Monsieur le Président,

L’indépendance du Congo constitue l’aboutissement de l’œuvre conçue par le génie du roi Léopold II, entreprise par lui avec un courage tenace et continuée avec persévérance par la Belgique. Elle marque une heure dans les destinées, non seulement du Congo lui-même, mais, je n’hésite pas à l’affirmer, de l’Afrique toute entière.

Pendant 80 ans la Belgique a envoyé sur votre sol les meilleurs de ses fils, d’abord pour délivrer le bassin du Congo de l’odieux trafic esclavagiste qui décimait ses populations, ensuite pour rapprocher les unes des autres les ethnies qui jadis ennemies s’apprêtent à constituer…

Mijnheer de president,

De onafhankelijkheid van Congo is het eindresultaat van het werk dat is ingezet met de uitzonderlijke persoonlijkheid van koning Leopold II, en dat hij aanpakte met vastberaden moed en dat met volharding is voorgezet door België.

Zij betekent een beslissend moment in de bestemming, niet alleen van Congo zelf, maar ik aarzel niet om het te zeggen, van heel Afrika. Gedurende 80 jaar heeft België de beste van zijn zonen naar uw land gestuurd, eerst om het Congobekken te bevrijden van de afschuwelijke slavenhandel die uw bevolkingen uitdunde, later om de verschillende volkeren — die vroeger…

King Baudouin

Mr president,

The independence of Congo is the end result of the work started with the exceptional personality of King Leopold II, which he tackled with determined courage and which has been continued with persistence by Belgium.

It represents a defining moment in the destination, not only of Congo itself, but I have no hesitation in saying it, of all of Africa. For 80 years, Belgium has sent the best of its sons to your country, first to liberate the Congo Basin from the horrible slave trade that thinned out your populations, later to bring the different peoples —…

Patrice Lumumba

Brussels, February 25, 1960.

Congolese Politics and Lumumba’s Views on the Future of the Congo

Patrice Lumumba arrived about a half an hour late for the appointment (which had been postponed twice before), having left a meeting in the Congo Minister’s office for the purpose. From the financial point of view, it is worth noting that Lumumba kept a taxi waiting in front of the Embassy for the forty minutes or so which was covered by our conversation.

Personally, Lumumba gave much the same impression in private conversation as he has in public appearances — a highly articulate, sophisticated, subtle and unprincipled intelligence. He seemed reasonably well aware of what his…

Congo Museum, at Tervuren (Royal Museum for Central Africa)

Ladies, Gentlemen: The minister for the colonies has just rendered a just and solemn homage to the illustrious founder of the Congo, King Leopold II.

It is a duty for all of us, gentlemen, to associate ourselves entirely to these words of patriotic gratitude. The colonial museum that we are now inaugurating was a happy conception of the late King. He wanted it worthy of the task he had undertaken. …

King Leopold II of Belgium

Brussels, December 7, 1907.

Sir: I have the honor to report that the treaty signed on November 28 by the representatives of the Government of Belgium and, on the other hand, by the representatives of the Independent State of the Congo was on December 3 laid before the Belgian House of Representatives, and was immediately referred by it to the special committee of seventeen, with instructions to examine the same in connection with the colonial law which this committee is now framing for submission to Parliament.

I inclose herewith three copies of a pamphlet containing the “Exposé des Motifs “of…

Map of the Congo Free State, showing the voyage of discovery, state posts, Catholic and Protestant missions and various Dutch, American, British, French, Portugese, Belgian and Arab trading settlements.

In compliance with my instructions, I had the honor to report fully to the Department on the 25th of April, 1885 upon the present and prospective commerce of the Lower Congo and the west coast of Africa, and now, begging reference thereto, I have the honor to continue as follows:

I was interested the other day in making a curious calculation, which was, supposing that all the inhabitants of the Congo basin were simply to have one Sunday dress each, how many yards of Manchester cloth would be required, and the amazing number was 320,000,000 yards, just for one Sunday dress.

Proceeding still further with these figures, I found that two Sunday dresses and four everyday dresses would in one year amount to 3,840,000,000 yards, which, at 2d. per yard, would be of the value of £16,000,000.

The more I pondered upon these things, I discovered that I could not…

Professor Bruce Gilley

Ik reageer op wetenschappelijke kritieken op mijn artikel ‘Pleidooi voor Kolonialisme’ uit 2017. Ik merk dat mijn critici mijn artikel meestal verkeerd hebben gelezen, citaten gebruikten die ze niet hadden gelezen of begrepen, zich niet aan basis sociaal-wetenschappelijke principes hielden en hun eigen interpretaties aan gegevens oplegden zonder de mogelijkheid van alternatieven op te merken. Ik merk op dat het niet naleven van academische normen, de belangrijkste aanklacht tegen mijn publicatie, wijdverbreid is onder degenen die dergelijke aanklachten hebben ingediend.

Het gebruik van hun kritieken om mij als geleerde professionele boetes en straffen op te leggen, getuigt van de fundamentele…

Professor Bruce Gilley

I respond to scholarly critiques of my 2017 article “The Case for Colonialism.” I find that my critics mostly misread my article, used citations they had not read or understood, failed to adhere to basic social scientific principles, and imposed their own interpretations on data without noting the possibility of alternatives. I note that a failure to adhere to academic standards, the main charge levelled against my paper, is rife among those who have levelled such charges.

The use of their critiques to impose professional penalties and punishments on me as a scholar bespeaks the fundamental problems of ideological monoculture…

Belgian Congo

Historical content from Belgium, King Leopold II, The Congo Free State, The Belgian Congo, Belgian Ruanda-Urundi and the Congo Crisis.

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