How did King Leopold treat the African natives?
King Leopold II, who owned the Congo Free State as a private enterprise, systematically exploited the native population for his own commercial benefit, most notably with the production of wild rubber. To enforce the rubber quotas, the colonists cut off the limbs of the natives as a matter of policy.
What did King Leopold do to the Congolese?
On February 5, 1885, Belgian King Leopold II established the Congo Free State by brutally seizing the African landmass as his personal possession. The people of the Congo were forced to labor for valued resources, including rubber and ivory, to personally enrich Leopold.
How much money did King Leopold make from the Congo?
Rubber Production Leopold used the rubber money to develop Belgium. “Leopold drew some 220 million francs (or $1.1 billion in today’s dollars) in profits from the Congo during his lifetime.
How Leopold II benefited from his control over the Congo?
Keen on establishing Belgium as an imperial power, he led the first European efforts to develop the Congo River basin, making possible the formation in 1885 of the Congo Free State, annexed in 1908 as the Belgian Congo and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
How did Belgium get so rich?
Today Belgium is one of the richest countries in Europe, but all that money came from my country. These buildings were paid for by King Leopold II. He took Congo as his own personal possession and made himself rich. Today, Belgium is one of the richest countries in Europe.
How many died in Congo genocide?
Together with epidemic disease, famine, and a falling birth rate caused by these disruptions, the atrocities contributed to a sharp decline in the Congolese population. The magnitude of the population fall over the period is disputed, with modern estimates ranging from 1 million to 15 million deaths.