Initially, the country was inhabited by pygmies and bushmen,
but in the 16th century the current Congo became the abode
of the bantu kingdoms of Luango and Kacongo, close allies
with the region's great power Manicongo. The Portuguese
colonization efforts succeeded, and these kingdoms
participated for 3 centuries in the slave trade as middlemen
and suppliers to the French and the English; an activity
later taken over by the bateke kingdom of Anzico.
the slave trade was replaced by rubber and palm oil
production towards the end of the 19th century; it brought
the French colonizers to the country.
French troops led by Savorgnan de Brazza in 1880
initiated the bloody colonization of the country. 2/3 of the
original population was eradicated in the first quarter of
the century. The rail link between Brazzaville and
Pointe-Noire was built by what one might best describe as
slave laborers. It greatly contributed to the formation of
the first anti-imperialist movements which, under the
leadership of Matswa, had almost a semi-religious
After World War II, resistance was led by
socialist-inspired trade union and student movements.
As an introduction to the " decolonization ", the French
promoted the monk Fulbert Youlou, who, as leader of the
Democratic Union for the Defense of the Africans, became the
first president of the independent Congo in 1960. The
popular organizations never accepted his neo-colonial
policy, and the protests against the corruption and the
abuses of the trade unions exploded in a popular uprising,
the so-called "three golden days", from August 13 to 15,
Youlou resigned and the leader of the National Assembly,
Alphonse Massembla Débat, assumed power. He was declared a
socialist and forced the French troops to leave the country.
The National Revolutionary Movement was founded as the only
legal country in the country.
The war caused by discrepancies between the Revolutionary
movement and the country's army, trained and armed by the
French, led to the resignation of Massemba Debate on 1
January 1969. He was replaced by young Major Marien N'Gouabi,
who represented the Army left wing.
Political life was resurrected and the Congolese Workers
Party, PCT, was founded by Marxist-Leninist observance. In
1973, a new constitution was introduced and the new People's
Republic was a fact.
In December, N'Gouabi launched a public "self-criticism
campaign" and called for a radicalization of the revolution.
It was the beginning of a reform process of party
structures, of the state apparatus and of the popular
N'Gouabi initiated a teaching reform - until then all
teaching material was written in French - and modernized the
In connection with Angola's independence, the Congo did
not hesitate to recognize the government of Agostinho Neto.
The country's attitude to the Cabinda province, which
belongs to Angola, was crucial to the attempts to separate
the oil-rich province, despite the support of the
multinational corporations operating in the Congo.
N'Gouabi was assassinated on March 18, 1977, by a group
of conspirators, led by former President Massemba Debate.
However, the coup makers failed to take power and Massemba
Debate was executed.
Under the new president, Colonel Joachim Yombi Opango,
the official, ascetic political line changed. Following
charges of corruption and abuse of power, he was forced to
retire on February 6, 1979. He was replaced by Denis Sassou
This launched a public-sector morality campaign and
implemented administrative and ministerial reforms. Towards
the end of 1981, the Congo ran into problems related to
foreign trade, which was due to the inefficiency of state
enterprises. However, the government refused to shut down
the state enterprises.