However, he found this first part of the journey enjoyable compared to the latter half. The Congo was rich is rubber-producing vines, and Leopold transitioned his exploitative focus from dwindling ivory supplies to the burgeoning rubber market. Finally, Morel realized that there was a trade imbalance: the Congo was shipping out ivory and rubber, but nothing was going into the territory except for guns. Scott soon went on to become one of the founding partners of Lorimar Productions, the Emmy-award winning television company established in 1968, which produced the tv series Dallas. Morel began to see for himself what was happening in the Congo and began to tell other officials and he wrote many essays about the current events.
Williams then wrote an open letter to Leopold laying out all of his grievances for these crimes against humanity. He died a few days later, unloved by his people. For the first half of the journey Stanley sent tales back to Europe. The voices of Don Cheadle, who provides some of the narration, and Alfre Woodard and James Cromwell, each reading historical documents in accented English, just prove distracting. Little changed inside the country, however, until the ivory and rubber were exhausted. His plan was to make the world aware what was going on through his writings. As he investigates he then discovers that barely any trade was being exchanged for the ivory and rubber coming from the Congo.
Meanwhile, at the end of 1908, the Kuba tribe rose up against their colonial overlords. An African American preacher named George Washington Williams, who had traveled to the Congo to explore the possibility of resettling African Americans there, wrote a series of scathing articles criticizing the brutality of the Force Publique. This is another clear reminder of the racism of Western society at the time. The work was exhausting, and anyone who tried to rebel or slack off was murdered by the Force Publique, the official army of the Belgian Congo. A different man made a similar deal with France, and other countries followed. Although, Morel notices something that others do not. Colonial interests in its natural resources had not gone away and an independent politician like Lumumba was a threat.
This is an understandable view as the depictions of the horrible atrocities in the Congo were beyond deplorable. He changes not just his name, but his entire history, claiming, inaccurately, that he escaped the workhouse during a violent mutiny and that his employer adopted him as a son. Among those tapped for their expertise are academics, historians, Congolese elders and, for some reason, the memoirist Frank McCourt. He summoned Stanley to his court in order to speak with him about Africa. When he got there, however, he encountered white officers who tormented the Africans there, and later wrote about his short travels there in his pseudo-memoir. This trip did not go as smoothly, although it did end well for Stanley. Leopold decided to sell his territory in the Congo, though he had already planned to bequeath it to the people of Belgium.
The King managed to keep his true intentions of creating an imperial colony a secret by having his underlings going around the world and talking about his philanthropic plans for the Congo. The era of World War I shifted attention from atrocities in Africa to European trench warfare. Leopold died not long after in 1909. As buzz surrounding the Congo spread, other countries began trying to stake their claim. These labor-intensive industries were serviced by slave labor, and the local peoples were forced to work through various means, including torture, imprisonment, maiming and terror. In the late 1870s, Stanley sailed across the Congo River, becoming the first European to do so. European interest in the African continent can be traced back to the late 1400s, when a European explorer sailed the west coast and discovered the Congo River.
The film features interviews with Belgian scholars and Congolese survivors and is narrated by Don Cheadle. In 1908, Leopold finalized a plan to sell the territory to the Belgian Parliament for 45. Though thousands of Westerners visited the Congo in the 1880s and 90s, only a handful spoke out about the atrocities they witnessed there. Stanley, with a group of porters, guards, and guides, marched in from the east of Africa. Rubber harvesting is labor-intensive and slavery, exploitation and the reign of terror continued and even increased. Hochschild suggests that Belgium continued to rule the Congo because it concealed its own actions. With his landholdings now secure, Leopold proceeded to develop his land.
Slowly, various nations, including Great Britain and the United States of America, began to object to Leopold's tyranny with the result that the country's administration was transferred to Belgium. Because of this, the slave labor industries of the Congo diminished in importance and atrocities became far less frequent. Stanley worked on the road in the Congo for five years. Stokes had married an African woman and sold arms to Arab merchants; for these crimes, the Force Publique hanged him. Perhaps Casement sympathized with the people of the Congo because he knew, first-hand, what it felt like to be treated like a second-class human being. The sale of the Congo to Parliament marked a major milestone in the Congo reform movement.
His Welsh mother abandoned him as an infant, leaving him with his grandfather and uncles, who in turn paid another family to take him in. So with hardly anyone already going down… King Leopold's Ghost Out of sight mind is very convenient. Women and children were imprisoned as hostages to force husbands and fathers to work. Ms Scott began acting in her early 20s, landing roles in such acclaimed films as the Searchers starring John Wayne, Auntie Mame which won the 1959 Golden Globe for Best Motion Pictures - Comedy, and Petulia starring George C. The Congo did not gain full independence until 1960, when it became the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the 1880s, Leopold began an underhanded campaign for the right to colonize the Congo Free State for himself, and once he succeeded, he turned the country into a slave camp, stripping out all valuable resources and slaughtering the locals. Rubber had to congeal to be collected and removing the congealed rubber was excruciating.
Why do you think this massive carnage has remained virtually unknown in the United States and Europe? Even though Belgium was already under his restricting rule, he was nowhere near reaching his point of satisfaction. The Congolese people spent much of the 20th century under the rule of Joseph Mobutu, a U. They arrived to find that the rebel threat had already receded years before. However, Hochschild begins to suggest here that King Leopold might have succeeded in expanding further into China had there not been an international outcry against his cruelty in Africa. Before Williams could lead the cause against Leopold, however, he caught tuberculosis in Egypt and later died in England. Morel, who spoke French and English, worked in both France and England, supervising Congo shipments and interacting with some of the top Congo executives.