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  • Leopold II & Albert I Use Their Brains

    Background:
    When Leopold got the huge Belgian Congo he made every mistake possible. He did not learn how to develop a colony from his neighbors France, Germany, Holland or Britain. Instead, he adopted a completely ineffective an inhumane exploitation system, killed about 10 million natives & chopped millions of hands, ears, etc, ruined Belgiumīs public image & achieved incredibly little migration from Belgium to the colony. Then his successor, Albert I also had minor colonial development & ridiculous migration & ruined Belgium, Britian & Germany completely by refusing passage to German forces in 1914. Which brough forced Britain into the war, as protector of Belgian neutrality.

    In this scenario:
    When Leopold hits the jackpot & receives the Belgian Congo as his personal possession, he immediately hires experienced Dutch, German, Portuguese & British colonials (including administrators, coffee, cacao, sugar, rubber experts, mineral prospectors, Chinese fish farmers, etc, to help him to develop & administer his colony, which is one of the few areas in the world with abundant, native rubber trees, cobalt, copper, endless fresh water, hydroelectric, fish farm & riverine transportation potential, year around agricultural weather, incredible touristic potential, a large population of extremely poor and ignorant natives (a great portentialmarket & source of labor), etc,

    He learns the lesson of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, in which France was quickly defeated by a much superior German coalition & realizes that it is much more advantageous to invade France & French Central Africa together with Germany & Italy in the next war, thus shortening the war & gaining some French territory both in Europe & in Africa.

    In order to secure his colonies & homeland, he develops strong commercial & diplomatic relations with the Kaisers & offers to sell 5% of his huge colony bordering with French & British territories each to Austria, Italy, Sweden & Switzerland (provided they invest heavily in development, promote settlement & send troops to secure them & cooperate with Belgian forces & grant Belgium 5% of the mineral rights in the acquired areas). Austria, Italy, Sweden & Switzerland have no colonies in 1886 & need them to expand their markets & sources of raw materials, reduce population pressure (provide a place for young people to migrate), etc, This sale provides some capital for Leopold to invest in his colony, ensures rapid development in the area, increases defense against invasion or revolt & reduces 20% the huge area that tiny, inexperienced Belgium has to administer in 1886. When war eventually breaks out with France, an even larger area will be gained in French Central Africa, by which time Belgium will have more experience & capital to expand.

  • #2
    The more Europeans who arrive in the area & especially, the more troops, the much more security all settlers in the 5 new Congoes have (the much less likely revolts & isolated attacks are).

    The large investment in development also enhances security & living conditions for the settlers. So that by the time the war begins the Congo is thriving.

    When the Archduke is assassinated in Sarajevo, Albert I immediately sides with the Kaisers, requests armament & support from the German navy & army to attack France & French Central Africa & grants Germany right of way to attack France, provided Belgium is allowed to occupy & retain Luxemburg, 100 km of French territory from the Franco-Belgian & Franco-Luxemburger borders & any territory occupied by Belgium in French Central Africa.

    Belgium, Germany & Austria urge Italy, Switzerland & Spain to also attack France & the French colonies under the same conditions, in order to expand, shorten the war & ensure enduring peace.

    With Germany & Belgium attacking France simultaneously, Italy knows that France is doomed, so it might as well benefit from the war & joins the central powers in order to invade Corsica, Tunisia, Somaliland, a sliver of France & Morocco, etc,

    When Switzerland & Spain see all 4 nations invading France, they also decide to benefit from the war & join the central powers.
    France is rapidly invaded on all fronts as are several colonies & promptly defeated. Britain has no reason to fight the strong coalition, since Belgium gave up its neutrality & Germany didn't invade it, so it limits itself to acquiring New Caledonia, Indochina, Madagascar, Tahiti, Martinique, etc,

    The strong central power coalition, the rapid defeat of France & the lack of British intervention force the Tsar to sue for peace before the central powers mobilize all their might only against Russia.
    Last edited by Dracoco; 20 Jan 16, 13:43.

