King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Questions and Answers
by Adam Hochschild

Start Your Free Trial

What influence did the issue of slavery have on the history of the Congo?

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In reference to the work in question, the issue of slavery reflected much about the history of Africa as well as its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly "the West."  Leopold's exploitation of the Congo reflected much in terms of how the nations of Europe and North America viewed Africa.  Rather than respecting any notion of sovereignty and autonomy, these nations used Africa as a source of wealth in both commodities and human flesh.  The idea of being able to engineer trading missions where human beings were exchanged for goods and services gave rise to the first instances of human trafficking.  The relationship between Europe and North America and Africa reflected another level of cruelty.  While acting in the name of humanitarianism and philanthropy, individuals in the position of power in these nations were engaging in the most horrific of offenses in Africa and other nations, where spotlights and publicity faded.  The issue of slavery in Africa was a silent issue for a great deal of time as abuses were perpetrated and little semblance of justice established.  This reality placed a large shadow over the history of nations in the Congo and around Africa and other nations which were populated by people of color, as they and their concerns were pushed to the margins and away from central discourses.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial