Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Leopold (of Belgium) II - Private colonialism, Leopold and the Belgians, Writings about Leopold, Miscellaneous

congo king

King of Belgium (1865–1909), born in Brussels, Belgium, the eldest son of Leopold I. He married Maria Henrietta, daughter of the Austrian Archduke Joseph in 1853. In 1885 he became king of the newly-independent Congo Free State, which became a Belgian colony in 1908. He proceeded to amass great personal wealth from its rubber and ivory trade at enormous cost of Congolese lives. His mistreatment of the Congo native population became an international scandal (1904), and he was forced (1908) to hand over the territory to his parliament. He strengthened his country by military reforms, and under him Belgium developed commercially and industrially.

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or