    Comment


    • #3
      OK, to start picking apart the wild inaccuracies of your posts (and I'll only hit the high spots):

      Leopold made a staggering fortune out of the Congo, which was the sole purpose of seizing it. He wasn't interested in a colony on the British model, which was based firstly upon coaling stations for a would-wide Navy and secondly upon long-term extraction of natural resources. He was interested in ripping as much money as possible as quickly as possible.

      When he died and the Belgians inherited it, they got a mass of steaming jungle whose indigenous population was completely alienated. It would be impossible to build a thriving colony out of the mess Leopold made between the acquisition of the Congo and WW1. The infrastructure required (your constant overlooked key factor) was overwhelming.

      That'll do for a start. TaG and others will arrive shortly to batter your other fallacies apart.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

      Comment


      • #4
        What you call a staggering fortune is less than 1% of the enormous potential his huge colony had.
        Even the most ignorant & inhumane slave ownerin the US knew that killing, starving, lashing rutinely with rhino hide whips & mutilating millions of laborers is a rather stupid & unrpoductive practice.
        Not only was rubber production a small fraction of its potential, Leopold paid a 10% bonus to the criminals he put in charge of production & kept a large force of native troops just committing atrocities & driving the population into the jungle.
        The imbecil never exploited coffee, cacao, sugar, corn, rice, river fish, crustaceans, plantation rubber, hemp, cashews, tobacco, bananas, etc, for which the area was ideally suited.

        The mass of steaming jungle had huge reserves of diamonds, cobalt & tantalum (expensive industrial metals), uranium (Belgian Congo ore was used to produce the atomic bom), copper, zinc, etc, which provided orders of magnitude more money for Belgium for decades than Leopold's meager rubber, most of which was produced in Ceylon, Malaya, Indonesia, Indochina, etc, in far more productive plantations than Leopold's blood system.

        BTW, the steaming jungle was in Ruanda-Burundy, not in Congo & Leopold managed to render the Gorilla there almost extinct.
        Weather in much of what was the Belgian Congo is better than in New Guinea (a true steaming jungle), where thousands of years ago a large population (larger than today's) thrived on bananas. So with a little ingenuity & work, even a steaming jungle can be extremely productive.
        Last edited by Dracoco; 20 Jan 16, 14:55.

        Comment


        • #5
          The most obvious stupidity of this scenario is based on a simple question:

          How does Belgium prevent the loss of the colony if it becomes highly productive on its own?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dracoco View Post
            Background:
            When Leopold got the huge Belgian Congo he made every mistake possible. He did not learn how to develop a colony from his neighbors France, Germany, Holland or Britain. Instead, he adopted a completely ineffective an inhumane exploitation system, killed about 10 million natives & chopped millions of hands, ears, etc, ruined Belgiumīs public image & achieved incredibly little migration from Belgium to the colony. Then his successor, Albert I also had minor colonial development & ridiculous migration & ruined Belgium, Britian & Germany completely by refusing passage to German forces in 1914. Which brough forced Britain into the war, as protector of Belgian neutrality.

            In this scenario:
            When Leopold hits the jackpot & receives the Belgian Congo as his personal possession, he immediately hires experienced Dutch, German, Portuguese & British colonials (including administrators, coffee, cacao, sugar, rubber experts, mineral prospectors, Chinese fish farmers, etc, to help him to develop & administer his colony, which is one of the few areas in the world with abundant, native rubber trees, cobalt, copper, endless fresh water, hydroelectric, fish farm & riverine transportation potential, year around agricultural weather, incredible touristic potential, a large population of extremely poor and ignorant natives (a great portentialmarket & source of labor), etc,

            He learns the lesson of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, in which France was quickly defeated by a much superior German coalition & realizes that it is much more advantageous to invade France & French Central Africa together with Germany & Italy in the next war, thus shortening the war & gaining some French territory both in Europe & in Africa.

