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Encyclopedia > Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo

Belgian Colony Map of the Belgian colonial empire The Belgian colonial empire was the set of colonies of Belgium, lasting from 1901 to 1962. ...


1908 – 1960
Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Travail et Progres
(Work and Progress)
The Belgian Congo
Capital Léopoldville/Leopoldstad
Political structure Colony
Governor
 - 1908-1910 Baron Wahis
 - 1946-1951 Eugène Jacques Pierre Louis Jungers
 - 1958-1960 Henri Arthur Adolf Marie Christopher Cornelis
History
 - Established 15 November1908
 - Congolese independence 30 June1960

The Belgian Congo was the formal title of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between King Léopold II's formal relinquishment of personal control over the state to Belgium on 15 November 1908, to the dawn of Congolese independence on 30 June 1960. Flag Capital Boma Government Monarchy Ruler and owner Leopold II of Belgium Historical era New Imperialism  - Established 1885  - Annexation by Belgium 15 November, 1908 The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately owned by King Leopold II of Belgium (not in his role as monarch) that included the entire... Image File history File links Flag_of_Congo_Free_State. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Congo_Kinshasa_1960. ... Motto Justice – Paix – Travail(French) Justice – Peace – Work Anthem Debout Congolais Capital (and largest city) Kinshasaa Official languages French Government Semi-Presidential Republic  -  President Joseph Kabila  -  Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga Independence  -  from Belgium June 30, 1960  Area  -  Total 2,344,858 km² (12th) 905,351 sq mi   -  Water (%) 3. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Congo_Free_State. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Flag ratio: 2:3, since 2006. ... Many countries choose to include the national motto in the coat of arms. ... Download high resolution version (1357x628, 21 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This is a list of national capitals of the world in alphabetical order. ... Kinshasa (formerly Léopoldville or, before 1960, also Leopoldstad) is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ... States by their systems of government as of April 2006. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Governor (disambiguation). ... Eugène Jungers takes time to smell the flowers Eugène Jacques Pierre Louis Jungers (b. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Combatants Congo  UN troops Katanga  Belgium Mercenaries The Congo Crisis (1960-1965) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... King Leopold II Leopold II, King of the Belgians (Louis Philippe Marie Victor) (April 9, 1835–December 17, 1909), succeeded his father, Leopold I of Belgium, to the Belgian throne in 1865 and remained king until his death. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Combatants Congo  UN troops Katanga  Belgium Mercenaries The Congo Crisis (1960-1965) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ...

Contents

1908-1950s

Léopold gave over his personal property, the Congo Free State, mainly due to international outrage over the brutality of his reign. Annexation to Belgium was accomplished by means of the Treaty of November 15, 1908, approved by the Belgian Parliament in August and by the King in October of the following year. The colony was administered by a governor-general at Boma, assisted by several vice governors-general. In Brussels, there was a colonial minister, who presided over the Colonial Council of 14 members, of whom 8 were appointed by the King and 3 chosen by the Senate and 3 by the Chamber of Deputies (lower chamber). The colony was divided into 15 administrative districts. The colonial budget was voted annually by the Belgian Parliament. Flag Capital Boma Government Monarchy Ruler and owner Leopold II of Belgium Historical era New Imperialism  - Established 1885  - Annexation by Belgium 15 November, 1908 The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately owned by King Leopold II of Belgium (not in his role as monarch) that included the entire... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Belgian Federal Parliament is a bicameral parliament. ... The port town of Boma (1984 pop. ... Nickname: The Capital Of Europe, Comic City City of a 100 Museums[] Map showing the location of Brussels in Belgium Coordinates: Country Belgium Region Brussels-Capital Region Founded 979 Founded (Region) June 18, 1989  - Mayor (Municipality) Freddy Thielemans Area    - City 162 (Region) km²  (62. ... The Belgian Senate (Dutch: de Senaat, French: le Sénat) is one of the two chambers of the Belgian Federal Parliament. ... Chamber of Deputies is the name given to a legislative body, which may either be the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or the name of a unicameral one. ...


