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Sugar Changed the World Timeline
Transcript of Sugar Changed the World Timeline
By Chris Zacharko
Year: 9000-8000 B.C.
The people of New Guinea originally found wild stalks of sugarcane. Over time, the people developed a way to refine the cane into sugar crystals. Both the sugar stalks and the idea of processing sugar spread throughout Asia.
Event #1- People of New Guinea Cultivate Sugar
Year: 400-600 A.D.
Jundi Shapur University was built in the Middle East country of Iran. It's location made it so that people from Asia, Europe, and Africa can learn and pass information. This led to doctors at the school learning of the "medicine" of sugar from India. The school's existence helped people experience the sweet taste of sugar.
Event #2- Information is Transferred to and from Jundi Shapur University
Year: 1095-1300 A.D.
The Champagne Fairs in France allowed merchants to bring and sell goods from the outside world, mostly from the Islamic Empire and India. These fairs moved sugar inside Europe. Kings and royalty as well as the common folk got their hands on sugar. The Crusades spread the stalks themselves as well as the process of planting and refining sugar to Europe. The islands of Sicily, Cyprus, and Rhodes filled up with sugar stalks.
Event #3- The Champagne Fairs and The Crusades Open up Europe
Year: 1400- 1500 A.D.
Spain and Portugal wanted a way of getting to Asia by sea without going around Africa. Instead, they ended up conquering the Madeira and Canary Islands. Columbus then discovered the New World (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) while bringing sugar with him. The crop thrived on all of these islands. However, to mass produce sugar, they needed to build sugar plantations, a new way of farming developed by Muslims. These plantations started slavery in the Americas.
Event #4- Spain, Portugal, and Christopher Columbus Spread and Start Sugar Plantations on Islands
Timeline Choices Paragraph
Event #5- Slaves from Africa are Brought to North America, Brazil, and the Caribbean Islands
Year: 1500-1800 A.D.
After Columbus brought sugarcane to the Caribbean, more people were needed to harvest the crop. Therefore, slaves from Africa were brought over on dirty ships to do hard labor under the tropical sun. Once the slaves got to their destination, they lived in damp and infected shacks, getting barely any rest. While working, an overseer scanned the plantations to ensure the slaves were working. After the havesting, the sugar was transported to Europe, but mostly to England. Unfourtunately, there were no slaves that were safe from the "Hell" of sugar plantations.
Event #7- Cambridge University Essay Starts a Change
Event #8- Saint Domingue (Haiti) Abolishes Slavery and Slaves Go Free
Event #9- The United States and England Makes Importing Slaves Illegal
Event #6- Beet Sugar Discovery
Event #10- Gandhi's Idea, Satyagraha Spreads
Year: 1786 A.D.
A man named Thomas Clarkson entered the Cambridge University Essay Contest. The director of the contest chose the topic "Is it lawful to make slaves of others against their will" in order to battle slavery. Clarkson's essay sparked about 400,000 Englishmen to expose the blood and sweat put into each bag of sugar. They stopped buying sugar from the sugar islands and instead from India. This one essay started to make slavery unacceptable.
Year: 1793- 1801 A.D.
The slaves are finally fed up with their white owners. With their leader Toussaint, the slaves started a rebellion against their owners. Soon after, the sugar plantations on the island were burned down. The white slave owners fled off of the island, and Paris officially included the island in France's ideal of brotherhood. This victory started revolutions all across the rest of the sugar islands.
Year: 1807-1808 A.D.
On March 25 at noon, King George III added a law in England that banned the importation of slaves from Africa. That was extremely good as England imported the most slaves to work on their islands. One year later, the United States signed a bill into law banning the same thing. Slavery was now widely unappreciated among the powerful nations at that time.
Year: 1747 A.D.
A German scientist named Andraeas Marggraf started experimenting with beets and parsnips. He cut up, dried, and mashed the beets and parsnips until both were a powder. He then took the sweetness of each powder and combined it to create sugar identical in taste to cane sugar. Since beets can be grown almost anywhere and took less people to harvest, beet sugar was victorious over sugarcane. In turn, some slaves were freed from their plantation prisons.
Gandhi, who was part of the Indian slave trade, wanted a way to strengthen themselves without the use of violent ways. He came up with Satyagraha after years experimenting how to be a honest and free person. His teachings in South Africa gave people a way to counteract the Black Act, an act that the Indians living in South Africa didn't like. After the Black Act was abolished, Gandhi moved back to India where he used Satyagraha as an effective weapon during the fight for India's independence. Gandhi's teachings would later be used by Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.
Sugar Changed the World
by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos tells of the place sugar had on the history of the world. I chose the ten most important events from the book in my opinion. Each event is connected in multiple ways. The first four events and event 6 all revolve around the spread of sugar around the world. This includes the sugar stalks themselves, the knowledge of sugar, plantations, or sugar products. The high demand of sugar, especially by Englishmen, contributed to the other events. Events 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are connected through slavery. These events are the most important events, in my opinion, that led to the freeing of millions of slaves stuck in the "Hell" of hard labor. However, every event that I chose impacted the world in some way. For example, without slavery, the world wouldn't have any sugar. Without sugar, the world wouldn't have certain foods and drinks. Without certain food and drinks... you get my point. Every event is connected to each other, and that's why I chose these ten important events.