The agents of the modern African slave trade- A photograph of the Force Publique, the official armed forces of the Congo Free State. It was composed of European officers and African soldiers from the Congo area and nearby West Africa. The force defended the Congo, fought Arab slave traders, and enforced rubber quotas.


  1. Who were the soldiers and who were the officers in this photo?
  2. Why might the soldiers have joined the Force Publique?
  3. What does the caption imply about the author’s views on the Force Publique?
  4. What does the structure of the army (soldiers/officers) say about the social class system in the Congo?
  5. Is this a good way to construct an army? Why or why not?
  6. Create a journal entry from the point of view of a soldier in the Force Publique.