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King Leopold's Congo and the "Scramble for Africa"

King Leopold's Congo and the "Scramble for Africa"

A Short History with Documents

Michael A. Rutz

March 2018 - 136 pp.
Series: Passages: Key Moments in History

Format ISBN Price Qty
Cloth (no dust jacket) 978-1-62466-657-5
$54.00
Paper 978-1-62466-656-8
$18.00
Examination 978-1-62466-656-8
$3.00

Quick Overview

Series: Passages: Key Moments in History


 "King Leopold of Belgium's exploits up the Congo River in the 1880s were central to the European partitioning of the African continent. The Congo Free State, Leopold’s private colony, was a unique political construct that opened the door to the savage exploitation of the Congo's natural and human resources by international corporations. The resulting ‘red rubber’ scandal—which laid bare a fundamental contradiction between the European propagation of free labor and ‘civilization’ and colonial governments’ acceptance of violence and coercion for productivity’s sake—haunted all imperial powers in Africa. Featuring a clever introduction and judicious collection of documents, Michael Rutz’s book neatly captures the drama of one king’s quest to build an empire in Central Africa—a quest that began in the name of anti-slavery and free trade and ended in the brutal exploitation of human lives. This volume is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the history of colonial rule in Africa." —Jelmer Vos, University of Glasgow

OR

An eBook edition is available for $15.50, click here for more information and purchasing options. Ebook examination copies are also available to qualified course instructors.


"King Leopold of Belgium's exploits up the Congo River in the 1880s were central to the European partitioning of the African continent. The Congo Free State, Leopold’s private colony, was a unique political construct that opened the door to the savage exploitation of the Congo's natural and human resources by international corporations. The resulting ‘red rubber’ scandal—which laid bare a fundamental contradiction between the European propagation of free labor and ‘civilization’ and colonial governments’ acceptance of violence and coercion for productivity’s sake—haunted all imperial powers in Africa.
     "Featuring a clever introduction and judicious collection of documents, Michael Rutz’s book neatly captures the drama of one king’s quest to build an empire in Central Africa—a quest that began in the name of anti-slavery and free trade and ended in the brutal exploitation of human lives. This volume is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the history of colonial rule in Africa."
     —Jelmer Vos, University of Glasgow

"Rutz has assembled an excellent collection of excerpts from contemporary sources for the history of King Leopold of Belgium’s Congo Free State. The collection includes key documents and the familiar voices of the Free State’s European and American critics, as well as much less well-known African voices. These sources will be very useful to understanding the history of one of the most egregious and notorious regimes in colonial Africa."
     —David Northrup, Emeritus, Boston College

 

About the Author:

Michael Rutz is Professor of History, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.