This was replaced by a system in which one son in every family would have to serve in the military. The Belgian government lent him money for this venture. This made Tip a rival to Leopold II, and the Belgian king’s pretense of ending slavery in Africa made any negotiation awkward. (editor, 1967) ", Last edited on 10 November 2020, at 06:35, George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement, Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, Napoléon Victor Jérôme Frédéric Bonaparte, Grand Cross of the Order of Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Grand Cross of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Princess Sophie Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Countess Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg, Princess Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, "Belgium's genocidal colonial legacy haunts the country's future",, "Non, Léopold II n'est pas un génocidaire! Increasing social unrest and the rise of the Labour Party forced the adoption of universal male suffrage in 1893. ", "Dit zijn de organisatoren van de Belgische Black Lives Matter-betogingen", "Pourquoi les opposants à Léopold II continuent-ils à vandaliser les statues de l'ancien Roi ? Rubino was immediately arrested and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. [21]:225–233, Smallpox epidemics and sleeping sickness also devastated the disrupted population. [22] In 1868, when Isabella II was deposed as queen of Spain, Leopold tried to press his original plan to acquire the Philippines. He took an active interest in the senate, especially in matters concerning the development of Belgium and its trade,[11] and began to urge Belgium's acquisition of colonies. What happened then was shameful. [17]:136 He used explorer Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, an area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If we measured him against 21st century standards, it is likely that Leopold would be hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. It has been suggested that this section be. Whippings and mutilations continued for years in the Congo, with every penny in profit siphoned out until independence in 1971. Leopold went to great lengths to conceal potential evidence of wrongdoing during his time as ruler of his private colony. They slaughtered ivory-bearing elephants in massive hunts that saw hundreds or thousands of local beaters driving game past a raised platform occupied by European hunters armed with half a dozen rifles each. Hunters used this method, known as a battue, extensively in the Victorian Period, and was scalable such that it could empty a whole ecosystem of its large animals. Some historians argue against this figure, citing the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or African trypanosomiasis, and the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation. Wikimedia CommonsNsala of Wala contemplates the severed hand and foot of his five-year-old daughter in 1904. The king’s appalling system began to take its toll on a scale unheard of since the Mongol rampage across Asia. [39] The debate over Leopold's legacy was reignited in 1999 with the publication of King Leopold's Ghost by American historian Adam Hochschild,[39] which recounts Leopold's plan to acquire the colony, the exploitation, and the large death toll. He noted that the beginning of the Free State had been a time of some economic and social progress. Doyle contrasted Leopold's rule with British rule in Nigeria, arguing that decency required those who ruled primitive peoples to be concerned first with their uplift, not how much could be extracted from them. On 30 June, the 60th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's independence, King Philippe released a statement expressing his "deepest regret" for the wounds of the colonial past, and the "acts of violence and cruelty committed" in the Congo during colonisation[46] but did not explicitly mention Leopold's role in the atrocities. Discours prononcé par Léopold II, roi des Belges, en 1883, devant les missionnaires se rendant en Afrique, sujet d'entrainement au texte argumentatif, épreuve de français au bac. The perhaps 10 million people who disappeared in the colony during this time were most likely dead. [24], Although Leopold had initially planned for the expedition to carry on much farther than the Lado Enclave, hoping indeed to take Fashoda and then Khartoum,[25] Dhanis' column mutinied in February 1897, resulting in the death of several Belgian officers and the loss of his entire force. His first cousins included both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her husband Prince Albert, as well as King Fernando II of Portugal. Ó Síocháin, Séamas and Michael O’Sullivan, eds: Vanthemsche, Guy (2006) 'The historiography of Belgian colonialism in the Congo" in C Levai ed., Viaene, Vincent. Leopold extracted a fortune from the Congo, initially by the collection of ivory, and after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labour from the natives to harvest and process rubber. In 1885, various socialist and social democratic groups drew together and formed the Labour Party. [21]:123–124, In 1894, King Leopold signed a treaty with Great Britain which conceded a strip of land on the Congo Free State's eastern border in exchange for the Lado Enclave, which provided access to the navigable Nile and extended the Free State's sphere of influence northwards into Sudan. [7] The French Revolution of 1848 forced his maternal grand-father Louis Philippe to flee to the United Kingdom. He also built important country estates on the French Riviera, including the Villa des Cèdres and its botanical garden, and the Villa Leopolda. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorised his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants.