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Selling Souls For Sugar: Slavery and Sugar Islands

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LaDaja Washington

on 27 April 2016

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Transcript of Selling Souls For Sugar: Slavery and Sugar Islands

Selling Souls For Sugar: Slavery and Sugar Islands
By: LaDaja Washington

Sugar Islands
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European powers established sugar colonies in the West Indies and along the Atlantic coast of South America. The first British sugar island was Barbados, followed by St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and Jamaica. In the nineteenth century, Grenada and Trinidad were added to the empire.
Sugar in the US
By the time the United States got serious about looking beyond its own borders to conquer new lands, much of the world had already been claimed. Only a few distant territories in Africa and Asia and remote islands in the Pacific remained free from imperial grasp. Hawaii was one such plum. Led by a hereditary monarch, the inhabitants of the kingdom prevailed as an independent state.
Sugar Revolutions
The sugar revolutions were both cause and consequence of the demographic revolution. Sugar production required a greater labor supply than was available through the importation of European servants and irregularly supplied African slaves. At first the Dutch supplied the slaves, as well as the credit, capital, technological expertise, and marketing arrangements.
Slavery
It was sugar that first made slavery important. The Sugar Boom developed first in Brazil. The Dutch as part of the War for Independence/Dutch Portuguese War seized northeastern Brazil ad held it for several decades. When the Portuguese finally ousted them, they brought sugar technology to the Caribbean. The climate was perfect. Small islands that had once been of only minor importance, suddely became enormously valuable.
The Trade
The trade in sugar was important to Britain’s development as a trading nation and as an empire. Throughout the eighteenth century, sugar from the colonies was England’s most important import. It was the driving force in a network of trade that spanned the Atlantic, touching three continents. Historians debate whether and how much the capital accumulation made possible by the sugar industry was instrumental in financing the industrial revolution. However, expanded networks of trade, such as those in which sugar was a force, certainly played a role in stimulating industrialization.




The Need For Sugar
Sugar was an exorbitantly successful commodity. Although the market was extremely volatile, with regular swings from scarcity to glut throughout the plantation era, production and consumption increased steadily throughout the period this exhibit covers.

The trade in sugar was important to Britain’s development as a trading nation and as an empire. Throughout the eighteenth century, sugar from the colonies was England’s most important import. It was the driving force in a network of trade that spanned the Atlantic, touching three continents. Historians debate whether and how much the capital accumulation made possible by the sugar industry was instrumental in financing the industrial revolution. However, expanded networks of trade, such as those in which sugar was a force, certainly played a role in stimulating industrialization
Conclusion
Sugar has been a hot commodity for years. The extreme need for it is what led to sugar plantations.
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