posts 16 - 28 of 28
Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by hotchocolate on February 07, 2022 21:51

Leopold used his authority to make revenue so it could be seen as utilizing this land and these people to make more production and a profit, which would otherwise be left “un-industrialized”. Colonizers have used the idea of civilizing and spreading Catholicism to make the “savage” people into more respectable ones. Maybe in some cases, a certain country is war torn and in need of a central ruler to unify or create peace and colonization is the only answer (the only justification is really the way the colonizers see their actions). Or colonial control could be said that it’s a way to involve everyone in serving the benefit of the people at large and everyone will have a role that is overseen by a higher authority. This way, the economy and relations will be facilitated more easily? I feel like there are definitely economical benefits sometimes but their culture is taken away and the people are exploited by force, which can never be justified unless it’s choosing between colonization or death in an extreme case. From what I remember, the Columbian Exchange was the exchange of goods, diseases, and animals so it encouraged the spread of new ideas and things to change people’s lifestyles and diets. Obviously the native people suffered mass death from being overworked and disease ridden, but maybe a benefit was not being so isolated anymore and making worldly connections. With connections, there are alliances to be made and countries can support each other which a place might not have without colonization.


In King Leopold’s Ghost, there are violent actions like the case of Father Achte where colonization causes more conflict because of the clear inhumane treatment of rebels at the hands of the Belgium officers who shot them easily. Sheppard reported that the people of the Congo would get their hands cut off if they refused to submit their rubber to Leopold’s system, and were often paid with cheap objects otherwise. He exploited the rubber tree resource as a way to pay back investments and he saw competition as a way to personally gain. These naive young men would basically come to the Congo seeking adventure and not pay notice to how their arrival impacted the lives of the native people and they would parade around like Rom saying that they created peace when they really had the power to write their own history. I think the colonizers seek out colonization for a sense of accomplishment because they measure it in how much territory they can acquire and how much they can spend while exploiting other people for cheap labor. There was freedom to be found where they ignored morals and the critiques of society but were even able to gain more status and glory. For colonizers, I think it gives many lost men the opportunity to explore an unfamiliar culture and find independence and grow their status. In one section, Kibalanga, an honored officer, came to the village. People gave hard earned offerings of food to avoid violence and they could tolerate thievery as long as it wasn’t violence. This is really sad that they had to fear for their lives and were the target of trickery, thievery, and violence that the white officers would inflict to feel secure and powerful.


After such a long time of mistreatment, people begin to internalize it and believe that they did something to deserve it. These events of our ancestors cause generational trauma and it’s not like this fear dies out when the people who experienced it do. The colonization of Africa definitely increased an interconnected economic system in terms of African colonies producing raw materials. I read in another article that today, any corruption in African states can be traced back to the effects of colonization. “The work concludes and recommends that for African states to overcome their present social, economic, political, health, education woes, etc., there is the urgent need for the people and the leadership to create their own indigenous identity, culture, technology, economy, education, religion, craft, etc. that would be interwoven in good governance.” There was and is so much lost culture and identity that it does create anger and hopelessness. I feel like the responsibility colonizing nations would have is to make sure to tell the truth and spread the truth because we know that in areas where they have wronged, it can easily be covered up and this continues the line of misinformation. Maybe there could be ways to acknowledge the interactions and colonization of the past and swear it won’t happen again as well as find a way to come together and be friendly. I’m not sure what the relationships are currently between the colonizers and colonized states, but just listening to what the African states need to feel supported is important.


Q: Have you ever suffered from loss of identity and how did you work through it?


Yes. I think growing up in a predominantly white town, I have felt slightly different from my friends. Being half Latina, I have always been more curvy and haven't had the same physical features, such as freckles, as my friends growing up. This left me feeling that I had to conform and identify as only Irish. I worked through it and have established stronger family relationships with my cousins from the Latina side of my family. Coming to BLS, the school has opened me up to a larger world that makes me feel more comfortable embracing every part of me.

