February 15, 2013

In 1491, King Nzinga a Nkuwu was baptized as the first Christian Kongolese king João I.

This happened after Captain Diogo Cão — on a mission from  King John II of Portugal — discovered the mouth of the Congo River and the Kingdom of Kongo and found the local nobility amenable to Christianity. Today, this place is called the Republic of the Congo, and it is today's "History of" country.

12 comments:

edutcher said...

If I remember correctly, Conditions under our "civilized" European brethren in the Congo were so horrific, they made American slavery look positively benign.

Gahrie said...

If I remember correctly, Conditions under our "civilized" European brethren in the Congo were so horrific, they made American slavery look positively benign

This is true, but not as horrific as the Belgians next door in the other Congo, or as horrific as the Africans rountinely were and are to themselves.

Gahrie said...

By the way, slavery of Africans in the United States was much more benign than in the rest of the Americas.

ironrailsironweights said...

Snowless, of course.
While it's not like you'd want to live there, conditions in the Republic of the Congo are maybe not quite as dire as in the D.R. Congo.

Peter

Aaron said...

Slavery was not more or less benign one place or another. It was, is, and always will be a degrading and dehumanizing act violently enforced and designed to strip agency, citizenship, and humanity from its victims.

edutcher said...

But some places were worse than others.

There are degrees of ghastly.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

It was, is, and always will be a degrading and dehumanizing act violently enforced and designed to strip agency, citizenship, and humanity from its victims.

Yep. Not only that, it corrupts the owners.

Slavery in all of its forms is unmitigated evil. That doesn't mean that some forms aren't more brutal than others.

chickelit said...

Aaron said...
Slavery was not more or less benign one place or another. It was, is, and always will be a degrading and dehumanizing act violently enforced and designed to strip agency, citizenship, and humanity from its victims.

That's like saying there are no degrees of murder, or torture, or burns for that matter. I see what you're trying to do and that's to avoid excusing wrong doing.

And yet, differences in degree lead to differences in kind.

Ululating Umlungu said...

Congo has leased large areas of land to white South African commercial farmers in an attempt to become agriculturally self sufficient.The farmers can repatriate profits and pay no tax, and are treated a whole lot better than back in SA where 3000 of them have been murdered, and where one can still hear the songs "Kill the farmer" and "One settler one bullet" at ruling party youth league events. Evidently, being able to feed themselves is more important to the Congolese than to many of my fellow countrymen.

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Mitch H. said...

Slavery was not more or less benign one place or another. It was, is, and always will be a degrading and dehumanizing act violently enforced and designed to strip agency, citizenship, and humanity from its victims.

Relativistic claptrap. There are degrees of horror, within New World slavery regimes, and within Africa proper. Worse to be in cotton country in the United States than in the Upper South; worse still to be in sugarcane country in Louisiana than the cotton kingdom; even worse to be in Haiti or the other sugar islands, or the sugarcane plantations of Brazil. Likewise, the Congo Free State was a horror of a totally different order than even the worst of the other colonial regimes.

As for the Republic of the Congo vs. the Democratic Republic of Congo, check out their places in the GDP listings: as unstable and third-worldy as the Republic as the Congo reads on paper, their GDP is *ten times* that of the former Zaire. They're on the high end of "developing"!