[Our Fake History] Episode #80- What Went Down in the Congo Free State? (Part I)

Episode #80- What Went Down in the Congo Free State? (Part I)

16/01/2019 by Sebastian Major

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=61963880
Episode: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/ourfakehistory/Episode_80-_What_Went_Down_in_the_Congo_Free_State-_pt_1.mp3?dest-id=367678

There are few colonial enterprises as infamous as the Belgian King Leopold II’s Congo Free State. While most people have a vague understanding of the atrocities that took place there, many don’t know the strange story of international fraud that led to the founding of the state. King Leopold successfully convinced the world that he was a great humanitarian and anti-slavery advocate, while he was secretly operating one of the planet’s most brutal slave states. In this episode we look at colonialism in the late 19th century and try and set the scene for one of the era’s most audacious cover-ups. Tune in and find out how murderous cyclops explorers, infamous poetry, and a guy who hates music in general all play a role in the story.

Listen Date: 2019-03-18

Notes:

Very little new, since this is mostly background and prelude to the actual setting up of the Congo Free State. We learn about the European scramble for Africa, and that Leopold II was a cold person, who was influenced by a book called Java: How to Manage a Colony. This book is available online, so I might read it to see how bonkers it is.

Along with this, we get an intro to how Henry Morton Stanley destroyed his diary rather than let actual facts get in the way of good press.

What lay between new and reminder – that Belgium had been set up as a country with a guarantee of protection from Great Britain (which I had read about in Simon Winder, I think) in exchange for neutrality; and that it had imported a king by asking a prince of Saxe-Coburg to take the job. Man, German princes seemed to get king jobs all the time.

 

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