When the Belgian Government took over the Congolese Administration from King Leopold II, the situation in the Congo improved dramatically. Economic and social changes transformed the Congo into a "model colony". Primary and high schools were built as well as hospitals, and many Congolese had access to them. Even the ethnic languages were taught at school, a rare occurrence in colonial education. Doctors and medics achieved great victories against the sleeping disease (they managed to eradicate the disease). There was a medic post in every village, and in bigger cities, people had access to well equipped hospitals. The Administration continued with the economic reforms with the construction of railways, ports, roads, mines, plantations, industrial areas, etc. In the 1950s, life expectancy was around 55 years (today it is 51). At the time, the Congo's gross national product was the highest in Africa.


But the Belgian administration has been characterized as paternalistic colonialism. The educational system was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church and, in some rare cases, Protestant churches, and the curricula reflected Christian and Western values. For example, in 1948, fully 99.6% of educational facilities were controlled by Christian missions. Native schooling was mainly religious and vocational. Children learned how to write and read, and some mathematics, but that was all. Image of traditional cultural paternalism: Father Junipero Serra in a modern portrayal at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California Paternalism refers usually to an attitude or a policy stemming from the hierarchic pattern of a family based on patriarchy, that is, there is a figurehead (the father, pater in Latin) that... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...


Political administration fell under the total and direct control of the mother country; there were no democratic institutions. The head of the state remained the King of the Belgians (who, already at the time, no longer had any political influence). The Belgian government controlled the country, but day-to-day operations were carried out by the governor general (see Colonial heads of Congo), who was appointed as a colonial administrator by the government. The royal palace in Brussels Successive Belgian kings are Leopold I (1831-1865) Leopold II (1865-1909) Albert I (1909-1934) Leopold III (1934-1951) abdicated Prince Charles of Belgium (1944-1950) Prince Regent Baudouin I (1951-1993) Albert II (1993- ) None of these were King of Belgium: their title... A Governor-General (in Canada always, and frequently in India prior to the abolition of the last monarchy, Governor General) is most generally a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above ordinary governors [1]. The most common contemporary usage of the term is to refer to the... List of Colonial Heads of Congo For continuation, see: Presidents of the Republic of the Congo ...


Together with the paternalistic point-of-view of the Belgians, there was a kind of "Apartheid", as curfews for natives and other such restrictions were commonplace.


In 1952, Governor-General Léon Antoine Marie Petillon wrote to the Secretary of Colonies, saying that that if nothing was done to ameliorate the situation in the Congo, Belgium would lose its richest colony. He wanted to give the native people more civil rights, even suffrage. The Belgian government was against this proposal, saying that "it would only destabilise the region". In Belgium, some progressive members of Parliament wanted to incorporate the Congo into the Belgian Kingdom. Native Congolese people would thus be Belgian citizens, and would therefore have full political rights.


However, Belgium was not very interested in its colony, as the government never had a strategic long-term vision about the Congo. Nevertheless, there were some internal political changes, but these were complicated by ethnic rivalries among the native population.


The Belgian Congo was one of the major exporters of uranium to the United States during World War II and the Cold War, particularly from the Shinkolobwe mine. General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Shinkolobwe mine Shinkolobwe is the name of a town and a mine in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located near the larger town of Likasi. ...


The rise of nationalism

History of DR Congo
Flag of Zaire (1971–1997) Flag of Congo Kinshasa (1963–1966)
Flag of Congo Kinshasa (1997–2006) Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (since 2006)
v  d  e

