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/edu/ - Education

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File: 1608527942982-0.png (648.18 KB, 2000x1889, democratic_republic_of_con….png)

File: 1608527942982-1.jpg (54.94 KB, 500x430, belgian congo.jpg)


Can anyone tell me how belgium managed to get the congo.
How did britain and France even allowed this to happen?


King Leopold had a legit “My colony is bigger then you’re” complex in regards to Belgium’s place in the European powers
At the same time Belgian capitalism was requiring a massive amount of material input to continue pumping out full speed

Originally Leopold had a plan to purchase the Phillipines from the bankrupt Spanish only for other European powers to veto the action

So he acquired the Congo as the royal household of Belgium’s private property under the impression he was interested in building a model civilised African nation


How did they end up with such big piece of land with rainforest jungle everywhere and no roads?

Did they simply "anything close to this river is mine", before anyone checked length and curves of the river?

Genuine question. That's a lot of inland space with enough sea access for one port.


I could be wrong about this but wasn't the Congo considered so hostile to (Western) life that it was thought to be basically worthless? Like, it was basically thought to be one big "here be dragons" zone.


Remember that accurate mapping of the continent was not finished at the time and European powers still used rather archaic methods to determine where borders were

One infamous example was when during a debate over where Mozambique ended and Tanzania began the Portuguese diplomat just slapped his hand down on the table and said everything west of his thumb was Tanzania and everything East Mozambique (or something else to that effect)

The offical treaty saying where Leopold Congo began and ended was about as equally weird. It basically said everything between Congo’s two main rivers belonged to Belgium this was before they likely knew that the “Two main rivers” basically encircled the entire Congo basin

Also Leopold did wage a minor war against the Sultan of Zanzibar over whether Eastern Congo belonged to his rubber plantation or to the Sultans slave traders

It was considered incredibly dangerous yes. But people did know about the pure amount of raw / Rare materials that could be found inside
The majority of the Belgium settlements in this period snaked along the river usually with creative names like “#1-#2-#3” with the idea that they would harvest material and send it up river to the main port where it could then be shipped to Belgium


Belgian Congo was a buffer state between a bunch of other colonial Empires.
France wouldn't be happy with Germany getting the Congo and connecting Cameroon with East Africa, and both countries didn't want Britain to get it, but all three Empires could live with Belgium getting it and checking their rivals' expansion.


It's actually because the Congo was technically a private venture originally, Leopold just had a bunch of bankers and merchants buy up the land and Leopold himself owned it personally not Belgium, Belgium only took it over technically after an American newspaper blew the whistle on the place. The reason why Britain and France let him get away with it is because basic ancap logic "You can't declare war on me, that's in violation of the NAP since this is my land, not the states, statist"


Because both England and France wanted it but also didn't want either to have it so they decided to give it to Leopold on the condition that it be his private property and not of belgium and that he continues producing and selling rubber to both.

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