YellowPencil
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

"The Conquest of the Earth...is not a pretty thing: Colonizing the Kongo"

1)

I don’t think it’s ever justified to take power from another nation through colonization. Nations obviously make justifications to why they colonize like it’s best for the people there as they are savages and it’s their responsibility to “civilize” them. Other reasons they may claim is to expand their power or to better the economy. Although better one’s own economy may seem reasonable, it’s definitely at the cost of pain and suffering of the colonized. In King Leopold’s Ghost, when responding to an American reporter on how the Congolese were treated, he responded, "in dealing with a race composed of cannibals for thousands of years it is necessary to use methods which will best shake their idleness and make them realize the sanctity of work." In order for the colonists to benefit, they usually dehumanize and rob the people of their lives, wealth, pre-existing government, and human rights.


2)

It can be argued that there are benefits to colonialism but the negatives outweigh the benefits by a large margin. Through colonization, the nation that is being colonized is introduced to machinery from Europe’s technological advancements like the steam engine, weapons like guns and cannons, and maybe introduction to new foods and other everyday products. But what the colonizers bring with them largely benefit themselves rather than the colonized. Victorian mansions, hotels, trolleys, and trading companies are described on page 115 of King Leopold’s Ghost, but these luxuries are enjoyed by the whites. The colonialists get plenty from this “arrangement.” They gain land, power, free labor, and resources. Firstly they steal land from the original people. The Congo state said that all vacant land was owned by the state. But it was also said that they disregarded this as “vacant land” was pretty much a label they put on any land they wanted whether it was farming land with crops planted by Congo natives or not. Moreover, they get power against their competitors which is from the forced labor they get from the Africans and the abundance of resources they monopolize on like ivory. The colonized nation gets oppression, trauma, and death. On page 120, they discribed that the chicotte, a whip they used to punish and force obedience from their laborors, which were pretty much slaves, as something they closely identified with white rule.


3)

King Leopold’s Ghost is the norm of colonialism. The outrageous acts that Leopold and overall the system he started brought parallels the colonization of the Americans and surely other places. For example, Belgium forces took advantage of pre-existing tensions to their advantage like how the Europeans took advantage of tensions between Native tribes. What King Leopold and his subjects did is compared to the Soviet’s camps and what people did in the Holocaust. Overall, intentionally turning a blind eye to humans being harmed and normalizing it. Like how Dr. Johann Paul Kremer said that he himself didn’t do any lethal injections, subjects of King Leopold did the same. Most whipping with the chicotte was done by Africans on Africans. To further this point, one chief named Georges Bricusse wrote that when he shot a man who stole a rifle it didn’t make an impression on him. And he was actually in awe of how he felt “pale with fright” when he first saw a man whipped with the chicotte. Overall, when placed in an environment where there is an unwavering belief that one group of people is better than another and when one side has overwhelming power, in other words colonialism, the darker sides of humanity are revealed.


4)

Colonization of Africa in the short term firstly pauses their development as a nation and in the long term causes dependency of the colonizer. In the short term, the local government is stripped of their powers and they are unable to fully control their nation’s development. This leads to an unstable government after the colonizers “leave” and if they leave as their former government would likely not work. Colonization in the short term also causes nations to divide as people decide to side with the colonizers like joining the Force publique. This conflict between the people that sided and didn’t side may lead nations to have long term conflicts with itself. I think colonizing nations have the responsibility to support their former colonial subjects as they took so much from the peoples for generations.


Question: As we move forward, how can we better support underdeveloped nations that were victims to colonization?

YellowPencil
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Originally posted by Stuart_05 on February 07, 2022 22:21

1)There is no possible justification. All free nations should be able to govern themselves. Based on the history of the U.S. and around the world, colonization has led to the death of the indigenous population, internal fighting and rivalries among the colonized people, and political instability.

2)The only benefits to colonialism are the economic benefits gained by the colonialist \nation. This includes economic gains by exploiting the natural resources of a country. In the case of Africa, King Leopold confiscated and sold the ivory and rubber. The benefits also gained is free labor, by forcing the indigenous population, including children, to work in inhumane conditions. The colonialist nation essentially controls the economy, political systems and religious institutions. The colonized nation suffers from illnesses, death, loss of identity, and economic dependency.

