In 1890 the King of Belgium decided to make as much money as he could exporting rubber from the Congo. Rubber is made from the sap of rubber vines and trees. Though he called his country the “Free State Of Congo” it was not really very free at all. In fact very large numbers of people died because many workers he employed to gather the rubber from the villages were very cruel. People had to work so hard to collect enough rubber to pay the King that they were not able to provide food for their families.