Some Really Quick Facts About the Republic of the Congo
The area that is today the Republic of the Congo was originally inhabited by Bantu speaking tribes, most notably the Kongo tribe of which most of present-day Congo are descended from. The Kingdom of Kongo stretched from northern Angola to the western portions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the south of Gabon. It was an independent state until 1857 when it became a state of Portugal. In 1914 there was a failed revolt at which point Portugal assumed the Kingdom into Angola.
Back in the wider area that would become present day Congo, in 1484 Portuguese traders established trade links with the local population. Despite this there was no direct European influence or official colonization until the late 1800s.
In 1880 the French officially extended their rule to the region when they signed a treaty with King Makoko of the Bateke tribe. This tribe inhabited most of the Congo region. The new colony became known as the French Congo and included parts of Gabon, the Central African Republic and of course the Republic of the Congo.
In 1903 this colony became known as “Middle Congo” and in 1910 was assimilated into French Equatorial Guinea with Gabon, Chad and the Central African Republic. The capital of this new state was the Congo’s Brazzaville. During WWII the capital served as the “Free French Capital” while Nazi Germany occupied the French Capital.
In 1958 French Equatorial Guinea dissolved with the “Middle Congo” becoming known as the Republic of the Congo and gaining independence in 1960. Political instability and a dictatorship supported by the Society Union followed. From 1992-1997 a multi-party system was in place, but civil war unfolded, and the situation returned to pre-1992. This remains the situation today.
The Congo is home to 5.3 million people. Though the country is oil rich the people are among the world's poorest and the average life expectancy is only 61.
The country is best known though for its wild jungles and of course it's primate populations.
How is this Congo different to the other Congo? The other Congo being the Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC)? In short the DRC is much larger with almost double the population. It was also settled by Belgium not France. The list goes on and on but just remember they are two different countries!