3)Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost is indicative of the norms of colonialism. At the root of colonialism is racism, the belief that the European race (white) is dominant of the African race (black). In the reading Africans are described as “a race composed of cannibals.” Africans were viewed as essentially as animals that needed to be controlled and christianized. This control also extended to economic control in the form of forced labor. King Leopold essentially claimed most of the land of the Congo and therefore justified his imperialist control by forcing the Africans to work the plantations, kill elephants for ivory, enforce rubber production quotas, and mandating military in the Force Publique. King Leopold also exerted his colonial control by pitting different tribes against one another. This resulted in the deaths of millions of men, women and children by the chicotte whip.

4)The 40 years of colonial rule of the Congo has had a devastating long-term impact. In the short term, millions of people died as a result of illness, beatings, and forced labor. Raw materials such as ivory and rubber were extracted for economic gain. In addition, ethnic rivalries among the African tribes were exploited by King Leopold to secure his political dominance in the Congo. The long term impact has been devastating to the Congo. Presently, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Millions have died of starvation and thousands have fled to neighboring countries resulting in both economic and political instability. It is also a country with extreme violence and humanitarian abuses. To help address these issues, colonizing nations should help support democratic processes in the Congo and provide economic and humanitarian assistance.

Question: Would you categorize King Leopold as evil as Adolf Hitler?

I think King Leopold is certainly as evil as Adolf Hitler. Like Hitler, King Leopold harmed countless people due to their race. The atrocities he caused to the Congo people led to as many as 10 million people.

no name
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18



What is something that you learned while reading some pages of King Leopold's Ghost?

I learned King Leopold was in debt until the rubber boom, which was very interesting because I remember learning it as he was already rich but this made him immensely more. Also the resistance to Belgian rule, I am sure it is difficult to find old information about that is not through the white supremist lens.

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Colonizing in the Kongo

  • I don't think there is really an excuse for a country to have colonies. I feel as though all the arguments can easily be proven false, especially because there are many different types of relationships between countries that aren't colonialism, countries can be trading partners or allies. The argument for colonialism is that the ruling country sends people to their colonies and they use and export that country's resources. Making it so the ruling country gets all the profits while the colonized country gets nothing. This can be seen all throughout history in all colonies eventually the colonies get tired from getting nothing and resist against the colonizers. If colonies really were successful I feel as though there would be more colonies however there are almost none and the ones that currently exist are small.
  • All the benefits go to the ruling country, they get all the resources, power, and money they want from the colonies. While the colonies are stripped of their resources, and money. There are initially benefits of colonialism to the ruling state, they tax the colonies and any goods the colonies have they take. However all colonies fall apart, it is rare that there are colonies in the 21st century, so they don't last and sometimes end in war, which doesn't benefit anyone. In the long run colonialism may benefit the ruling country in the short term, but it never works in the long term, whereas trade partners or allies work in the long term Colonialism doesn't. In the end no one gets the benefit and it is at the cost of a country's resources and freedoms.
  • This is a different type of Colonialism; it is far more violent. In most colonies the ruling kingdom sends people there who are going to make a life for themselves. The people who move to colonies are usually of the upper class however they are the second son so they won't inherit any of their fathers land so they go to the colonies because they have money and make a good living there. In the Congo however only soldiers were sent which goes to show how much involvement people were planning to have in the Congo, or what kind of lives they were planning to have. They were treated as though going to the Congo was a war zone, where soldiers were necessary, and they did not plan on making a life for themselves in the Congo. Colonialism has never been just to the people's country they take over, but King Leopold treated it as though he was colonizing a place with animals rather than people with a culture, way of life, and their own society. He described it as a place with no 10 Commandments, this shows he believes that the people who live in the Congo aren't people. The 10 commandments are the 10 rules which Christans believe, that if one doesn't follow them then, one would go to hell. So by saying this, it shows he thinks that the people who live in the Congo belong in hell, or that there is no human decency. In the Congo this seemed to be more of a dictatorship or an invasion rather than colonialism.
  • Because of colonialism dictators put many countries in an awful economic state. The colonizing states drained people of their resources, economy, as well as tortured people, then people either fought for their independence or powers pulled out of the colonies. The Congo was colonized from 1908 to 1960, thats 52 years of their resources being taken for them, and people treated less than humans working to death, or being tortured. Then the colonial power pulls out and leaves Africa in that state, the Congo has limited resources to gain economic growth, there is no set up government to grow their power. So the Congo is left in a struggling state, with no allies, trading partners or resources, this leaves them almost completely vulnerable. This is the colonizing nation's fault, so they should start as trading partners or allies, because they are responsible for ruining a country's economy.
  • Camm230
    South Boston, MA, US
    Posts: 17

