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Abstract. Purpose. The goal is to reveal and analyze the historical prerequisites and reasons for the colonial expansion of European states on the African continent in the context of the formation of the world colonial system, to characterize the main ideological concepts of colonialism and their influence on the specifics of colonization processes in Africa.
Scientific novelty. An attempt was made to comprehensively reveal and analyze the ideological concepts, prerequisites and reasons for the colonial expansion of European states on the African continent with the involvement of a wide array of scientific works of foreign historiography on this issue.
Result. It was found that certain ideological concepts (mercantilism, free trade, protectionism) influenced the formation of the colonial policy of European states in Africa. One of the reasons for the European colonization of Africa was the demand for natural resources and cheap labor. Industrialization, which developed rapidly and spread throughout Europe, needed raw materials, since in the second half of the 19th century. almost all European countries, which until then were in a state of catch-up industrialization, reached a new level of industrial development. Another reason was the need for sales markets, and this motive was mainly determined by industrialists. They encouraged their governments to colonize the African continent to secure markets for their manufactured goods. An equally important reason was the effort of Europeans to civilize Africa, so missionary work and free trade were seen as ways to speed up the process of enculturation of African peoples. The development of scientific research in the second half of the 19th century also contributed to the emergence of ideas of colonial expansion in the European environment.
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