japonisme: lest we forget

12 January 2007

lest we forget

In 1885, King Leopold II declared the Congo Free State (as large as the whole of Europe) to be his personal fiefdom and set about enriching himself and Belgium in earnest. In 1887, Scottish surgeon J B Dunlop used rubber for constructing inflatable tubes for bicycles and the demand for rubber grew sharply. The motor car was also becoming popular and Leopold sought to provide the rubber for the tyres. Leopold issued a decree in 1891 giving himself the monopoly on the trade in rubber and ivory. The same decree obliged natives to supply these products without payment. Those who refused or failed to supply enough had their villages burned down, their children murdered and their hands cut off, even if dead, as proof to the Belgian masters.1



Blogger Nathako said...

It's horrible...
We must not forget, our children must know how crual the human have been... and compare with the relation today between countries, see that sometimes men are still... crual, but differently...
History must be used as lesson
(désolée pour les fautes!)

13 January, 2007 00:43  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

the more i read of history, i really am astonished at how it repeats itself. i know that's the old saying, but i never studied history before.

as i've said before you go far enough in and specific direction and sooner or later everything comes in.

thanks for your comment, nathako

13 January, 2007 15:36  

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