    Colonizing in the Kongo

  • I don't think there is really an excuse for a country to have colonies. I feel as though all the arguments can easily be proven false, especially because there are many different types of relationships between countries that aren't colonialism, countries can be trading partners or allies. The argument for colonialism is that the ruling country sends people to their colonies and they use and export that country's resources. Making it so the ruling country gets all the profits while the colonized country gets nothing. This can be seen all throughout history in all colonies eventually the colonies get tired from getting nothing and resist against the colonizers. If colonies really were successful I feel as though there would be more colonies however there are almost none and the ones that currently exist are small.
  • All the benefits go to the ruling country, they get all the resources, power, and money they want from the colonies. While the colonies are stripped of their resources, and money. There are initially benefits of colonialism to the ruling state, they tax the colonies and any goods the colonies have they take. However all colonies fall apart, it is rare that there are colonies in the 21st century, so they don't last and sometimes end in war, which doesn't benefit anyone. In the long run colonialism may benefit the ruling country in the short term, but it never works in the long term, whereas trade partners or allies work in the long term Colonialism doesn't. In the end no one gets the benefit and it is at the cost of a country's resources and freedoms.
  • This is a different type of Colonialism; it is far more violent. In most colonies the ruling kingdom sends people there who are going to make a life for themselves. The people who move to colonies are usually of the upper class however they are the second son so they won't inherit any of their fathers land so they go to the colonies because they have money and make a good living there. In the Congo however only soldiers were sent which goes to show how much involvement people were planning to have in the Congo, or what kind of lives they were planning to have. They were treated as though going to the Congo was a war zone, where soldiers were necessary, and they did not plan on making a life for themselves in the Congo. Colonialism has never been just to the people's country they take over, but King Leopold treated it as though he was colonizing a place with animals rather than people with a culture, way of life, and their own society. He described it as a place with no 10 Commandments, this shows he believes that the people who live in the Congo aren't people. The 10 commandments are the 10 rules which Christans believe, that if one doesn't follow them then, one would go to hell. So by saying this, it shows he thinks that the people who live in the Congo belong in hell, or that there is no human decency. In the Congo this seemed to be more of a dictatorship or an invasion rather than colonialism.
  • Because of colonialism dictators put many countries in an awful economic state. The colonizing states drained people of their resources, economy, as well as tortured people, then people either fought for their independence or powers pulled out of the colonies. The Congo was colonized from 1908 to 1960, thats 52 years of their resources being taken for them, and people treated less than humans working to death, or being tortured. Then the colonial power pulls out and leaves Africa in that state, the Congo has limited resources to gain economic growth, there is no set up government to grow their power. So the Congo is left in a struggling state, with no allies, trading partners or resources, this leaves them almost completely vulnerable. This is the colonizing nation's fault, so they should start as trading partners or allies, because they are responsible for ruining a country's economy.
  • pinkskittles
    boston , Massachusetts, US
    Posts: 19