            In order to secure his colonies & homeland, he develops strong commercial & diplomatic relations with the Kaisers & offers to sell 5% of his huge colony bordering with French & British territories each to Austria, Italy, Sweden & Switzerland (provided they invest heavily in development, promote settlement & send troops to secure them & cooperate with Belgian forces & grant Belgium 5% of the mineral rights in the acquired areas). Austria, Italy, Sweden & Switzerland have no colonies in 1886 & need them to expand their markets & sources of raw materials, reduce population pressure (provide a place for young people to migrate), etc, This sale provides some capital for Leopold to invest in his colony, ensures rapid development in the area, increases defense against invasion or revolt & reduces 20% the huge area that tiny, inexperienced Belgium has to administer in 1886. When war eventually breaks out with France, an even larger area will be gained in French Central Africa, by which time Belgium will have more experience & capital to expand.

            (provide a place for young people to migrate)


            Can't you just see the young people of Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland just clamouring to escape the hell on earth of these four countries, and exchange it for the paradise of the Belgian Congo?

            The queues would have been a mile long at least!


            Chinese fish farmers


            Presumably dressed as pirates? 1886 is a little early for tram driver costumes.

            Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.

            Comment


            • #7
              TAG,
              Originally,
              a) As already mentioned by ensuring that 4 other powers also maintain armed forces in the Congo (there are 5 small armies, which together with German forces in Central Africa, can certainly foil a British invasion).
              b) By not antagonizing Britain, but making sure that it also profits from the fall of the French Empire.
              c) By using part of the large profits (which increased with French territory, industry, war booty, etc,) to build destroyers, subs, mine layers & torpedo boats & by signing mutual assistance naval treaties with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Holland, Spain, Turkey, Russia & Italy (most of which are much stronger after defeating France rapidly).
              d) By using part of the profits to develop industry (tractor, motorcycle, car & truck factories, fertilizer plants, steel mills, cobalt, copper & zinc smelters, shipyard capacity, etc,) in Belgium & the Congo & to buy merchant ships, planes, etc,

              After 1920,
              a) By using part of the large profits to develop an aviation industry & a larger navy, air force & army.
              b) By convincing Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, etc, to aid the Tsar (who was saved when he pulled out of the war after France rapidly collapsed) & China to remove Japan from the continent & Formosa. Rendering Japan much weaker & gaining Formosa for Belgium.
              c) By investing part of the profits in advanced education & research.
              d) By inviting 1/2 million each young, healthy Chinese, Indian & Korean men & women to migrate to the Congo.

              After 1930:
              a) By aiding China to develop its industry, transportation, agriculture, education system & armed forces, gaining a huge ally.
              b) By trading with & signing alliances with the US, Brazil, South Africa & Ireland.
              c) By remaining soundly allied with Russia & China.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thing with all that is that Leopold nor Albert actually had the power to do any of those things you describe above.

                That is because Belgium is in fact a contsitutional monarchy [much to the disappoint of the early Coburgs btw who wanted to be "real" kings] and the monarchs do not have executive power.

                The reason Leopold went about his business in Congo as he did was because Belgian parlaiment effectively blocked all his earlier attempts to turn Belgium into a colonial power.

                So frustrated he went to Berlin Congress and got himself a personal colony.
                Last edited by Snowygerry; 21 Jan 16, 03:03.
                Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post

                  (provide a place for young people to migrate)


                  Can't you just see the young people of Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland just clamouring to escape the hell on earth of these four countries, and exchange it for the paradise of the Belgian Congo?

                  The queues would have been a mile long at least!


                  Chinese fish farmers


                  Presumably dressed as pirates? 1886 is a little early for tram driver costumes.

                  Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.
                  Congo was a hell on earth and that was the reason why the number of whites and Belgians before 1940 was very low :

                  1900 : whites : 2000

                  1914 : whites : 6000 (3350 Belgians)

                  1930 : whites : 25000 (15000 Belgians)

                  Thus the mass Chinese immigration exists only in the fertile imagination of certain inhabitants of Morelia .

