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Based on your understanding of Adam Hochschild’s book, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, discuss the myth of the “Dark Continent” in relation to the murderous usurpation of the territory and resources surrounding the Congo River at the turn of the 20th century. How did the Congo region – and Africa in general – grow “dark” as Victorian explorers, missionaries, and colonial officers flooded it with “light” – the “light,” that is, of so-called European “civilization”? Why do you think that King Leopold II was so successful in using the rhetoric of “philanthropy” and “humanitarian sentiment” to justify the colonization of the Congo? Finally, how can we explain why the terror in the Congo has been largely forgotten by many historians of the modern world – not to mention the wider society – particularly when it was the first mass murder in the age of the camera and telegraph?


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