1779 H.M. STANLEY AND THE CONGO – HOW A PUSHY WELSH ADVENTURER STARTED THE MODERN HISTORY OF AFRICA
Tim Butcher, author
The nineteenth century golden age of African exploration saw historic treks by European outsiders – Livingstone, Speke, Burton and de Brazza et al – each with their own level of significance. But the journey with undoubtedly the greatest impact was the 1874–77 trans-Africa expedition led by H.M. Stanley, an adventure that cost hundreds of lives in the short term and changed the course of African history in the long. By charting the Congo River, H.M. Stanley uncovered for the first time an economic rationale for Europeans to colonise Africa; the river would act as a fluvial super highway bringing European manufactured goods in and natural resources out. This two-hour lecture will look at every aspect of the journey – including an often overlooked Cape Town leg – that fired the starting gun for The Scramble for Africa, unraveling the turbulent history of the Congo region and touching on its troubled present.
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