[17]:122–124. Leopold in 1844, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Under the old system of Remplacement, the Belgian army was a combination of volunteers and a lottery, and it was possible for men to pay for substitutes for service. She and Leopold married secretly in a religious ceremony five days before his death. The activists were willing to give the hand back if a historically correct sign would be placed near the statue. After the failed regicide the security of the king was questioned, because the glass of the landaus was 2 cm thick. Owing to these gifts and the unofficial nature of their relationship, Caroline became deeply unpopular among the Belgian people and internationally. [22] In 1866, Leopold instructed the Belgian ambassador in Madrid to speak to Queen Isabella II of Spain about ceding the Philippines to Belgium. Their failure to perform a civil ceremony rendered the marriage invalid under Belgian law. The caption reads: A constitutional king. Congolese culture minister Christophe Muzungu decided to reinstate the statue in 2005. Leopold II (Dutch: Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor; French: Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor; German: Leopold Ludwig Philipp Maria Viktor; 9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was the second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 and, through his own efforts, the owner and absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908. He cites several recent lines of investigation, by anthropologist Jan Vansina and others, that examine local sources (police records, religious records, oral traditions, genealogies, personal diaries, and "many others"), which generally agree with the assessment of the 1919 Belgian government commission: roughly half the population perished during the Free State period. ", "Arlon: pétition et contre-pétition autour de Léopold II", "Brusselse meerderheid vraagt dekolonisering van openbare ruimte", "L'UMons retire un buste de Léopold II suite à une pétition", "Congo: Histoire blanche, voix noires, zones grises", "De schuld in de onschuld van een straatnaam", "Steeds meer protest in België tegen standbeelden Leopold II", "BEKIJK: Buste van Leopold II na 90 jaar weggehaald uit Zuidpark in Gent", "Statue de Léopold II déboulonnée à Auderghem : Ce n'est pas comme ça qu'on procède dans une démocratie", "Hoe Oostendse activisten met een afgehakte hand de puntjes op de i zetten", "Opnieuw beeld Leopold II besmeurd met verf", "Standbeeld Leopold II opnieuw beklad, nu naar aanleiding van dood George Floyd in Verenigde Staten", "Gent haalt beeld Leopold II weg: "Een dergelijk figuur kunnen we niet langer eren, "Stad zet Leopold II terug op zijn sokkel met boodschap: "Halle zwicht niet voor vandalen, "KU Leuven haalt borstbeeld van Leopold II weg", "Universiteit Bergen haalt standbeeld Leopold II weg",, Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für das Herzogthum Anhalt, Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Bayern, The Royal Tourist—Kalakaua's Letters Home from Tokio to London, "Agraciamentos Portugueses Aos Príncipes da Casa Saxe-Coburgo-Gota", "พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ที่ประเทศยุโรป (ต่อแผ่นที่ ๖ หน้า ๘๓)", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, "Towards a History of Mass Violence in the Etat Indépendant du Congo, 1885–1908", Official biography from the Belgian Royal Family website, Mass crimes against humanity in the Congo Free State, The Crime of the Congo, 1909, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,, "The Historical Origins of the Sanction of Imprisonment for Serious Crime", Newspaper clippings about Leopold II of Belgium,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The statue has been vandalised several times, including with red paint by. He died in prison in 1918. Among these were the right of workers to form labour unions and the abolition of the livret d'ouvrier, an employment record book. Leopold fervently believed that overseas colonies were the key to a country's greatness, and he worked tirelessly to acquire colonial territory for Belgium. [55][56], In early June 2020, a majority in the Brussels Parliament requested a committee to be set up to 'decolonise the public sphere' in the Brussels Capital Region. Leopold emphasized military defence as the basis of neutrality, and strove to make Belgium less vulnerable militarily. No single cause took them all. Under his regime millions of Congolese people died. Governors press-ganged huge numbers of native Congolese into agricultural labor; they forced an unknown number underground, where they worked to death in the mines. %�쏢 I was so moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that I took the liberty of promising them that in future you will only kill them for crimes they commit. After the king's death, it soon emerged that he had left Caroline a large fortune, which the Belgian government and Leopold's three estranged daughters tried to seize as rightfully theirs. The entire archive of the Congo Free State was burned and he told his aide that even though the Congo had been taken from him, "they have no right to know what I did there".[21]:294. [2][3][4] Colonial accounts placed much more stress on Leopold's modernizing changes in the Congo. [21] Leopold eventually began to acquire a colony as a private citizen. Senator Pol Van Den Driessche replied, "[A] great visionary? Leopold ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal gain. Re: Discours de roi Léopold II aux missionnaires se rendant en Afrique. In 1890, George Washington Williams coined the term "crimes against humanity" to describe the practices of Leopold II of Belgium's administration of the Congo Free State.

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