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King Leopold II

             King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild is a story of the brutal colonial regime in Congo under King Leopold II of a small European country, Belgium. Not only does the author Hochschild succeeds to tell the story of the King Leopold like a novel, but also he deflates the hero status of people like Henry Morton Stanley, Edmund D. Morel, William Sheppard, and Roger Casement. Surprisingly, King Leopold II of Belgium is not much remembered today outside his home country despite of his brutalism in his small colony, Congo. However, his reign in the Congo was so vicious that even the other colonial powers of the day such as Great Britain, France, and the United Sates had to condemn him. .
             King Leopold II, born in 1835, was a greedy man who was never satisfied with his small infant country, comparable size of its Maryland in the U.S., which had just got independence in 1830. With small size of country with parliamentary democracy limiting his personal power, he started searching for something from his early reign, which might boost his wealth and power. He felt that by owning more than just his small country, that he would somehow be validated as a King. During the nineteenth century, European drive and desire for possessions in African and Asia reached its peak. People tend to justify colonialism in various ways, claiming that it Christianized the heathen or civilized the savage races or brought everyone the miraculous benefits of free trade. (p38) Although Leopold had this justification in Congo, he had another main justification, ending "Arab-Slave" trade in the region. How irony is this justification for he was the main one who brought the miserable life to the Congolese, far worse than another other slave form? However, it is obvious that colonies existed for one purpose: to make him and his country rich (p38) .
             There was an important figure helped King's dream come true.

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