The sugar cane plant needed precise conditions to thrive, as the plant was a native of Southeast Asia. But the arrival of sugar saw the emergence of large-scale sugar plantations (the landscape was dotted with windmills used for crushing the cane) and the widespread use of African slaves. Altogether, the Caribbean islands had, in a relatively short period, absorbed more than 450,000 Africans, Brazil 500,000 to 600,000, and Spanish America between 350,000 and 400,000. The Portuguese developed plantations and exported slaves to work sugar operations in diverse locations worldwide, including, notably, in Brazil. The first blacks shipped to the Americas were those already accustomed to Spain or Portugal or the Atlantic islands. In Brazil, the enslavement of native people began more slowly and lasted longer, but never proved satisfactory, especially for work in the sugar industry. This crop was labour intensive and large numbers of slaves were purchased to do this work. These formed a plantation base upon which sugarcane could be commercially pro­ duced. Then, it was the Portuguese who realised that new and favourable conditions for sugar plantations existed in Brazil, where a slave-based plantation economy was established. Again they fall to work... until eleven o'clock or noon; the bell rings and the slaves are dispersed in the neighbourhood to pick up natural grass and weeds for the horses and cattle (and to prepare and eat their own lunch)... At two o'clock, the bell summons them to deliver in their grass and to work in the fields... About half an hour before sunset they are again required to collect grass - about seven o'clock in the evening or later according to season - deliver grass as before. (You can use HTML tags like and
    to style your text. After 1523, however, African slaves began to move in a westerly flow - to the Americas. They told the slaves how to tap the sugar-tree to let the liquid out, and to boil it down so as to get the sugar from it. The first thing the negroes did was to clear the land of bush, and then to sow blue grass seed for the cattle to feed upon. Who Brought Sugar to Cuba? Prior to 1600, sugar was a costly luxury, the domain of the rich. Error type: Camper's book about the history of the Gin & Tonic! (Rum is distilled from molasses, the byproduct of sugar production.). The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. However, after the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, plantation owners began growing sugar cane. Columbus carried sugarcane from the Canary islands to New World on his second voyage to Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) in 1493. Barbados offers the best example of what happened. The sugar was best grown on land that was near the coast where the soil was naturally yellow and fertile. Exports from the island formed a substantial slice of France's trading wealth, but it was built at a terrible price and exploded in revolutionary and racial fury in the 1790s. Portugal soon got into the sugarcane farming business as well. Please enable JavaScript if you would like to comment on this blog. On a phone or … Sugar cane was to be the first crop the plantation was to be created to produce. By the end of the sixteenth century, about 80 per cent of slaves exported from West Africa went to the Americas. The Filipino domestic demand for sugar is high, and there is a need to produce a renewable energy from its byproducts because of rising imported oil prices. The industry grew rapidly and by 1830 New Orleans had the largest sugar refinery in the world with an annual capacity of 6,000 tons. The slaves working the sugar plantation were caught in an unceasing rhythm of arduous labor year after year. With this invaluable Dutch help, the English in particular were able to brush aside the fading power of Spain in the Caribbean. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 gave slavery a new life in the United States. Later they brought in experts from the Canary Islands to help get it established. When we arrived there we found a great deal of uncultivated land belonging to the farm. The Atlantic slave trade was now dominated by English and French slave ships. The Illustrated History of How Sugar Conquered the World. Although refined sugar was available in the Old World, Europe’s harsher climate made sugarcane difficult to grow, and it was not plentiful. In Section I the introduction of the crop into the Mediterranean and the establishment of the first plantations is examined. 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