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The World Turned Upside Down: The Chronicles of the Kongo Kingdom

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Brief information:

The Kongo Kingdom (Kongo dya Ntotila or Wene wa Kongo) was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At its greatest extent, it reached from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Kwango River in the east, and from the Congo River in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. The kingdom consisted of several core provinces ruled by a monarch, the Manikongo (sixteenth century spelling of 'Mwene Kongo) of the Bakongo (Kongo peoples, also known as the Essikongo), but its sphere of influence extended to the neighboring states such as Ngoyo, Kakongo, Ndongo and Matamba as well.

Editors note:
This AAR is dedicated to all Africans were enslaved, deported, and killed in the name of Western imperialism. By this AAR, I will show what the world would be like if the world is turned upside down.

Chapter I: In the Beginning

Kongo was ruled the tribal chief Nkwuzu. The kingdom's income solely depended on ivory trade and some occassional raiding on neighboring chiefdoms.

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Nkwuzu and his entourage​

Despite, the apparent "backwardness" of Kongo, it has a rich maritime trading relations with other rich kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Portuguese. Because of this situation, they tended to look the power and strengths of these kingdoms as their yardstick for success. For Nkwuzu, the adoption of new and sophisticated technologies is a break from tradition but such technologies are tools for future empire-building aspirations.

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Expansion to Luanda

The Army of Kongo expanded their realm to the coastal region of Luanda in the winter of 1453. The region seemed to be a strategic location to establish a maritime center for its growing trade with the outside world. With this position of strength, Nkwuzu can enforce his will on the global demand for ivory.

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Because of the importance of this ivory trade, it is also imperative that they protect their maritime center with the establishment of a coastal fort. Pirates were everywhere in West Africa. The fort of Sao Salvador was established to protect this vital nerve center.

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The fort of Sao Salvador

That year was start of a new era in world history. Large European ships have been sighted, the appearance of white men intensified and now raised fears on what their intentions they may have on Kongo. The advisors of Nkwuzu feared that these men might enslave them.

"We must act now!" an adviser said.

"It is in the prophecy that they will destroy our people!" another one added.

Nkwuzu was angered by the statements of his advisors. "SILENCE...." he said.

The advisors were executed. "Anyone who will make such statements would be executed immediately," Nkwuzu said.

Nkwuzu has no choice but to adopt the technologies and ideas of these white men so that he can protect his people. The only way he has to do is to make good relations with them and convince them to have a good trading relations. So as long as they have good relations with the white men, his kingdom will be adopting their ways and master it so that the Kongolese can fight the white men with the way they fight and the technologies that they can acquire from them.

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unmerged(63836)

Field Marshal
Dec 25, 2006
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Man - you seems to choose most difficult and exotic countries - Good luck.
Kongo had quite interesting geopolitical situations - I`ll watch this.
 

PrawnStar

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Another zytrexx AAR to follow? Good!
 

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Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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Onward Congolese Soldiers!
 

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my goodness ! another corner of the world to visit ! Good luck here , you sure are prolific ! XD
 

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Chapter II: Black Power

Chapter II: Black Power

Nkwuzu sent his emissary Obekwi to survey the European management and administration of their European colonies in Morroco. He also demanded for favorable trade relations with them, especially with the Portuguese, who were huge buyers of ivory.

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Nkwuzu with a pistol, a gift from the Portuguese​


However, despite huge demands for slaves, Nkwuzu didn't made his own people as slaves to these white men. "Kongolese people are no slave to the white men, its them who should be slave for us. We must resist them and destroy them!" a bold remark by Nkwuzu.

Even court jesters were mocking these white men. They even popularized a dance wherein the dancers covered their face white powder and impersonating white men as eccentric and weird people.

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This Kongolese dance impersonated a frightened white man​

The ivory trade intensified as demand for it increased. The Portuguese extended their trading ports to the Gold coast region. Concessions and demands also increased as the Portuguese wanted a bigger share of the trade.

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The ivory trade - the source of contention

Obekwi's report on the conditions on the Portuguese colonies were shocking. Their worst fears were true....their people were sent into cramp ships bound for the New World wherein they would work in plantations throughout their lives in a horrible condition under the white men.

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A tribute to Portuguese exploration - an eerie start of the African enslavement process

He picture out the miseries and hardships that his people would be in under colonial slavery. And so he warned his king that they would invest their resources to strengthen their kingdom so that they would be able to defend themselves from European encroachment.

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Black slaves in Portuguese sugar plantations

Black power is the rallying cry of the Kongolese and every black man because it is a resistance to white men's burden.
 

unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
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So, I guess just growing rich off the sinews of the ivory trade is out of the question?
 

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Imperator Caesar Augustus
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Chapter III: Kongo Expansion

Chapter III: Kongo Expansion

The death of Nkwuzu brought Bernardo I to power (who they say is a Portuguese puppet). Immediately, he initiated major reforms that transformed the backward despotic monarchy to a more centralized feudal kingdom.

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Bernardo I's ascension to the Kongolese throne

Bernardo I was schooled by a Portuguese missionary at Porto Goncalves in Fernando Po island. Being the only heir to the throne left behind by Nkwuzu, we was groomed by the Portuguese to represent their interest in the ivory trade. However, Bernardo I openly resisted further Portuguese encroachment to his kingdom.

