Frq: Events That Led Up to Congo Independence and How It Changed the Congo as a Country

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King Leopold II of Belgium claimed most of the Congo basin since 1876. Rather than another Belgium colony, this territory became King Leopold's private resource under the name “Congo Free State”. The annexation of the Congo is considered to be the most brutal and shocking of all European colonial annexations. After international outcry from several different countries, Belgium officially took over the country in 1908 and renamed Leopold’s previous territory as the “Belgian Congo.” Independence was finally achieved in 1960 and the country was, yet again, renamed as “Congo-Kinshasa”. Belgian troops still occupied the country until 1964, for the sole purpose of putting down revolts. In 1965 , General Joseph-Desire Mobuto seized power of the country, and as a result, a one party state (Popular Revolutionary Movement, MPR) was formed. General Mobuto was elected President shortly after. In 1971, the country was renamed “Zaire” and in 1997, after an attempt to introduce multiparty rule over the country, the country was renamed the “Democratic Republic of the Congo”. This tropical resource based colony had a long and violent road to independence; something that has not been very successful for the country since it was declared independent.

A national movement started developing in the Congo ever since 1876, when King Leopold II took control of the country. Natives were never in support of annexation, for which they were never treated remotely well by the Europeans; tension was constant. The Congo was taken for it’s abundance of resources - King Leopold took the country as his own source of such resources, hence why it is considered a Tropical resourced-based colony. Joseph Kasavubu and Patrice Lumumba were Congo Nationalists that became increasingly strident as independence neared. For once, these leaders showed that they cared about the people, and not the country’s resources. Due to Ethnic and personal rivalries, the country was torn apart; most of the time with...
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