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Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians, and is chiefly remembered for the founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State as a private venture. Born in Brussels as the second son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the throne on 17 December 1865, reigning for exactly 44 years until his death. This was the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf. He used explorer Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, an area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations ... more on Wikipedia

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