The seeds of Congo's post-independence woes were sown in the emergence in the 1950s of two markedly different forms of nationalism. The nationalist movement — which the Belgian authorities, to some degree, turned a blind eye to — promoted territorial nationalism wherein the Belgian Congo would become one politically united state after independence. In opposition to this was the ethno-religious and regional nationalism that took hold in the Bakongo territories of the west coast, Kasaï, and Katanga. Early history Migration & states Colonization Stanley (1867–1885) Congo Free State Leopold II (1885–1908) Belgian Congo (1908–1960) Congo Crisis First Republic (1960–1965) Zaire Mobutu regime (1965–1996) First Congo War Kabilas rise (1996–1998) Second Congo War Africas Great War (1998–2003) Transitional government Towards... Image File history File links Flag_of_Zaire. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Congo_Kinshasa_1963. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Congo_Kinshasa_1997. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo. ... Early Congolese History starts with waves of Bantu migrations from 2000 BC to 500 AD moving into the area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ... Early history Migration & states Colonization Stanley (1867–1885) Congo Free State Leopold II (1885–1908) Belgian Congo (1908–1960) Congo Crisis First Republic (1960–1965) Zaire Mobutu regime (1965–1996) First Congo War Kabilas rise (1996–1998) Second Congo War Africas Great War (1998–2003) Transitional government Towards... Flag Capital Boma Government Monarchy Ruler and owner Leopold II of Belgium Historical era New Imperialism  - Established 1885  - Annexation by Belgium 15 November, 1908 The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately owned by King Leopold II of Belgium (not in his role as monarch) that included the entire... Combatants Congo  UN troops Katanga  Belgium Mercenaries The Congo Crisis (1960-1965) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. ... Combatants AFDL, Uganda, Rwanda Zaire Commanders Laurent-Désiré Kabila Mobutu Sésé Seko Casualties Civilians killed: 200,000+ The First Congo War was a conflict from late 1996 to 1997 in which Zairean President Mobutu Sésé Seko was overthrown by rebel forces backed by foreign powers such as... Combatants Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Mai-Mai, Hutu-aligned forces Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Movement for the Liberation of Congo Congolese Rally for Democracy Tutsi-aligned forces Commanders Laurent-Désiré Kabila (Congo), Joseph Kabila (Congo), Sam Nujoma Robert Mugabe José Eduardo dos Santos Idriss D... Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Stub: In 2001 President Luarent Kabila was assasinated and his son Joseph Kabila was named head of state. ... The Bakongo people (aka. ... Kasai may be Kasai, Hyogo in Japan the Kasai River in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, now divided into eastern and western districts This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might... Country Democratic Republic of the Congo Capital Lubumbashi Largest city Lubumbashi National language Swahili, Tshiluba Land area¹ 496. ...


In the early 1950s, these emerging nationalist movements put Belgium under increasing pressure to transform the Belgian Congo into a self-governing state. Belgium had ratified article 73 of the United Nations Charter, which advocated self-determination, and both superpowers put pressure on Belgium to reform their Congo policy. The Belgian government's response was largely dismissive. However, Belgian professor Antoine van Bilsen, in 1955, published a treatise called Thirty Year Plan for the Political Emancipation of Belgian Africa. The timetable called for gradual emancipation of the Congo over a thirty-year period — the time Van Bilsen expected it would take to create an educated elite who could replace the Belgians in positions of power. The Belgian government and many of the évolués were suspicious of the plan — the former because it meant eventually giving up the Congo, and the latter because Belgium would still be ruling Congo for another 3 decades. A group of Catholic évolués responded positively to the plan with a manifesto in a Congolese journal called Conscience Africaine, with their only point of disagreement being the amount of native Congolese participation. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Antoine Van Bilsen proposed a thirty-year plan for creating an Independent Congo (1955). ...


