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The Congo Free State, also known as the Independent State of the Congo (French: État indépendant du Congo), was a large state and absolute monarchy in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was privately owned by and in a personal union with Leopold II of Belgium; it was not a part of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch. Leopold was able to seize the region by convincing other European states at the Berlin Conference on Africa that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the International Association of the Congo, he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo Basin. On 29 May 1885, after the closure of the Berlin Conference, the king announced that he planned to name his possessions "the Congo Free State", an appellation which was n

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  • Congo Free State
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  • The Congo Free State, also known as the Independent State of the Congo (French: État indépendant du Congo), was a large state and absolute monarchy in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was privately owned by and in a personal union with Leopold II of Belgium; it was not a part of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch. Leopold was able to seize the region by convincing other European states at the Berlin Conference on Africa that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the International Association of the Congo, he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo Basin. On 29 May 1885, after the closure of the Berlin Conference, the king announced that he planned to name his possessions "the Congo Free State", an appellation which was n
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