• Leopald II

    He is given the title the Duke of the Brabant
  • Leopald II

    He is promoted to lieutenant -general and serves as honorary commander of his regiment.
  • Traveling

    Leopald becomes the most widely travelled of the Europeans monarch, spending the first half of the 1860s abroad.
  • Conference

    Léopold sponsors an international geographical conference in Brussels where he proposes the establishment of an international benevolent committee for the "propagation of civilisation among the peoples of the Congo region by means of scientific exploration, legal trade and war against the 'Arabic' slave traders."
  • Committee

    Léopold sets up the Comité d'Études du Haut Congo (CEHC), an "international commercial, scientific and humanitarian committee", and commissions Henry Morton Stanley to further explore the Congo. However, Stanley's real mission will be to establish Belgian sovereignty along the river's south bank and monopoly control over the Congo rubber and ivory trade.
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    Conference of Berlin

    In November 14 European nations (Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey) and the US meet at the Conference of Berlin, called to carve up central Africa among them. The Conference of Berlin concludes in February. France is given 670,000 square kilometres on the north bank of the Congo (modern Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic) and Portugal 910,000 square kilometres to the south (modern
  • Conference of Brussel

    After 33 sessions the Conference of Brussels concludes on 2 July with the participants declaring they are "animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the crimes and devastation engendered by the traffic in African slaves, of protecting effectually the aboriginal populations of Africa, and of insuring for the vast continent the benefits of peace and civilisation."
  • Conference of Brussel (cont.)

    The general act ratified by the conference includes an article binding the signatories to "support and, if necessary, to serve as a refuge for the native populations; ... to diminish intertribal wars by means of arbitration; ... to raise them by civilisation and bring about the extinction of barbarous customs, such as cannibalism and human sacrifices; and, in giving aid to commercial enterprises, to watch over their legality, controlling especially the contracts for service entered into with nat
  • Heart of Darkness

    1899 - Joseph Conrad publishes his novel 'Heart of Darkness', which is based on his experiences as a merchant seaman on the Congo River in 1890.
  • Uprisings

    When the Congolese start to refuse to work under the prevailing conditions Léopold's agents begin to pay chiefs to supply "volunteer" workers. Slaves are also appropriated from Arab traders. Resistance to Léopold's rule again mounts and is again crushed, with local chiefs organising many uprisings. The Babua tribes revolt in 1903, 1904, and 1910, and the Budja in 1903 and 1905. In 1895 and 1897 the Force Publique mutinies. As the resistance increases so does the cost of repression, causing Léo
  • Secret Society

    After discovering what he later describes as a "secret society of murderers with a king for a (partner)," Edmund Dene Morel, a British shipping clerk employed to oversee shipments to and from the Congo, begins a campaign to expose the human rights abuses occurring in the CFS. He establishes the weekly newsletter 'The West African Mail' and conducts speaking tours in Britain. The British Government responds by sending the diplomat Roger Casement to the CFS in 1903 to investigate the conditions th
  • The British House

    On 20 May the British House of Commons unanimously passes a resolution stating, "That the government of the Congo Free State, having, at its inception, guaranteed to the powers that its native subjects should be governed with humanity, and that no trading monopoly or privilege should be permitted within its dominions, this House requests His Majesty's Government to confer with the other powers, signatories of the Berlin General Act, by virtue of which the Congo Free State exists, in order that m
  • Another Uprising

    Roger Casement's 62-page report on the CFS is published. It's descriptions of hostage taking, floggings, mutilation, forced labour and murder cause a public outrage.
  • The End

    On 10 August the Belgium Parliament finally acts, annexing the CFS under the 'Colonial Charter'. The colony is renamed the Belgian Congo and Léopold's power is limited to a constitutional rather than personal role. In recognition of the "great sacrifices" he has made for the Congo, Léopold receives a large payout.
    Over the time of Léopold's rule the population of the Congo has declined from an estimated 20-30 million to less than nine million.
  • The End (Continued)

    Léopold attempts to destroy the evidence of the genocide, ordering that the CFS archives in Belgium and the Congo be burnt.