ABAKO

The Mouvement National Congolais

Parallel to this was genesis of the Mouvement National Congolais (which was technically formed in 1956). The MNC was led by charismatic future prime minister Patrice Lumumba and supported the idea of complete unity for the Congo territory upon its independence. The party spread quickly after its formation to at least 4 provinces (there were six at the time). In 1959, an internal split was precipitated by Joseph Kalonji and other MNC leaders who favored a more moderate political stance (the splinter group was deemed Mouvement National Congolais-Kalonji. Despite the organizational divergence of the party, Lumbumba's leftist faction (now the Mouvement National Congolais-Lumumba) and the MNC collectively had established themselves as by far the most important and influential party in the Belgian Congo. Belgium vehemently opposed Lumumba's leftist views and had grave concerns about the status of their financial interests should Lumumba's MNC gain power. However, the MNC gained a clear majority in the Congo's first independent elections and forced Belgium to acknowledge Lumumba as Prime Minister. The Mouvement National Congolais (English: Congolese National Movement, MNC) is a pro-independence group that emerged in the colonized Belgian Congo. ... Patrice Lumumba as the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1960 Patrice Émery Lumumba (2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) was an African anti-colonial leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo after he helped to win its independence... The Mouvement National Congolais-Kalonji was Congolese political party and splinter group of the Mouvement National Congolais, with whom it cut ties in 1959. ... The Congolese National Movement-Lumumba (French: Mouvement National Congolais/ Lumumba) is a political party in Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...


1959 and 1960: accelerating towards independence

Following the Léopoldville riots in march 1959 and Kasavubu's encarceration, 1959 initially saw the legalization of all Congolese political parties, followed by general elections throughout the Congo. The electoral activity resulted in all kinds of maneuvers by Congolese parties from which three political alliances emerged: a coalition of the federalistic nationalists of which consisted of six separatist parties or organizations, two of which were ABAKO and the MNC - Kalonji, the MNC-Lumumba, and finally that of the strong-man of Katanga, Moïse Tshombe, conscious of the economic vitality of its area and the business interests of the Mining Union (just like Kalonji with respect to the diamond exploitations in Kasaï). In 1960, the Round Table of Brussels was convened and occurred between January 20 and February 20. Congolese representatives and Belgians set the stage for nationwide elections later in the year. In May took place the legislative and provincial elections which marked new cleavages and alliances (the high vote-count for ABAKO) from which a compromise resulted: Joseph Kasavubu was elected President by the Parliament, Lumumba being a Prime Minister. The Mouvement National Congolais-Kalonji was Congolese political party and splinter group of the Mouvement National Congolais, with whom it cut ties in 1959. ... The Congolese National Movement-Lumumba (French: Mouvement National Congolais/ Lumumba) is a political party in Democratic Republic of the Congo. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Joseph Kasa Vubu (c. ...

The New International Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia first published in the 1910s. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

Governors-general

  • Baron Wahis (1908-1912)
  • Felix Alexandre Fuch (1912–16)
  • Eugene Joseph Marie Henry (1916–21)
  • Maurice Eugene Auguste Lippens (1921–23)
  • Martin Joseph Marie René Rutten (1923–27)
  • Auguste Constant Tilkens (1927–34)
  • Pierre Marie Joseph Ryckmans (1934–46)
  • Eugène Jacques Pierre Louis Jungers (1946–51)
  • Léon Antoine Marie Petillon (1951–58)
  • Henri Arthur Adolf Marie Christopher Cornelis (1958–60)

Eugène Jungers takes time to smell the flowers Eugène Jacques Pierre Louis Jungers (b. ...

See also

English-edition cover Tintin in the Congo (Tintin au Congo) is one of a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. ... The Force Publique (FP) was the official armed force for what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1885 (when the territory was known as the Congo Free State) until the beginning of the Second Republic in 1965. ...

References

[1]


  Results from FactBites:
 
HistoryWiz: The Belgian Congo (139 words)
The result of international pressure was that Leopold's Congo Free State became the Belgian Congo, a colony administered by the government of Belgium.
The Belgian Congo now operated much like the other African colonies.
However, there continued to be abuses of imperialism in the Congo as in all African colonies.
The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Conan Doyle and the Belgian Congo (642 words)
Leopold II ascended to the throne of Belgium in 1865 at the age of 30.
The movement was formed to aid the people of the Congo by drawing attention to their plight.
Because of the Congo reform movement Leopold was forced turn administration of the Congo over to the Belgian government in 1908.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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