Catalogue


Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980 [electronic resource] /
Guy Vanthemsche, Vrije Universiteit Brussel ; translated by Alice Cameron and Stephen Windross ; revised by Kate Connelly.
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
description
ix, 289 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780521194211 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
isbn
9780521194211 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Machine generated contents note: 1. The origin of the colonial phenomenon in Belgium and its main developments up until 1960; 2. The Congo and Belgium's domestic policy; 3. The Congo and Belgium's external position; 4. The Congo and the Belgian economy; 5. Belgium and the independent Congo.
abstract
"While the impact of a colonising metropole on subjected territories has been widely scrutinized, the effect of empire on the colonising country has long been neglected. Recently, many studies have examined the repercussions of their respective empires on colonial powers such as the United Kingdom and France. Belgium and its African empire have been conspicuously absent from this discussion. This book attempts to fill this gap. Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980 examines the effects of colonialism on the domestic politics, diplomacy and economics of Belgium, from 1880 - when King Leopold II began the country's expansionist enterprises in Africa - to the 1980s, well after the Congo's independence in June of 1960. By examining the colonial impact on its mother country Belgium, this study also contributes to a better understanding of Congo's past and present"--
catalogue key
8483819
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-12-01:
This fascinating study provides a much-needed investigation of the political and economic relationships between Belgium and the Belgian Congo. Rather than surveying Belgian colonial rule, Vanthemsche (Free Univ., Belgium) discusses the impact of the Congo on Belgium itself. Interestingly, the author asserts that colonial investment furthered the dominance of a small number of companies within Belgium, even though the colony became a major market for Belgian exports only in the 1930s. Save for WW II and during Congolese independence in 1960, the colony did not have a major impact on domestic politics, because the Belgian metropolitan government carefully separated colonial administration from everyday parliamentary politics. Contrary to proponents of continued colonial rule, Belgium's economy boomed in the 1960s. Closer ties between European nations made up for the loss of an international empire for Belgium. This study makes excellent comparisons with the scholarship on imperialism in France and Great Britain and thus is valuable for undergraduates and scholars interested in European colonialism as a whole. One minor complaint is the relative lack of interest in the large Catholic missionary community in the colony. Overall, a welcome and trailblazing work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. J. M. Rich Marywood University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is an important book that provides the first scholarly study of the impact that the acquisition of the Congo had on Belgium. It is an important contribution to the history of European colonialism, but also to understanding the contemporary history of the Congo." - Martin Conway, Balliol College, University of Oxford "An indispensable - indeed unique - economic, social, and political history of Belgium and the Congo." - Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas at Austin
"Guy Vanthemsche's exploration of the influence of the massive colony at the very center of the African continent on the small European nation that inherited it from a king with imperial ambitions is captivating. Vanthemsche, one of Belgium's leading contemporary historians, is perfectly placed to invert the traditional studies of Belgium in the Congo with his meticulously researched, thoroughly documented, subtly probing, compelling investigation of how the Congo shaped the domestic politics, foreign relations, and economic development of Belgium. Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980, rich in nuance, will be crucial reading alongside the studies ranging from the gruesome tales of King Leopold's Congo to the accounts of the politics of decolonization in France and Britain." - Janet Polasky, Presidential Professor of History, University of New Hampshire
Advance praise: 'This is an important book that provides the first scholarly study of the impact that the acquisition of the Congo had on Belgium. It is an important contribution to the history of European colonialism, but also to understanding the contemporary history of the Congo.' Martin Conway, University of Oxford
"An indispensable - indeed unique - economic, social, and political history of Belgium and the Congo." - Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas at Austin
'An indispensable - indeed unique - economic, social, and political history of Belgium and the Congo.' Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas, Austin
"Guy Vanthemsche provides an authoritative and detailed account of the history of Belgian linkages with the Congo, colonial and post-colonial. This invaluable and richly documented volume is an indispensable source for understanding both Belgian and Congolese history. Balanced and judicious, the book is also an invaluable guide to the published sources on this subject, which receive exhaustive coverage." - Crawford Young, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text explains how and why Belgium, a small but influential European country, was changed through its colonial activities in the Congo, from the first expeditions in 1880 to the Mobutu regime in the 1980s.
Description for Bookstore
This book explains how and why Belgium, a small but influential European country, was changed through its colonial activities in the Congo, from the first expeditions in 1880 to the Mobutu regime in the 1980s. Belgian politics, diplomacy, economic activity and culture were influenced by the imperial experience. Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980 yields a better understanding of the Congo's past and present.
Description for Bookstore
This book explains how and why Belgium, a small but influential European country, was changed through its colonial activities in the Congo, from the first expeditions in 1880 to the Mobutu regime in the 1980s. It yields a better understanding of the Congo's past and present and explains how the imperial experience influenced Belgian politics, diplomacy, economic activity and culture.
Library of Congress Summary
"While the impact of a colonising metropole on subjected territories has been widely scrutinized, the effect of empire on the colonising country has long been neglected. Recently, many studies have examined the repercussions of their respective empires on colonial powers such as the United Kingdom and France. Belgium and its African empire have been conspicuously absent from this discussion. This book attempts to fill this gap. Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980 examines the effects of colonialism on the domestic politics, diplomacy and economics of Belgium, from 1880 - when King Leopold II began the country's expansionist enterprises in Africa - to the 1980s, well after the Congo's independence in June of 1960. By examining the colonial impact on its mother country Belgium, this study also contributes to a better understanding of Congo's past and present"--
Table of Contents
The origin of the colonial phenomenon in Belgium and its main developments up until 1960
The Congo and Belgium's domestic policy
The Congo and Belgium's external position
The Congo and the Belgian economy
Belgium and the independent Congo
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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