Summary for Leopold Mock Trial
Leopold II of Belgium was the second king of Belgium. During the Berlin Conference, he took the area of the Congo for himself. However, he had actually tried to get the Philippines first (to profit from), but as that turned out unsuccessful, he decided to go for the Congo. He said he needed to finance development projects, so he got loans from the Belgian government. Leopold claimed he was protecting the natives from Arab traders. He used the cover that it was his job to protect the natives and “bring civilization to central Africa.” He also used the cover that he was introducing them to Christianity. King Leopold sent Henry Morton Stanley, an explorer, to the Congo to explore there and get a lay of the land. Afterward, he signed treaties and agreements with over 450 tribes and their leaders for the land but soon asserted authority over them. Using Christianity as a way to make the rest of the world believe he was doing a good thing, King Leopold went in and exploited the resources and the people of the Congo.
Leopold also made an army called the Force Publique. At the top of the ladder were European officials. To them, this meant getting experience and helping the less fortunate. The ranks and soldiers in the Force Publique were the Congolese people. They were coerced into helping the Europeans make sure the other Congolese people filled their rubber quotas. What King Leopold made the Congolese people do was fill out quotas. He exploited them. He’d use them to get rubber and ivory and other resources abundantly found in the Congo area. In other words, he was torturing them. People from young children to adults all had to help fill this quota. King Leopold profited off of them all. He used these profits to buy things for his teenage mistress. A place that the Force Publique took over was Katanga. It was rich in minerals. But Katanga’s tribe fell after their leader was shot...