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Bernardo I - The King of Kongo

He slowly transformed his kingdom into a cohesive military force with the adoption of Portuguese military system. He is now less dependent on tribal warriors, instead he now formed a professional army that can able to react to foreign intrusion into his realm.

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He forbid Europeans to venture into his realm. Still many European adventurers managed to enter his kingdom in search for ivory, gold, slaves, and exotic animals. One of the exotic animals was the giant ape named "King Kong", the guardian of the lost treasures of King Solomon. Though many explorers died by diseases, wild animals, and cannibals, many were still determined to capture the elusive ape.

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A hungry cannibal ready to eat human flesh

Even the regions considered permanent terra incognita have legends of their own as tales on the fountain of youth have drawn more adventures to venture into the interior. Because of this development, Bernardo I issued a seclusion decree to close its realm to foreign entry.

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The terrifying King Kong!!

Despite the proclamation of the seclusion decree, the Kongolese seemed poised to expand and colonized the neighboring region.

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Across the Congo river

Kongo in 1458 AD
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The Kongolese 1st and 2nd Army is exploring the northern and southern region.
 

unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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You got QFTNW?

How hard is research given your African tech group?
 

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Imperator Caesar Augustus
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Chapter IV: Southward Trek

Chapter IV: Southward Trek

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The explorers of the emerging Kongo Empire ventured southward as they were virtually unopposed by "uncivilized" tribes. Despite uncertain terrain and unhospitable climate, the explorers have reached the southern end of the continent. Finally, Kongolese armies reached the Cape.

Despite the success, the Kongolese contingent soon found a new threat emerging from the bushland. This threat was the proud bushmen tribes, who were threatened by foreign encroachments. Other tribes that were considered threat to the Kongolese colonies were the Xhosas and the Zulus but the bushmen were the most fiercest.

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Kongolese merchants have to bribe them with bottled water as tribute

Kongolese merchants have to bribe these bushmen with important necessities such as water for them to gain safe passage to bushmen territory.

Only time will tell when these tribes would attacked the Kongolese domain.

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This Bush archer is harrassing an approaching Kongolese caravan

Bushmen have also trained their young to resist the Kongolese invaders. They instilled their kids with warlike ferocity unmatched against the highly trained Kongolese arquibusiers.

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Kongolese arquebusiers were trained marksman

Bushmen resistance instensified, and Kongolese expansion bogged down as the empire have deployed more troops to quell the resistance. The treasury was trained as the empire continued to invest military training of its elite arquebusiers from the Portuguese port of Fernando Po.

Niger_45.gif
Kongolese soldiers camping in a remote region of the Cape colony
 

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Imperator Caesar Augustus
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continuation...

The Kongolese were fast learners as they slowly but surely emulated the ways of the Portuguese. The Kongolese who visited the island of Fernando Po saw the way Portuguese live first hand. Bernardo I even visited the Azores and Lisbon with his huge entourage of ministers and advisers. The great manufactories of Lisbon and Oporto marvelled Bernardo as he wanted to create a military power of his nation. A powerful military backed up by a strong economy system.

Bernardo's patience paid off as the country's technological development rose and now comparable to a third-rate European power of that time.

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Kongolese technological development is fast catching with its European counterparts

The great explorer Jose Youla destroyed the last bushmen resistance as he pushed the tribe further into the interior. The Kongolese were now free to explore the eastern side of the continent.

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To the EAST!!
 

unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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Your tech is looking pretty good, all things considered.
 

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Imperator Caesar Augustus
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Chapter V: War with Hausa and Benin

Chapter V: War with Hausa and Benin

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"The bloody imbeciles of Benin and Hausa harrassed our men exploring the northern region. Despite our peaceful intentions, they seemed to be irritated by our growing empire's expansion. We must destroy them before they take our lands and grow in strength that we can longer stop."

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"Sire, we have found out that the Hausans and Beninese were assembling huge army as they prepared to fight together should we invade them. They are eager to stop our encroachments to their realm. We must act now!!"

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"We are ready to fight to the death. The Kongo kingdom must prevail!! Destroy Hausa....destroy Benin....destroy them all!!"

The war is now...Kongolese troops were in an increasing numbers near the border with Hausa. As war looms nearer and nearer, Bernardo I's main Royal Army arrived and now he declared war in a melodramatic speech.

"...Kongolese, we are here today to settle the faith of our mighty kingdom. The road to greatness starts with a single step, and that single step will take us to immortality in the history of men. The conquest of our enemies is the cornerstone of our greatest legacy in the history of man. We shall write history as we saw fit. Its us or them. Let yourselves decide the outcome...."


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Kongolese arquebusiers in action

The battle ready and motivated Kongolese armies seemed to be unstoppable and easily steamrolled the combined Beninese and Hausan troops. Because of this circumstance, the enemies switched to guerilla warfare. The war dragged on for another few months as the Kongolese invasion progress stalled.

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The guerilla warfare seemed to work in the forested region as a Hausan archer mortally wounded Bernardo I. He was died a few hours later. His distant cousin became Pedro I, however, he was ambushed and was killed. The guerillas seemed eager to gain favorable peace with the Kongolese.

The regency council wanted to end the war for the moment as morale sank low. A peace offer was successful and war came to an end in favor of Kongo for the price of two monarchs killed in the battlefield.

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Political Situation after the war against the Hausa-Benin alliance

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Religious distribution in the region

Kongo's victory stopped the spread of Islam down south. The victory also increased Kongo's wealth as the empire gained gold-rich provinces.