3.6 – Antislavery and Empire


Drescher, Abolition, 372-378, 385-386, 389, 392, 396-397, 400-401 (read other sections from Chapter 13 if you wish)

For information on the Congo Reform Association, read as much as you need to from these sources to address the discussion questions:


Mark Twain, King Leopold’s Soliloquy

Hunt Hawkins, Twain and the Congo Reform Movement

Discussion questions

[1] How prevalent was slavery in Africa and South Asia during the late 19th century?

[2] How did slavery in that era in Africa and South Asia differ from, or resemble, the types of slavery in the Americas that we have studied?

[3] What arguments did slaveholders in Africa and South Asia use to defend the legitimacy of slavery?

[4] What steps did the European powers take to undermine slavery in their colonial possessions?

[5] How did the establishment of the Congo Free State bolster slavery in Africa?

[6] How did the Congo Reform Association attempt to bring attention to the atrocities occurring in the Belgian Congo?

[7] Should the Congo Reform Association’s efforts be seen as successful?

[8] Are there any lessons that we can learn from the CRA’s experiences that might be useful in the present?



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