    The Conquest of the Earth.. is not a pretty thing: Colonizing the Kongo

    In my opinion I do not think that there can be justification, through colonization there have been deaths of many indigeounous people and unfair rights for them. The colonized people were tricked and were robbed of their land in a sense, and there is no justifying that. Like in this reading, it is African people but we have learned that many other races have also faced this such as South America and Asia. Colonization came with a price and that price was the unruly mistreatments of people. Also, people were used as slaves for others to gain poweer, we have seen this in history several times and I dont think you can justify or reason that. When thinking about the good that came out, the only thing that comes to mind was not the colonized people but the colonizers. Like in the book, they were treated very very poorly, in the reading it said that they took a baby from someone and left it out to die so the parent was able to carry goods that weren’t even for them. The conditions that individuals endured rise above any “benefits”. Also, with colonization culture was stripped by the colonizers, since they wanted everyone to be like them and wanted everyone following their regulations, and did not want anything “foreign”. The Africans were not treated as actual people, they were treated in inhumane ways that are unexplainable. In the book it says how the reason the colonizers were like this was because of the colonized peoples skin color. The type of colonization that happened was very controlling, and not surprising because it has happened in other instances throughout history unfortunately. They changed the country and deprived it from its culture, for their own well being and sake. The way that colonizations happened do have an impact on today, because it shaped the way things developed and affected racism and the way people view things. Also, because the colonizers were mostly literally all white men, it created racism in government and power, which then carried it on. Not to mention the short term effects, their country as a whole was impacted. They were robbed of many things and were forced to do things by others who had power over them. Also, many people didn't survive the hardships they endured and the horrific circumstances they were put in.
    curioushuman
    US
    Posts: 15

    Colonizing the Kongo

    1. I do not think there can be any real justification for colonial control over any nation because it is based on the hubristic idea that their nation is superior and they have the ability to civilize the people of the nation it occupies, already degrading them and creating this dynamic in which they have more power. There might be the excuse that it is only to extend a hand and help the nation they are occupying or portray it as a mutually beneficial relationship, however that is a front for the real purpose and intent behind colonialism. There is no justified reason for colonial rule and it is simply an arrogant and power-hungry action.


    2. There are no benefits to colonialism because it is always done with the intent of personal gain for the country in control. There are many benefits to having a relationship between countries and they can learn from each other, trade, etc. Colonialism comes with negative consequences and the people of the countries lost land, wealth, culture, and their lives. Like we discussed in class, this was no different in the Congo and they were forced to get the rubber in such harsh ways in order to meet the quota and when they didn’t, or even just because, the Belgians would punish them physically, cutting off their hands. This type of treatment shows how colonialism does not have benefits because the nation in control exploits the nation it has control over.


    3. What Hoschschild describes is the norm of colonialism because it is the most occurring actions that take place in places where there is colonial rule. King Leopold’s Ghost clearly indicates European imperialism in Africa had devastating impacts on the continent and described things about it that are true for most of colonialism, the spread of Catholicism being one. There is also a pretense of humanitarianism or “bringing civilization” to the people they see as lesser than them and instead there is an intense effort to change the various African peoples, such as in the Congo, into something that fits into the ideas of eurocentrism and eugenics, where Europeans and Caucausian people are more highly valued and seen as better than. Something very indicative is King Leopold exploiting the people of the Congo in order to be prosperous himself and he would have them threatened or other methods to instill fear in them to maintain power and keep them working for him. This stripped the people of the Congo of their identity and is an extremely inhumane treatment.


    4. There are many effects that colonization of Africa had on the development of nations on the continent then and now. Short term effects like death from illness and physical violence, violations of human rights, and other ways Africa was exploited by Europe were awful and there are still many lasting effects even today. The policies of colonization forced a reliance on trade from Europe in place of African industry and the resources in Africa were stolen. If this did not happen, then Africa as a whole would likely have a better economy and technologies. Colonial rule also brought racism, civil unrest, greed, environmental degradation, and other problematic impacts. The nations responsible for colonizing Africa have the obligation to address and apologize for the injustices they caused as well as offer help in form of reparations or cultural restoration to those they impacted.


    My question is: How do rulers treat the people of other countries with such oppressive rule and cruelty and how do they perceive the benefits they get to be greater than the people being so severely mistreated?

    curioushuman
    US
    Posts: 15

    Originally posted by YellowPencil on February 08, 2022 00:02

    Question: As we move forward, how can we better support underdeveloped nations that were victims to colonization?

    I think a really important way to support these nations is through education. Teaching this history more in the classroom is really important for understanding the effects and addressing the situation and not turning a blind eye is necessary. We should also help the infrastructure and economy of the nations through reparations and other aid as well as support restitution efforts to reconnect with the culture they lost like revitalizing languages lost.

    niall5
    Boston, MA, US
    Posts: 26

    There are simply no possible justifications for colonial control in any part of the world, over any people, ever. Colonization is all about complete control, and extraction from the colony to benefit the people from the colonizer's country, at the expense of those who actually own and work the land and have it ripped from them. This type of strict control and dominance also takes away people’s right to govern themselves and make their own decisions, and instead puts power in the hands of ignorant and self motivated people, people who, when European nations finally relinquished SOME of their overseas colonies, hastily drew borders that continue to cause conflicts to this day.

