The Congo Sparks Interest In 1882 a treaty was signed with local chiefs of the Congo River valley. The people living in the south and southwest were hunter-gatherer groups, whose technology involved only minimal use of metal technologies. King Leopold, the king of Belgium at the time, asked Stanley to convince local leaders in the Congo to sign their land into Belgian control. ... Before imperialism. Forced rubber production no longer had official support, so the business moved underground. At the same time, however, Álvaro had to allow the Portuguese to establish a colony in his province of Luanda in the south of his country. Comment. The Lunda people were able to settle and colonialize other areas and tribes, thus extending their empire through southwest Katanga into Angola and north-western Zambia, and eastwards across Katanga into what is now the Luapula Province of Zambia. Europe faced a massive surge in industry without the workers or raw materials to fuel its growth. Also due mainly to its location, even after Belgium officially established the Congo Free State in 1885, the Kuba were able to sustain their federation, which comprised some 100,000 square kilometers and had a population of approximately 150,000 inhabitants. While he completely controlled production in the Congo, Leopold could not silence dissent forever. The Lunda kings became powerful militarily and then politically through marriage with descendants of the Luba kings. The Congo Sparks Interest 5. The people captured by the Portuguese would be taken away from their people and forced to serve strangers until their death, all while the Portuguese criticized the Congo for their “uncivilized” behavior. Imperialism is the ôpractice by which nations or peoples seek to extend and maintain control or influence over weaker nations or peoplesö (Imperialism 1996). This high amount of rainfall makes it difficult to sustain agriculture, and subsequently a large population because the soil is simply too watered-down and prone to periodic floods (which can ruin crops, of course) to produce large quantities of food. The most important were the Kongo kingdom in the west and the Luba-Lunda states in the east. Before imperialism came to the Congo, it was a state of slave raids, unused natural resources, and Christianity. The activities of the court were supported by an extensive system of civil servants, and the court itself usually consisted of numerous male relatives of the King. Although he no longer had control over the Congo, Leopold had made a fortune by exploiting its people and natural resources. Subsequent migrations from the Darfur and Kurdufan regions of Sudan into the north of Congo, as well as East Africans migrating into the eastern Congo, added to the mix of ethnic groups. The federation's capital was Nsheng, which is now modern Mushenge. It must also be mentioned that the climate is a major force in the Congo, which is made up primarily of tropical rainforest that sees some of the highest annual rainfall in the world. The Congo was always popular for slave traders to raid, and take people from. Public Affairs, New York. The Congo didn't exist until the Europoean creation of the area for its use of the natural resources for trade. Stanley frequently used violence to intimidate local leaders and mistreated his guides on his expedition. [citation needed] In recent weeks the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, and before that the Belgian Congo, has been in the news: A brutal civil war, an horrendous AIDS epidemic, the assassination Before imperialism. Africans in the Congo shared their stories and swayed even a Commission of Inquiry sent by Leopold himself to provide an inaccurate report of the situation in the Congo. Before imperialism. CONGO. It was first thought to be a tally stick, as it has a series of what has been interpreted as tally marks carved in three columns running the length of the tool, but some scientists have suggested that the groupings of the notches indicate a mathematical understanding that goes beyond counting. However, Europe’s interest in the African slave trade eventually died down leaving the Congo once again independent, but even greater atrocities would soon follow. . After imperialism. These new divisions were taught to fight against each other. All members of government were invested with their power under the auspices of a ritual specialist. 5 September 2018 By Johan Lagae Essays. Leopold administered the Congo in a notoriously brutal manner, using it to augment his own personal wealth. From the 15th to the 17th century several important state systems evolved in the southern savanna region. Religion. However, when Belgium began imperializing and colonizing the Congo, King Leopold II became dictator of the country. This meant new boundaries were imposed throughout Africa, dividing it into Europe's colonial domains and eliminating any governing by people in the Congo. They developed elaborate political institutions, buttressed by symbolic … The conditions in the Belgian Congo before Imperialism were undocumented because there was no government rule in the area. As a result of their fear of white foreigners, it was not until the African-American missionary William Sheppard made contact with the Kuba that a foreigner would gain their acceptance. Add to Bookmarks. The 5th century saw this societal evolution develop in the area around present day Kamilamba at the Kabambasee, which was followed and replaced by a number of other cultures which were based around the cities of Sanga and Katango. He was elected by a group of governors, usually the heads of important families and occasionally including Portuguese officials. Before Europe set its sights on Africa, the Congo was an independent nation relatively untouched by imperialism. What has changed in Congo’s Society? King Leopold II (1835-1909) of Belgium created the Congo Free State in 1885 as part of a professed desire to bring civilization and modernity to Africans. The total population of all of the people living in the Congo area before colonization was estimated to be around 20 to 30 million people. It was later taken over by the Belgian government in 1908. The Bantu migrations added to and displaced the indigenous Pygmy populations in the southern regions of the modern Congo states. If they didn’t meet the quotas, they could be beaten, mutilated, or publicly executed. S. Low, Marston & Company, London, 1893. Prior to colonization it was run by chiefs, clans and different groups of people. The Spanish ruled small parts of Morocco and coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean. Since many of the natural resources in Europe were either under other nations’ control or completely used up, many nations looked to conquer more territory to gain an advantage in the fight for economic superiority. The imperialism of the Congo was mostly economic. The Kongo was a state located primarily in the southwest portion of the modern Congo, and also occupying portions of northern Angola and Cabinda. Stanard, Matthew G. (2011): Selling the Congo: A History of European Pro-Empire Propaganda and the Making of Belgian Imperialism, University of Nesbraska Press, Lincoln, pp 27-47. It was based on the twin principles of sacred kingship and rule by council. The effects of this period are still being felt by many African countries up-to-date as is the case with Congo. The Manikongo personally appointed a kind of governor for each of the six provinces to oversee each from his capital, Mbanza-Kongo. This was mainly due to his African blood and Sheppard was able to live amongst the Kuba for four months. The pre-colonial history of the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo encompasses the history of the Congo Basin region up to the establishment of European colonial rule in the era of New Imperialism and particularly the creation of the Congo Free State and its expansion into the interior after 1885. This period saw many European nations invade Africa and scrambled for nations that they were able to colonize. (1884-1885) During European Imperialism, various European leaders met in Berlin, Germany to discuss plans for dividing Africa peacefully. [7], The Stairs Expedition sent by Leopold under the flag of his Congo Free State was the winner of this scramble for Katanga when it killed Msiri (putting his head on a pole as a 'lesson' to his people), and installed a successor who would sign Katanga over to Leopold. Their son, Mwaant Yav or Mwata Yamvo formed the central Lunda Kingdom there with a population of about 175,000 and became its ruler from 1660 to 1665. Before Imperialism Prior to the Imperialism in Africa, The Congo government was very powerful, especially between the 14th and 17th centuries. His title and name was passed to his descendants and successors as rulers of the kingdom. The Yeke Kingdom (or Garanganze Kingdom) in Katanga was short-lived, existing from about 1856 to 1891 under one king, Msiri, a Nyamwezi (also known as 'Yeke') from Tabora in Tanzania who got himself appointed as successor to a Wasanga chief west of the Luapula River by defeating the chief's Lunda enemies. The Kuba Kingdom, or more accurately, the Kuba Federation, was a political entity (one comprising a collection of approximately twenty Bantu ethnic groups) that began to develop out of a number of decentralized, ethnically Bantu states (namely the Luba, the Leele, and the Wongo ethnic groups). 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