April 4 notes

April 4 notes - From Kleptocracy to Failed State...

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From Kleptocracy to Failed State: Decolonization, Dictatorship and Civil War in the  Congo , 1959-2006 April 4, 2007 What was the nature of Belgian colonialism in the Congo? Why did decolonization in the Congo fail to produce a democratic state? What were the origins and nature of the Congo Civil Wars of 1994-1996 and 1998- 2003/05? -Process of independence, similar to Rwanda that leads to great hopes of liberalism in the  state but very quickly the Congo descends into an authoritarian system that did little to  improve the lives of its citizens. -Any improvements that were made were taken aback by the political disorder and the  legacy of Belgian colonialism -1990: Cold War ends, Congo undergoes political transformation, the dictatorship begins to  unravel but it had done so much damage it was difficult to rebuild on the wreckage- result:  civil wars and a failed state -social and civil conflicts, there is no real authority for violence -3.5 – 4 million people died as a result of the civil wars, and exploitation by surrounding  countries -most devastating conflict in the last 50 years happens in the last 5 years and we know  nothing about it in the US- WHY? -the nature of Belgian colonialism, what did they do there that made the chance for the  success of post-colonial Congo so low? Why did it fail to produce a state? I. The Belgians in Congo, 1885-1960 -second largest country in size (60 million, 200 different ethnic tribal groups) -made it difficult to develop a unified national identity (division of loyalties  between ethnic, political and tribal identities) -artificial creation: Kingdom of the Congo-      The “Scramble for Africa ” and the Berlin Conference (1885) -carved out by Europeans, period during which the European powers jumped on  it and carved it up amongst each other (decided in the conference who would have what)
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-cut through tribal regions, did so in the Middle East as well, didn’t pay much  attention to divisions in the area -Belgium acquires the Congo, largely through the efforts of Leopold that Belgium  was able to acquire it      King Leopold II’s  Colony:  Rubber, Slavery, and Genocide -constitutional monarch, power was declining back home, obsessed with gaining  a huge colony, convinced more powerful nations that he should have a personal colony 
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course HIST 140 taught by Professor Reid during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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April 4 notes - From Kleptocracy to Failed State...

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