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The Sky Buffalo

United States

I am a student at BART Charter Public School; my first competition is based on the book King Leopold's Ghost.

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I would like to know what I can do better, what I can add, grammar mistakes, and missing information.

Hayden Daugherty - The Rubber Imperialist

May 12, 2014

Imperialism, the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. ("Imperialism.", n.d. Web. 11 May 2014.) In his book, King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild describes the brutal plunder of the Congo by the Belgian king, Leopold II. Hochschild brings to life the horrors of Imperialism and this specific time period through a careful depiction of historical figures and events. Hochschild relates the story of the author Joseph Conrad who went to the Congo and “was so horrified by the greed and brutality among white men he saw there, that his view of human nature was permanently changed.” King Leopold was the rubber Imperialist, scavenging the congo for the material, mistreating and abusing the citizens, and doing it all secretly, other countries to be oblivious to his actions. This book opened my mind to the events that occurred in the Congo, and what King Leopold and many other of his advisories, such as Stanley and Williams, have done. From a personal perspective, Imperialism is similar to Nazism, the concurring of a country, taking over the rights and the will of the citizens, and doing what one pleases, in an area that is not occupied by themselves. In Joseph Conrad's, Heart of Darkness, in a section of the beginning of the book, he speaks of a group of black males walking, roped and tied, chained together in forced formation. He could see the bones and joints of the slaves, being led by a single white man with a rifle. This is an example of imperialism. A white man is controlling a group of people that were found in their own homes and without their consent. Back to King Leopold and the tyranny he ensued. He commanded many of his troops to head into the Congo and scout out the area; African's were taking as slaves, and if they fought back, were killed. The white men asked to do the work, were told they could do anything they wanted to do to the African's, as long as King Leopold got the resources he wanted, which after conquering the Congo, was rubber. His troops forced Africans to acquire the sap needed to produce rubber, and the troops would do whatever pleased them to the African's, most notably cutting off hands, whipping Adults, Women, Children whenever, and wherever they wanted. It was pure slavery, cruelty, abolishment, eradication. It was the destruction of a society located in the middle of Africa, in the Congo. Leopold, along with all the other European rulers who wanted a slice of "Magnificent Cake", as described in King Leopold's Ghost, were awful, terrible people, taking over what they please, not considering the safety and wellbeing of the natives. They were imperialists.

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