Put on your seatbelts because this story is going to transport you to another place.
Back in the 1800s, a king from Belgium, established the Congo Free State. His name was King Leopold.
The Congo Free State was an area in the middle of Africa, where the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now located.
You might be wondering, how did King Leopold get a hold of this great mass of land? Well, it all began in a conference, just like the ones your parents have with your teachers from time to time.
The conference is known as the Berlin Conference, and yes, it was called The Berlin Conference because it was held in Berlin, the capital of Germany. This particular conference led to King Leopold's possession of what was known back then as the Congo Free State.
King Leopold traveled to Africa and as many evidence provided shows, he mistreated and killed many Africans.
He was also able to get many goods, such as rubber and ivory from the Congolese. Many were given the title of slaves and were forced to work in his mines and rubber plantations.
But then, was killing the citizens of the Congo and mistreating them King Leopold's goal? Not really, one of King Leopold's main goal was to make the Congo civilized. Some say he kind of failed in doing so as he did not build schools or hospitals, but instead he decided to take rubber, ivory, diamonds, and uranium with him.
As you can imagine, the Africans were not happy to see how King Leopold had destroyed their land, and social structures.
An example of a social structure in school is when you have to walk in the hallways and not run. However, when a social structure changes, it would be when you go to the park and you can run freely.
Let's travel back to Belgium.
While you might think that Belgium was living in riches with all the things they took from the Congo, they were not. Belgium on its own was slowly dying in every way possible, money wise and socially. King Leopold's only solution to this problem was to expand Belgium.