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Colonialism & Imperialism in the Congo

What happened over the next few decades represents one of the most heinous forms of brutality and exploitation of a native people in the pursuit of profits.

King Leopold II would own the Congo Free State from 1885-1908. During that time there was no attempt, not even a superficial one, to enact policy that portended to develop the region. Instead, the Congo was divided up into partitions with each having as its owner a privately held company. These companies enthusiastically exploited the people and land in an effort to profit from mining and free plantation labor. Rubbery, ivory and other highly sought commercial products from the Congo were extracted from the land and people via state policies that relied upon terror and brutality to increase productivity. Slave labor, at-will executions, rape, and other forms of brutality were visited on the Congo natives. Such purposeful and systematic destruction visited upon the lands and people of the Congo would leave permanent psychological and physical scars. In his book Black Skin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon explains that such complete domination of one culture by another causes a loss of identity and feelings of inferiority in those oppressed by colonialism and imperialism. As he writes:

It is through the effort to recapture the self and to scrutinize the self, it is thr


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Colonialism & Imperialism in the Congo. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:23, October 23, 2014, from
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