    For some there are benefits to colonialism. The people that benefit, however, are incredibly small in number, and their wealth and power comes at the expense of the much larger population within the colonized country of people that are severely taken advantage of. The largest benefactor, obviously, is the colonizing nation. European nations, over the span of a few hundred years, decided it was their right and “divine duty,” somehow, to claim large swaths of the world in their own name, and subjugate the people that lived there. Something we touched on in US History was the “three Gs” of God, Gold, and Glory. These nations decided that it was their duty to spread Christianity across the world, saving all the other “savage” people who they deemed inferior. People like Joseph Conrad perpetuated this idea that the white, northern European race was the superior of all others, giving justification to extreme brutality across the world and influencing racial hierarchies that affected the world long after the death of Colonialism (at least the death of explicit colonialism). In the process, these nations became fabulously wealthy, while over-exploiting the people and resources of their colonies. This structure was true, not just in Africa, but in the colonies they made around the world. Remember from class the many monuments and elaborate train stations in Belgium that were built directly from the money and resources extracted from the Congo, and the statues of Leopold that continue to occupy public space.

    It was not just nations that benefited. Individuals and companies became immensely rich from Colonization, a trend that would attract King Leopold to seek a personal fortune from conquering his own swath of land right in the middle of the African continent. Lastly, a very small few from the conquered nation benefited by having good relationships with the colonizers, taking advantage of these situations to take power over political rivals, rivalries like the splitting of the Congo in the 1600s. These benefactors were themselves, however, exploited, and led to believe that European nations were on their side, when in reality they really only used these allies to gain control and then cast them aside. They were given, Adam Hochschild, “King Leopold’s Ghost,” metals for their degree of loyalty and service that amounted to absolutely nothing.

    The brutality of King Leopold’s reign over the Congo, outlined in Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost, is unfortunately indicative of the norms of colonialism. Every colonial empire has had slavery under a different name, from sharecroppers to casta system workers, to slaves, to the “euphemisms” used in the Congo, terms like “volunteers” in chains that were froced to to labor without pay (aka ENSLAVED PEOPLE) that were described in the book. This, however, is no excuse for the horrific conditions of the subjugation of the people of the Congo. Llanga’s powerful firsthand account gives some understanding of what it was like to live through such a brutal colonial rule. He describes army men coming to his village, initially tricking them into thinking they were just passing through, and then rounding them all up and tying them—men, women, children and all—and marching them to slavery. One interesting fact was that Leopold heavily supported Cathlolic priests that would become wealthy and support him in his conquest. They took kids into their Orphanages, even though in the society in the Congo, there was really no such thing as an orphan at all because the community raised the child, a pattern of tearing children away from their families that is similar to the removal of Native American Children from their parents using the foster care system.

    The Colonization of Africa was obviously a seismic event, one that by any measure, continued to affect the continent and its people long after the European colonizers “officially” withdrew their forces. Such brutal exploitation of a country’s land and people left many nations without a clear path forward, and left ripe ground for corrupt rulers to take the reins of production where the Europeans left off. In an economy that is largely based off of one resource, like resource mining, oil drilling, etc., it is much easier for a small group of people to control the means of production, and therefore wield all the power. With all other natural resources exploited, many African nations have gone down a similar road, all struggling with the impacts of such heavy exploitation. Meanwhile, with the money made from colonization, the European nations industrialized further, becoming richer at an even faster rate, and then dominating these same countries economically instead of militarily. These countries, to this day, are still culpable, and some form of reparations must be instituted.

    Do you think reparations are the right answer?

    niall5
    Boston, MA, US
    Posts: 26

    Originally posted by curioushuman on March 04, 2022 18:16

    My question is: How do rulers treat the people of other countries with such oppressive rule and cruelty and how do they perceive the benefits they get to be greater than the people being so severely mistreated?

