The Atlantic Slave Trade had horrific social impacts on the African continent, as millions of African people were kidnapped throughout the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries and forced to work in grueling, torturous, and deadly conditions across North and South America under European colonialism. The destabilization of the continent that resulted from the slave trade led for easier invasion of Africa by European armies. After the Atlantic Slave Trade died down in the mid–late 1800s (though technically abolished in 1807, the slave trade continued for decades after), European countries colonized and controlled African nations and territories. For example, the Belgian military and hired mercenaries, under King Leopold II, invaded the Congo of Africa in the 1880s and forcibly established the Congo Free State, which resulted in the deaths of roughly 10 million African people under the brutal regime of Leopold II. Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain all participated in the ensuing "Scramble for Africa" that resulted in millions of deaths, growing slavery within Africa under imperialist rule, mass suffering, displacement, and land theft. Many tribes and nations chose to resist, and while some were successful, most fell under the catastrophic European weaponry and masses of armies. By the 21st century, the slave trade and following century of imperialist rule has resulted in massive suffering, disempowerment, and European/US-rooted dictatorships across the continent of Africa, even after technical decolonization.