Monday, July 12, 2010
Actual and Potential Belgian Empire
This is the map, showing the areas I know of, which were or could have been Belgian colonies. King Leopold I looked into acquiring colonies in a number of areas, I probably am not familiar with all of them. Like I talked about in an earlier blog entry there was an idea for a Nueva Belgica colony in the Chihuahua state of Mexico. There were also investigators sent to Ethiopia-Sudan area to look into establishing a colony on the coast of the Red Sea (I estimated present day Eritrea). King Leopold II planned to colonize Hawaii (which very nearly happened) and looked into the Philippines, again probably some other areas I do not think of right now. King Leopold II did finally gain the Congo Free State as a colony and established a concession in the Chinese city of Tianjin after the Boxers Rebellion. During the reign of King Albert I there was the last expansion which was the mandate over Rwanda and Burundi as a result of World War I when these areas were taken from the German East African territory by General Tombeur. If all of these plans had gone through Belgium would have had quite an impressive colonial empire, but, even as it was many foreign powers were jealous that a country so small as Belgium ruled all of central Africa (the Congo area) that was quite a respectable landmass by itself.