    I think rulers become so motivated and capitvated by greed, money, and power, that they search for ways to justify mistreating populations of other people. This shows up as racial theories of inferiority.

    android_user
    Boston, MA, US
    Posts: 17

    "The Conquest of the Earth...is not a pretty thing: Colonizing the Kongo"



    1. I personally don’t see justification to colonization. Colonizers could attempt to justify colonial control over a nation by saying it allows for better economic growth and trading opportunities, but even though those could be argued, it would be wrong to say that it justifies the hostile environment that goes hand-and-hand with the unwarranted take-over of land and people. Colonization of free people and occupied territories has a dark history that expands from all parts of the world, like in the Kongo where Belgium enslaved the people who first inhabited the land and forced them into harsh labor conditions, which involved mutilation, in order to benefit its economy.
    2. Unfortunately, yes there are benefits to colonialism, but majority of the time the benefits are far greater for the colonizers and not the colonized. While taking-over the Kongo, King Leopold “made no distinction between tusks of an elephant roaming in the wild or villagers’ vegetables” because he considered everything in the “‘vacant land’” his, even though it was obvious it wasn’t his (Hochschild 127). He only saw this land as a benefit to himself since he was riding off of the free labor and fear of those who lived on the land before he deemed it his own. Yes, a few of the colonized people in the Kongo did have some privileges compared to others, and they were considered loyal and devoted to the regime. The colonized people who “prospered” from Belgium’s rule, gained only a little bit of power in the land they once called their free home. Even during this time Britain questioned the motive of Belgium and if they were profiting from this colonization. Belgium said no, but as we now they profited off of the rubber, slavery, and horrifically seized territory.
    3. I believe that in Hochschild’s reading, King Leopold’s Ghost, everything connects back to the norm of colonization, the extreme of colonialism, and the perils of it all. He states the act of normalizing colonization in Africa first happened during Europe’s push for “conquering Africa,” and it was easy to do since the European governments did not acknowledge the people who lived there as human beings. All throughout Europe, predominantly white countries like Britain, France, Germany, and of course Belgium were setting out across the continent of Africa to gain more territory and gain more economic control. Although the race for African land, resources, and European views of the people who occupied those lands were normalized by the European countries, it does not distract from the horrors that came along with it. Hochschild's book shows us in detail the harsh conditions that people who were enslaved in the rubber trade had to face. For example, the book talks about how if someone didn’t meet their rubber tapping quota it would possibly result in getting their hand cut-off, or another part of their body. It also talks about how some slaves in the rubber trade had to crudely construct a cage for themselves to sleep in order to protect themselves from leopards while they were out hunting for rubber vines to tap. Most of the constructed cages did not hold up against the wild cats. The colonization of the Kongo also has similarities to the colonization that happened in America, and how Americans, like the Belgians, forcefully separated native children from their families in an attempt to convert them to Christianity and gain more power and fear from the community.
    4. There are many short term effects to colonization such as disease, horrible treatment of peoples, and instability it brings the nation’s government. When a country colonizes a nation in the name of progress, they are actually halting the progress of the country they took over for years to come. It’s no secret a nation topples if there is a dramatic change in ruler-ship, and when that leadership follows its control with horrible conditions for those who live in the nation. The long term effects of colonization go hand-and-hand with the short-term effects, and we see this in the lack of technology that was produced and invented in the Congo and other nations in Africa, because of the disturbance to their everyday lives. Both the short term effects and long term effects of colonization are disastrous and extremely harmful to the progression of a nation because it all connects back to complete dependence to, that is just going to leave if they deem the state no-longer profitable.

    Question: What do you think it will take to get the countries that limited African progress to admit to what they’ve done? Do you think the afflicted African nations could find peace?

    android_user
    Boston, MA, US
    Posts: 17

    Originally posted by niall5 on April 13, 2022 23:35

    Do you think reparations are the right answer?

    Yes, I do believe representations are the right answer because the colonization of Africa and the violence that came along with it caused major set backs in the progression of African nations and their ability to have and create a stable government, new technology, and trading opportunities. Recreations, as we know, are not a way to fix the past traumas that were inflicted by other notions, or people, but it is a great way to give back the advantage that was taken away from them.

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