Imperialism in Africa: The Republic of Congo
Thesis: Imperialistic practices of Belgium in the early 20th century, such as overworking employees in the rubber industry, led directly to low literacy rates, high crime rates and an unstable economy today in the Republic of Congo.
Evidence: Belgians were drawn to imperialize the Congo because of its strategic location and the abundance of natural resources. Analysis: That being said, that was the only reason the Belgians came. They had no interest in helping the Congo become a successful country, which was not the mind-set that Leopold the II wanted his troops to have. His troops knew that the only reason that they were there is to make a profit and if that meant killing ten million Congoniese people then so be it.
Evidence: In the early 20th century, the United States was just ending the industrial revolution, along with the industrial revolution came the invention of the car. And as you know the wheels on cars are made of rubber, the demand of rubber became increasingly high and so the Belgians stepped in and began to provide the rubber to Americans with the help of the people of the Congo. Analysis: Belgians would force people to work for them and if they didn’t comply they would be killed. The Belgians overworked millions of Congoniese people and didn’t pay them fairly. And this wasn’t just adults, this was children as well. Belgians treated the people of the Congo extremely unfair. Nobody should ever be forced to work a job they don’t want to and not even get paid for it. King Leopold II nearly enslaved millions of Congoniese people in order to gain wealth.
Evidence: When Leopold the II had the Congo under Belgian control, the export of rubber accounted for 87% of the economy. Once the people of Congo regained control it accounted for merely 1% of the economy. Analysis: Looking at the numbers above, it’s obvious to tell that once people weren’t forced to work to in the rubber industry no one did....
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