          forced labour
        indentured labour
          waged labour

    petty commodity production
Belgium’s Stranglehold on the Congo
5-8 Million Victims!       (50% of Popul.)

              It is blood-curdling to see them (the
              soldiers) returning with the hands of
              the slain, and to find the hands of
              young children amongst the bigger
              ones evidencing their bravery...The
              rubber from this district has cost
              hundreds of lives, and the scenes I
              have witnessed, while unable to help
              the oppressed, have been almost
              enough to make me wish I were
              dead... This rubber traffic is steeped
              in blood, and if the natives were to
              rise and sweep every white person on
              the Upper Congo into eternity, there
              would still be left a fearful balance to
              their credit.     -- Belgian Official
Punishing “Lazy” Workers
Harvesting Rubber
Roger   Casement
        The Casement Report of 1903
        Was the single most important
        factor in exposing the atrocities in
        The Congo. He cabled the foreign
        “ I have returned from the Upper
        Congo today with convincing
        evidence of
        shocking misgovernment and
        wholesale oppression “.
Some legacies of colonialism
* Mono-crop economies

* Development of infrastructure but geared mainly to serve
  export orientation

* Very limited industrialisation. Dominance of merchant capital,
  with much of the profits repatriated

* ethnic divisions re-enforced through indirect rule

* Urbanisation/proletarianisation
A Question of Perspective?
                        Joseph Conrad
 Marlow’s & Conrad’s        (1857-1914)
 1889-90 journey into
“Heart of Darkness”

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