Sugar In The Caribbean

Good Essays
Candy, ice cream, and cake contain sugar. A thousand years ago sugar was used in many things such as medical purpose and spice. When Hindu discovered sugar in 500 AD, they took it many places of the world, so it started to spread. While it was spreading around the world it became a luxury product for people. As a result a British colonists called sugar “white gold”. Every adult on the Earth’s surface knows that sugar is obtained from the sugarcane plant, but some of them do not know the story of it history. The relationship between sugar and its history gives us a vision into several problems, such as sugar production, and slavery. Sugar was the most important crop throughout the Caribbean, although other crops such as coffee, indigo,…show more content…
Anup Shah stated, “The slave trade was a major factor in the expansion of the sugar industries” (Allyn and Bacon, 1999,P 215). Most of European slaves were Africans. Africans were the major source of getting sugar. The main point of African slaves was economic. In early 16th century, an African slave was sold for only £7. Furthermore, in the late 16th century, the price of Africans per person became £17 - £22 and in the 17th century they cost £40 - £50 per person. According to Anup Shah; “The growing demand and production of sugar created the plantation economy in the New World and was largely responsible for the expansion of the Atlantic slave trade in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries” (Allyn, Bacon, 1999, P215). Perhaps the second important reason for dominating Africans is that Europeans thought that they Africans are more suitable to the conditions of the weather than locals. They were taken because they could handle the heat and humidity due to their countries conditions. As Fog Olwig (1993, P 34) points out, in the middle of the 16th century while sugar was more familiar than tobacco, African slaves were only 20% 0f the population. However, in the late 16th century, the population of black people rose dramatically, so Africans became more than locals. By the early 18th century, when sugar was orthodox, about 80% of the population was black. As a result, white owners of farms were scared, so they became harsher most of the time Africans had to survive. Death rate was high because of diseases and harsh treatment, which lead to suicide through jumping into the sea. When Africans arrived in Caribbean islands they were washed, cleaned and prepared for selling. Farms were almost dependent on slaves rather than family labour. It is true that they were brought for sugar industry mostly, but they had other tasks, such as clearing land and weeding. The death rate on
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