Near the beginning of this year King Leopold II began developing a colony for him to directly control. This colony was within the Congo region. Leopold sent Henry Morton Stanley , a journalist, to explore the Congo and make treaties with the native peoples. These treaties allowed King Leopold II to take position as the colony’s leader. It also increased his general power in this area.

This movement to make colonies gave Leopold rights to exploit people and resources in the Congo. Leopold coming to power was largely significant because it showed his greed and soon to be inhuman treatment of the Congolese people through the fact that he made many indigenous peoples sign away their land without knowing the consequences or what was happening.

In 1884 the Berlin Conference took place to organize the said “Scramble for Africa”("Imperialism: The belgian," 2012) and to grant King Leopold II his wish to rule the Congo. This meant new boundaries were imposed throughout Africa, dividing it into Europe's colonial domains and eliminating any governing by people in the Congo.

The Berlin Conference encouraged Leopold to begin his rein over the Congo, because he had the permission and help from the rest of Europe. It also allowed Europeans to lay obvious claims over African land and diminish indigenous peoples power. The conference was what led up to the mistreatment and abuse of the Congolese people and resources.

Leopold II exploited the Congo for its natural rubber, which was becoming a valuable commodity. ("Belgian congo," 2012) He sent armies to steal Congolese women and hold them hostage until their husbands had brought their quota of rubber. They were whipped or killed when their amount was not met.
This time period was important because it lead to the realization by many that Leopold was very cruel and greedy and was not a fit ruler, proven by his billion dollar profits at the end of his rule. Also, the devastation was a large piece of the Congo's tragic history.

1908 marked the end of King Leopold II's rule and his powers over the Congo Free State were relinquished to the government of Belgium. The colony in the Congo along with a few others were annexed and newly named Belgian Congo.This movement was brought on by pressures from humanitarians and other countries due to Leopold's cruelty.

The change of power to a colonial council significantly improved the treatment of Congolese people and while there was still some discrimination, the exploitation of workers generally stopped. Problems still apparent such as Congo people having no say in government eventually led up to granted sovereignty for the Congo.

In 1960 the Congolese began to rebel against Prime Minister Lumumba for the harm he had done in the Congo. The rebellion that started in Thyssville in quickly spread to the rest of the Congo. ("Belgian congo," 2012) He was later brutally murdered for his actions, this bad ruling led to the granted sovereignty of the Congo.

June 30th 1960, was the day the Congolese gained formal independence from Belgium. (Roberts, 1965) The independence didn’t hold though, it only set the stage for a deeper struggle to gain economic independence. The struggle drove a divide between the Congolese, some wanted complete independence and others wanted to remain a capitalist society.