Sugar Trade Essay

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Sugar Trade Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 977

  • Pages: 4

Sugar Trade

“Give me some sugar!” When most people hear that phrase, it usually means someone wants a kiss. But in the late 1600s and early 1700s, people want to plant sugar. True, it started some 9000 years ago in New Guinea, but it took a while before the rest of the world caught on. During this time, there was a movement called the sugar trade. Although there were many forces driving the sugar trade, what mainly drove it were the ideal land masses for sugar production, the amount of slaves needed, and the demand for it.

The first driving force behind the sugar trade was finding the perfect land to grow the plant. Jamaica and Barbados were under British rule in 1750 (Doc. 1), and they were the ones who discovered that the islands were well within the ideal climates for producing sugar because they were in the correct temperature climate, and had the perfect soil; the only off thing was the amount of rainfall they had was less than perfect amount. (Doc. 2) The encyclopedia tells us that the land that the British conquered than its own land and/or even England’s own land. Once a man had found the model land, he would state everything that he needs for his plantation, such as windmills, a boiling-house, the amount of slaves and animals, and all the other houses and shops. (Doc. 6)

Belgrove demonstrated that owning a plantation was a big deal and one had to be absolutely sure on everything that was needed in order to have a fully-functioning plantation. Most plantations were owned by wealthy English families, instead of numerous people buying the land together. (Do. 7) It can be interpreted that Mintz said that the better was to get money was to own the whole thing by yourself. Men like Charles Long and John Gladstone owned large amounts of land and therefore became richer because of the amount of land they owned, amount of sugar they produced and the amount of slaves they had. (Doc. 7) Williams shows us that rich Englishmen liked getting richer and they used their plantations to attain this goal.

The second driving force behind the sugar trade was the amount of slaves that were needed in order to produce these mass amounts of sugar. Men, and women, and possibly children, were forced into the field to work or into the boiling-house. (Doc. 8) Clark and Bridgens illustrated that the British didn’t care what age or gender you were, you still went out and made sugar each and every day. Slaves didn’t come cheap though, at least not in British Caribbean. In 1748, slaves cost €32 in the British Caribbean whereas they only cost €14 on the West African coast. (Doc. 9) This indicates that the British Caribbean wanted to give the buyers a run for their money, whereas the African coast didn’t know better, this was all new to them.

As the amount of slaves someone owned went up, so did the amount of sugar that was produced, unless you were the French in 1789, where they somehow actually lost tons. (Doc. 10) The British were probably more efficient in producing crops than the French and it resulted in them being the biggest sugar trader in the Caribbean. The need for slaves was so imperative that the British would trade thing that weren’t even theirs in order to make sure they had slaves. (Doc. 11) Campbell displays the variety of thing that the Brits would trade, such as powder, bullets, tobacco-pipes, certain toys, and some East India goods, but in the end, nothing was their own.

The third force behind the sugar trade was the demand. Everywhere you looked, there were people using sugar for something. Whether it be tea, or rum, people had to have sugar. They would have a large barrel that weighed between 700 and 1200 pounds filled with sugar and people would go insane trying to get it. (Doc. 3) Parris illustrates this to us and Moseley says that the increasing demand for sugar exceeded all comparison with other articles, meaning sugar was the number one thing that Brits of the 1600s and 1700s wanted more than life itself. The UK, and most of the rest of the world, has used sugar to put in tea, which has made tea the most important nonalcoholic drink ever. (Doc. 4)

Sugar was and is still a big deal, not only in England, but also in the US; ask ten people and see how many of them drink tea or coffee with sugar in it. By 1770, the population was well above eight million, and the consumption was up to 16.2 pounds. (Doc. 5) That basically says that all the Brits were drinking two pounds of sugar a year! They even set up a parliament that set up a trading system that said Brits made materials into finished goods, such as pots and pans, and then merchants would go and sell it at high prices in England and other countries, which meant more money came in than went out. (Doc. 12) This meant that they could use the money that came in to buy more sugar or slaves to make sugar.

Although there were many forces driving the sugar trade, what mainly drove it were the ideal land masses for sugar production, the amount of slaves needed, and the demand for it. One beneficial factor to this DBQ would have been more information on the French because it’s know that they were also planting and growing sugar, but we don’t hear their success story, as they did pass Britain in the top sugar producer in 1740.