                  Last point: as one could expect the OP is swarming with fables ,as 10 million victims, millions of hands chopped off,etc .....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dracoco View Post
                    TAG,
                    Originally,
                    a) As already mentioned by ensuring that 4 other powers also maintain armed forces in the Congo (there are 5 small armies, which together with German forces in Central Africa, can certainly foil a British invasion).
                    b) By not antagonizing Britain, but making sure that it also profits from the fall of the French Empire.
                    c) By using part of the large profits (which increased with French territory, industry, war booty, etc,) to build destroyers, subs, mine layers & torpedo boats & by signing mutual assistance naval treaties with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Holland, Spain, Turkey, Russia & Italy (most of which are much stronger after defeating France rapidly).
                    d) By using part of the profits to develop industry (tractor, motorcycle, car & truck factories, fertilizer plants, steel mills, cobalt, copper & zinc smelters, shipyard capacity, etc,) in Belgium & the Congo & to buy merchant ships, planes, etc,

                    After 1920,
                    a) By using part of the large profits to develop an aviation industry & a larger navy, air force & army.
                    b) By convincing Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, etc, to aid the Tsar (who was saved when he pulled out of the war after France rapidly collapsed) & China to remove Japan from the continent & Formosa. Rendering Japan much weaker & gaining Formosa for Belgium.
                    c) By investing part of the profits in advanced education & research.
                    d) By inviting 1/2 million each young, healthy Chinese, Indian & Korean men & women to migrate to the Congo.

                    After 1930:
                    a) By aiding China to develop its industry, transportation, agriculture, education system & armed forces, gaining a huge ally.
                    b) By trading with & signing alliances with the US, Brazil, South Africa & Ireland.
                    c) By remaining soundly allied with Russia & China.


                    gaining Formosa for Belgium

                    Why not Cuba? Or Cyprus ? Or Crimea ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dracoco View Post

                      In this scenario:
                      When Leopold hits the jackpot & receives the Belgian Congo as his personal possession, he immediately hires experienced Dutch, German, Portuguese & British colonials (including administrators, coffee, cacao, sugar, rubber experts, mineral prospectors, Chinese fish farmers, etc, to help him to develop & administer his colony, which is one of the few areas in the world with abundant, native rubber trees, cobalt, copper, endless fresh water, hydroelectric, fish farm & riverine transportation potential, year around agricultural weather, incredible touristic potential, a large population of extremely poor and ignorant natives (a great portentialmarket & source of labor), etc,
                      Small detail : where would Leopold get the money to hire Dutch,German,Portugese and British colonials ? In the OTL,he was almost broken ?

                      Of course:in Morelia such small details are thrown under the bus :this strategy has made great Morelia .

                      Other small detail : where would he get the experienced German colonials,as the Germans started their colonial expansion at the same time as the Belgians ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I already mentioned the sale of 20% of the territory, which gets him money, partners, 5% of mineral rights & some troops.

                        The hell was created by Leopold who forced a riverine people to move into dense jungle.
                        The area has among the highest agricultural potential in the world. Even the extremely incompetent Spaniards achieved the highest agricultural productivity of Africa at the time in Spanish Guinea (which they got from Portugal & had terrible labor shortage).
                        There were over 20 million people living there when he took over the huge area & 10 million 17 years later. His administrators ordered his native troops to provide a right hand & ear for every bullet they received. If they missed or just wonded the person, the hand was taken from a living person. The pictures & stories from missionaries abound & that was certainly not an African practice. Today the mutilations & violence continue thanks to Leopolds teachings.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Proof that there were 20 million people living in Congo in 1885? At that time, Egypt had only 4 million inhabitants .

                          I forget : no proofs are needed in Morelia .

                          Pictures from missionaries ? In the 19 th century ? Before WWI ? And such pictures do not prove anything : Congo was infected with leprosy .

                          And only someone with a lot of imagination and no knowledge could say that the tribes living in Congo were a riverine people .Were the Baluba riverine ? Were the Lulua eiverine ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dracoco View Post
                            I already mentioned the sale of 20% of the territory, which gets him money, partners, 5% of mineral rights & some troops.
                            Why would anyone (especially Switserland) buy a piece of the Congo ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                              Why would anyone (especially Switserland) buy a piece of the Congo ?
                              Maybe they want to increase production of Cocoa beans for their chocolate industry...

                              Comment

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