There is a broad consensus among those who are concerned with Africa that the plight of the continent is approaching the catastrophic. Partly the roots of the problem are historical, stemming from the exploitation and colonisation of the continent by European powers. An appreciation of the history of the relationship between Europe and Africa, a major episode of which this book examines, is indispensable to an understanding of the continent's present predicament. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries King Leopold II of the Belgians established a colony in Africa, which, as the Congo Free State, became a byword for unremitting exploitation and widespread atrocities. This book describes the creation, the development and the collapse both of this regime and of the Belgian colony that replaced it. Conclusions are drawn about the nature of European colonialism in Africa and the consequences for Europe itself.

chapter |7 pages


part One|21 pages

Antecedents: Belgium and Africa

chapter Two|9 pages

Europe and Africa

part Two|43 pages


chapter Three|6 pages

Cameron’s Journey Across Africa

chapter Four|8 pages

The Brussels Geographical Conference

chapter Five|8 pages

Henry Morton Stanley

chapter Six|7 pages

The Comité d’Etudes du Haut-Congo

chapter Seven|12 pages

Stanley and de Brazza

part Three|34 pages


chapter Eight|7 pages

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty

chapter Nine|11 pages

The Campaign for Recognition

chapter Ten|8 pages

The Berlin West Africa Conference

chapter Eleven|6 pages

The Creation of the Free State

part Four|45 pages


chapter Twelve|11 pages

The Early Years

chapter Fourteen|8 pages

Katanga and the Arabs

chapter Fifteen|12 pages

The Drive to the Nile 2: Leopold’s ‘Fashoda’

part Five|18 pages


chapter Sixteen|9 pages

The Domainal System

chapter Seventeen|7 pages

The Initial Belgian Takeover Bids

part Six|60 pages


chapter Eighteen|10 pages

The Storm Gathers

chapter Nineteen|8 pages

E. D. Morel

chapter Twenty|9 pages

The Casement Report

chapter Twenty-One|9 pages

The Losing Battle

chapter Twenty-Two|9 pages

The Belgian Enquiry

chapter Twenty-Three|13 pages

The End Game

part Seven|21 pages


chapter Twenty-Four|11 pages

Belgian Colonialism

chapter Twenty-Five|8 pages

Africa’s Legacy