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Context of 'September 12-14, 1876: Belgian King Hosts Conference on West Africa'

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1865: New Belgian King Crowned

The young Duke of Brabant is crowned King Leopold II of Belgium. [Hochschild, 1999, pp. 37-38, 40-42]

Timeline Tags: US-Congo (1959-1997)

King Leopold II of Belgium hosts the Geographical Conference on West Africa at the Royal Palace in Brussels to discuss his plan to establish a Belgian colony in Central Africa. Attending the affair are a number of notable explorers and geographers. Leopold explains that his plans are “in no way motivated by selfish designs.” He speaks only of science, philanthropy, and ending the slave trade. Though the major European powers officially ended their trade in slaves from West Africa almost a half century before, it is still being practiced by the Arab and Swahili people in East Africa. By the end of the conference, a new international body named the International African Association is established to publicize and seek funds for the project. [Pakenham, 1992, pp. 20-23; Hochschild, 1999, pp. 37-8, 42-44]

Timeline Tags: US-Congo (1959-1997)

Henry Morton Stanley has his first meeting with King Leopold II of Belgium. The king has been paying close attention to Stanley’s exploits in the African Congo and is hoping that Stanley will help him establish a colony there. [Hochschild, 1999, pp. 61, 63]

Timeline Tags: US-Congo (1959-1997)

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