Colonization of the Congo was due to the European colonization of the Congo region of tropical Africa and was the last to be colonized.
The belgian exploration lead by Sir Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium took place from the 1870’s until the 1920’s. Leopold got the rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land private property.The private property was named the Congo Free State. The Congolese were enslaved while the land in the Congo was transferred into King’s Association Internationale du Congo, a company disguised as a philanthropic organization. Leopold administered the Congo in a notoriously brutal manner, using it to augment his own personal wealth. The institution ran by King Leopold became highly extractive towards the citizens since Leopold ran the colony simpy for profit rather than bettering the lives of the congolese people. The King began various infrastructure projects when colonizing the congo such as the railway that ran from the coast to the capital now known as Kinshasa. Majority of these projects were done in hopes of increasing the amount of assets they could extract from the country and making extraction easier through bettering transportation.An example of a resource highly sought for was rubber. The production of rubber by the locals grew an international market by spreading production of automobiles and development of rubber tires. Leopold’s army burned, took, tortured,raped and murdered villagers. The soldiers were armed with modern weapons and torture devices such as whips which left the congolese helpless.The ruling of King Leopold the II of Belgium came to an end in 1908 when the Belgian government took over the Free state due to pressure by the United Kingdom. It was that same year that the Belgian Parliament voted in favour of making the Congo a Belgian colony. The raston from a Congo Free state to Belgian Congo was a step in the right direction but it did have its fair share of continuity. The previous governor general of the congo free state, Baron Theophile Wahis remained in office alongside majority of Leopold’s administration. The natural and minerals riches remained the main motive for colonial expansion however the Belgian Government had other motives as well such as healthcare and basic education, which brought to light the importance of such institutions. The Congolese people remained being mistreated by the Belgians for their resources but the Belgians did put in place institutions such as primary school. It wasn’t till June 30th 1960 when the Congo gained independence finally being named The Democratic Republic of the Congo.