DBQ Essay: What Drove The Sugar Trade

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DBQ Essay – What Drove the Sugar Trade?

Beginning in the late 1600s and continuing through the 1700s the demand for sugar became incredibly high due to its addictive qualities. To supply the consumers with sugar they were craving, wealthy Europeans established sugar plantations throughout the Caribbean and built a thriving slave industry, so their need for cheap labor could be satisfied. Sugar consumption increased from 4.6lbs to 16.2lbs per capita annually from 1700 to 1770 due to the increasing addiction of the consumers. The manufacturers were faced with maintaining a high crop yield, but luckily the Caribbean islands provided an ideal location for growing cane sugar. Once plantations were constructed yet another issue confronted the owners, cheap labor. For the plantations to produce large enough quantities of sugar to fulfill the demand, many slaves were necessary; thus, a successful slave industry arose with the aid of these wealthy entrepreneurs who hoped to own successful plantations. The absentee owners in England, Spain, and France became increasingly wealthy as the demand and industry for sugar …show more content…

On any sizeable sugar plantation expensive goods and equipment were necessary if it was to produce effectively and therefore it was a substantial investment (Doc 6). Peter Macinnis refers to this need for considerable investment as the first curse of sugar; due to the fact that establishing a sugar plantation was an expensive endeavor only families that already had the means were able to do so (Doc 7). Without slaves the sugar industry would have failed, almost every aspect of the process of manufacturing sugar was done by slaves, as the demand rose so did the number of slaves, but there was a high price to pay if one was to acquire the amount of slaves necessary on a large plantation (Doc

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