Modern World History – Honors Name: ________________________________
King Leopold’s GhostInstructions
King Leopold’s Ghost is a best-selling history book that we will be reading to supplement our understanding of imperialism and the forces that shaped the modern world. King Leopold II of Belgium gained personal control of the Congo in the 1880s, a colony that was 76 times larger than Belgium. He claimed that his primary motive in establishing the colony was to abolish the slave trade. However, he licensed companies that brutally exploited Africans, by forcing them to collect sap from rubber plants. Rubber production under Belgium rule was one of the worst exploitations of Africans in the history of African imperialism. Armed soldiers drove people into the forest to collect wild rubber. Those who refused were killed, and their left hands taken as trophies to show the commissioner. The Congolese were uprooted, separated, enslaved, whipped and mutilated leaving as many as 10 million dead. So severe were the forced labor, excessive taxation and abuses of the native Congolese, that humanitarians around the world demanded changes…
Part I—Movie: We will watch a movie that mirrors what we are reading in King Leopold’s Ghost. You are responsible for taking detailed notes whenever we view sections of the movie in class. Title a sheet of lined paper “King Leopold’s Ghost Movie Viewing Form” and place in binder immediately following this instruction form. You may organize this movie viewing form in a way that works best for you (outline form, graphic organizer, etc.). If is required, however, that you highlight the following:
Background Information Regarding the Congo and/or Belgium
Part II—Activities: You will have 14 “activities” to complete as you move throughout the book. Each of these activities should be labeled, dated, and inserted into your binder in chronological order. These activities may be checked in class, collected, used for a quiz, or utilized for a class discussion. Your responses to each activity should be original, thoughtful, and thorough, demonstrating clear evidence that you have read and understood the chapters. You are required to record the prompt/question before providing your response. At the completion of the text, Ms. Wiley will collect these activities and they will be graded collectively as a portfolio assignment.
Part III—Presentation: You will also be assigned a partner and a section of the book (which will correspond to one of the “activities”) to present to the class. It will be your responsibility to organize a brief class lecture/discussion of the assigned reading where key ideas are explained and explored. Major requirements are as follows:
10-15 minute presentation
Two-sided handout for all students in the class, highlighting key figures, events, themes, places, key quotes, etc. from the chapter/s
Brief PowerPoint highlighting key ideas and images from the chapter/s
Handout and PowerPoint sent to Ms. Wiley prior to presentation
Effective collaboration—part of your grade will be determined by how well you and your partner worked together and whether or not each partner pulled their weight
Part IV—Assessment: At the completion of the text you will take an assessment on the book (multiple choice, true or false, and essay). With that in mind, it is recommended that you approach this book with sincere effort and advocate for yourself if/when you are struggling.
King Leopold’s Ghost – Presentation Schedule
Due Date/Presentation Date
Phone Number –
Email Address –
*Your group is responsible for a review session/game. See Ms. Wiley for assistance.
King Leopold’s Ghost – List of Activities
Directions: You will have 14 “activities” to complete as you move throughout the book. Each of these activities should be labeled, dated, and inserted into your binder in chronological order. These activities may be checked in class, collected, used for a quiz, or utilized for a class discussion. Your responses to each activity should be original, thoughtful, and thorough, demonstrating clear evidence that you have read and understood the chapters. You are required to record the prompt/question before providing your response. At the completion of the text, Ms. Wiley will collect these activities and they will be graded collectively as a portfolio assignment.
Excellent (A): Responses show clear evidence that the student read and understood the chapters. Responses completely answer all prompts/questions with accuracy and analysis. Materials are well-organized and all items are easy to locate.
Proficient (B-C): Responses show evidence that the student read and understood the chapters but is limited in some respect. Responses are adequate but not thorough in answering all prompts/questions and some may be inaccurate. Materials are well-organized and all items are easy to locate.
Basic (D): Responses show limited evidence that the student read and understood the chapters. Responses to prompts/questions are limited and, at times, inaccurate. Materials need greater organization – some items are difficult to locate.
Below Basic (F): Responses indicate that the student did not read or understand much of the chapters. Responses to the prompts/questions are largely incomplete or inaccurate. Materials are presented in an unorganized fashion.
_______KLG Activity 1 “Intro” and “Prologue” (pages 1-18) Due ________
Intro: Create/answer the following:
What were the shipments to and from Antwerp in Belgium and the Congo? Why did this seem strange to Edmund Morel? What movement did he begin?
Why were the atrocities in the Congo not well known for many years? When did the worst of the bloodshed in the Congo take place?
A graphic organizer illustrating the causes and effects of Portuguese interactions with Africans in the Congo region.
A letter written from the perspective of one of the first Portuguese explorers describing the people, culture, and government in the area of the Congo.
An obituary of Alfonso I, written from the perspective of a native of the Congo River region, stressing his reaction to the slave trade.
A European’s description of the Congo River, explaining why it was so difficult to explore.
______KLG Activity 2 (Pages 21-46) Due _________
Chapter 1 (pages 21-32)
Write a resume of Henry Morgan Stanley as he would want his personal history known.
At the bottom of the page, make your personal observations as to how the reality of Stanley’s life differs from his resume.
Chapter 2 (pages 33-46)
Explain how the background of King Leopold’s life explains his interest in acquiring a colony in the Congo.
______KLG Activity 3 (Pages 47-74) Due __________
Chapter 3 (pages 47-60)
Write a newspaper editorial about Stanley’s crossing of Africa including your opinion of how he interacted with Africans.
Chapter 4 (pages 61-74)
Explain how King Leopold, with Stanley’s help, went about gaining control of much of the Congo, including how they deceived natives of the region. Describe the size and characteristics of the territory that Leopold hoped to control.
______KLG Activity 4 (Pages 75-100) Due __________
Chapter 5 (pages 75-87)
Describe the many clever ways that King Leopold manipulated people to gain control of the Congo.
Chapter 6 (pages 88-100)
What tools were vital for King Leopold and other imperialists in Africa?
Why did King Leopold gain international support for his control of the Congo? How did his real goal differ from his purported goal?
_______KLG Activity 5 (Pages 101-139) Due ___________
Chapter 7 (pages 101-114)
Describe the differences in their viewpoints about the Congo and explain why these differed:
George Washington Williams
Chapter 8 (pages 115-139)
Based on what you read in this chapter, prepare a detailed indictment of charges against King Leopold and his functionaries in the Congo. This indictment should be written from the perspective of natives of the Congo.
_______KLG Activity 6 (140-166) Due __________
Skip Chapter 9
Chapter 10 (pages 150-166)
Who was William Shepherd and why were his travels in Central Africa so significant?
Why had rubber supplanted ivory as the most lucrative product in Leopold’s Congo? Why was it so difficult to gather rubber? How were natives forced to do this?
________KLG Activity 7 (Pages 167-181) Due __________
Chapter 11 pages 167-181
Create two columns labeled “Leopold” and “Natives of the Congo”. In the first column list all the ways Leopold gained from his colony, including how he used his wealth. In the other column list all the ways natives of the Congo lost out in Leopold’s colony.
Explain how Leopold attempted to cover up complaints by missionaries about abuses in the Congo.
Describe the background of Edmund Morel. What did he discover about the implications of trade with Leopold’s Congo.
_______KLG Activity 8 (Pates 185-208) Due __________
Chapter 12 pages 185-194 and Chapter 13 pages 195-208
How did E.D. Morel go about proving King Leopold’s abuses in the Congo? What was the result of Morel’s disclosures?