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Sugar Trade Essay

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Sugar Trade Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 486

  • Pages: 2

Sugar Trade

It is no exaggeration to say that the foundations of the modern globalized world were made of sugar. In the 15th century Europeans first encountered its sweet delights and by the late 1600s sugar growing had taken firm hold in the Caribbean. There are a few factors behind how this product became so popular. These factors are consumer demand, labor, and land. After the discovery of sugar, the demand for it was dramatically high. Consumer demand was crucial to the survival of sugar in the trading business; thanks to the people’s thriving love for the product, sugar began as a competitor against other exotic imports for British preference (Docs. 3 & 4). Sugar consumption had reached 10% of overall food expenses for some English families in the 1700s (Doc. 5). This was beneficial to the Parliament in England; they passed a series of laws dealing with trade which allowed England to gain more wealth and power through the selling of this product (Doc.12).

In order for the sugar to be ready for market it had to go through a long process of preparation. This is where the labor factor comes in. The ones who made this happen were slaves the English merchants purchased in Africa along with a great variety of goods (Docs. 9 & 11). These slaves worked in sugar plantations and boiling-houses located in the Caribbean (Docs. 8 & 10). The process of cultivating sugar cane was tough and exhausting for the slaves, but there was one factor that helped ease the process: the land.

The land played a very important role in what was the success of sugar throughout Europe. The majority of the sugar plantations were located in the Caribbean, where the land was fertile and the climate was perfect for the production of sugar, especially in the island of Jamaica (Docs. 1 & 2). A good environment for sugar production meant more sugar; more sugar meant more produce to sell, and with more sells comes more money. These plantations were usually run as individually owned enterprises by wealthy English families (Doc. 7). In order to be successful, these plantations required certain work houses, shops, a certain amount of slaves and cattle, and so on (Doc. 6).

In the end, all these factors helped the plantation owners gain a great profit. These three factors were what drove the sugar trade. The land helped increase the final profits earned in the trade. Slaves also played a major role here; without them the sugar production would not have been as fast and as successful as it was. Consumer demand, however, was the most important part of what drove the sugar trade. People’s desire for the sweetener only got greater with the increase in population and even nowadays sugar continues to be a big part of our daily lives.

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Sugar Trade Essay

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Sugar Trade Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 532

  • Pages: 2

Sugar Trade

Many things helped drive the sugar trade. Demand, slavery, and climate played a major role in the driving of the sugar trade. Demand was greatly increasing throughout the years. The climate of the caribbean islands where cane sugar was grown. Slavery provided “free” work to produce sugar which in turn increased profits for the farmers. In England, sugar was not shipped there until the year 1317. But once the sugar was becoming a popular import, it boomed. Sugar consumption and import grew tremendously from 1700 to 1775. In 1700, Britain imported 280.7 sugar imports per 1000 cwts and each person consumed 4.6 pounds of sugar annually. These numbers increased by almost as much as 500% of imports and almost 400% of consumption. In 1770, 1,379.2 per 1000 cwts were imported to Britain and each person annually consumed 16.2 pounds of sugar. Sugar consumption equalled nearly 105 of overall food consumed for some families in England in the 1700s.

After 1660, sugar imports exceeded the total imports of ALL the other imports coming into Britain. Slavery was probably the most important factor in the driving of the sugar trade. Slaves could be traded for common items that people on plantations had. This in turn could pretty much provide “free” labor in the production of sugar. If a plantation owner could have enough slaves to run the sugar farm, they could produce more profit and eliminate paid labor. in 1768, at a male slave’s peak price, they cost 41 British pounds. If a plantation owner needed say 100 people to farm and produce sugar, they would be spending roughly 4100 British pounds to have slaves do essentially “free” work then. If a plantation owner owner had to hire 100 workers and had to pay them 1 British pound a day, then in 41 days, they would be spending more money than they would have if they would have bought 100 slaves.

So, slaves essentially paid for themselves in 41 days. After 41 days, production of sugar would be “free” for the plantation owners. Climate was also a key role in the sugar trade. Without the right climate, sugar cane would have to be produced further away therefore increasing the price of the import. Ideal climate for the production of sugar cane was a latitude range of 37 degrees north to 30 degrees south, a temperature range of 68 to 90 degrees, soil type of volcanic or alluvial with sand/silt/clay mix, and an average rainfall of 80 to 90 inches a year.

The climate for the two caribbean islands that Britain received its sugar from was 18 degrees north latitude for Jamaica and 13 degrees north for Barbados, the temperature range for Jamaica was 68 to 86 degrees and 72 to 86 degrees in Barbados, the soil type was clay/silt/sand mix in Jamaica and clay and sand mix in Barbados, and the average rainfall was 77 inches in Jamaica and 60 inches (with considerable variety) in Barbados. The sugar trade was a very booming trade. Many things influenced this trade. We are still experiencing a major usage of sugar in todays world, with many of the same things influencing it, except for slavery. Machines took the place of the slaves.

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