The Absence of Morality in King Leopold's Ghost and in the Congo Today

Essay by Bisquick29College, Undergraduate May 2007

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The Congo, in Africa, is a territory that has been exploited since it was first discovered by the Europeans. The exploitation began with the successful trek into Africa's interior by the explorer, Henry Morton Stanley in 1871, in which he found David Livingstone, a missionary who had become lost in the continent's interior. Out of this journey, came Stanley's first book, How I Found Livingston, which earned him a large amount of money in royalties. Stanley also wrote other books about his adventures in the Congo after the one in which he found Livingstone. This is how the exploitation began. It would continue when King Leopold of Belgium would hire Stanley to travel along the Congo and discover the territory in the name of Belgium and develop the territory into a colony which was his dream ever since he had heard of Stanley's expedition.

King Leopold was a leader who was very intelligent politically and he used his political intelligence to take the Congo as a colony to Belgium without any other European nations objecting.

He presented his taking of the Congo in such a way that noone who believed what he was saying would argue. He deceived European nations by hiring Stanley, not for conquest, but for exploration, he explained this when he said, "I'm sure if I quite openly charged Stanley with the task of taking possession in my name of some part of Africa., the English will stop me. If I ask their advice they'll stop me just the same. So I think I'll just give Stanley some job of exploration which would offend no one, and will give us the bases and headquarters which we can take over later (58)." Here we see the careful planning that Leopold took in his attempts to build himself a...