Congo not-so-free State

In the 1880s, the infamous Belgian King Leopold II (1835-1909) established the Congo Free State, which was more than 70 times larger than Belgium itself. Through a series of legal tricks, the Congo Free State became his property. He had no obligation whatsoever to report anything to his fellow Belgian people. It is estimated that more than 10 million Congolese were slaughtered while ivory, rubber and other goods were extracted from the country. These exports would make Leopold and his associates extremely wealthy. Unlike many madmen in history, Leopold II eventually received a payback for his unscrupulous behaviour. In 1908, he was forced to turn the Congo into a legitimate colony. When he died in 1909, people went to his funeral and kept booing until it was over.

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