King Leopolds Ghost Analysis

Topics: Congo Free State, Leopold II of Belgium, King Leopold's Ghost Pages: 4 (1576 words) Published: December 9, 2011
Adam Hochschild’s “King Leopold’s Ghost” is an account of a man’s rise of power who was very cruel and did unimaginable things. When I began reading, I wasn’t sure where the novel was going, but I soon caught on to what Hochschild was revealing. As the story begins to unfold he tells a story of King Leopold II of Belgium who managed to seize land next to the Congo River in Africa. King Leopold used political manipulation and lies to get what he wanted. King Leopold had everyone fooled that he was a humanitarian and he was in the Congo for the greater good, but that was not the case. He claimed that civilizing the Congo would keep out “Arab slave- traders” to gain support of people, but Leopold wanted something else. Leopold was very greedy, and his greed resulted in the slaying of millions of innocent people. As the story begins, Leopold uses Henry Morton Stanley like a puppet to help colonize the Congo. He starts out helping Leopold gain support from political leaders and from large powers including the United States. Leopold tells countries that he wanted to set up a “Free State” in the Congo so he could civilize the region. He claimed that he would set up schools, set up trade routes, and creates jobs. Although, this was obviously just a cover up that way people would not be suspicious of what he was doing in the Congo. When Stanley sets out to find Livingstone, and explores Africa it’s the start of the colonization. Stanley followed the Congo River for “fifteen hundred miles”, which intrigued Leopold because it gave him an idea on what he had found (Hochschild 61). Leopold instantly was fascinated, but was the most interesting to him was the Congo’s ivory and rubber because Americans and Europeans we’re already buying it. Stanley and his men landscaped the area, and Stanley helped wreck their homes, and played a huge role in robbing them from their heritage. Leopold and Stanley both were alike in ways and believed “Africa was a chance to gain upward...
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