Cuba 's Greatest Blessing And Curse Essay

Cuba 's Greatest Blessing And Curse Essay

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Sugar has been both Cuba’s greatest blessing and curse. Cuba’s sugar frontier was able to develop due to its environment, technology, and slave labor availability. It became an everyday lifestyle for the people that inhabited it. The failures of other industries in Cuba accelerated the growth of a booming sugar crop that lasted many decades and allowed for Cuba to become more prominent in the world. Despite the extreme success of the sugar industry in Cuba, it eventually fell due to societal, economic, and environmental changes within the country.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus and his crew sailed up the coast of Cuba. He described the valleys and mountains “full of tall, cool trees that it was a glory to see,” landscapes in which on saw “ everything full of palm trees groves.” Explorer Bartolome de Las Casas, affirmed that all was a “flat land full of woods and glades.” (Monzote) Less than two decades later, the colonization of Cuba began with three hundred (300) Europeans, under the command of Diego Velazquez. The abundance of forest area that was covered with precious wood, sparked the interest of influences overseas. At first, Cuba’s primary industry was considered to be shipbuilding due to Havana’s transformation into a center of shipbuilding and the great demand for wood. Various assortments of trees dominated areas of rich soils and flatlands in Cuba. Due to the abundance of these lands, it led to the near total destruction of these lands, to satisfy the demand for wood. Cuba failed to prosper in sugar before the 1760s due to Spanish trade regulations. Spain had a monopoly in the Caribbean and their primary objective was to protect this. They did not allow the islands to trade with any foreign ships. As Hispaniola develo...


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...tion of forests. This great escalation in the transformation of forests into cane fields bore short fruits compared with the damage to the ecosystem. (Monzote) It seemed as though Cuba would soon find itself without the shade of a single tree. After the slaves were emancipated between 1880 and 1886, the planter class in Cuba underwent a transformation. Many mills stopped operating after abolition and became unprofitable when they were unable to modernize and keep up with technological advances. The lands belonging to these mills usually became sugar colonies that produced cane for neighboring centrales. Freed slaves from the core area of the ingenio economy moved out to frontier regions in eastern Cuba, drifted into the cities, or remained on the plantations as wage workers. In this advancement, slaves benefited from the sugar boom as the ecology of Cuba suffered.

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Cuba 's Great Blessing And Curse Essay

- Sugar has been Cuba 's great blessing and curse all at once, just as much as it’s indigenous people, convenient location, size, tropical climate and rich soil. Cuba’s sugar frontier was able to develop due to its environment, technology, and slave labor availability and became an everyday lifestyle for the people that inhabited it. When Christopher Columbus and his crew landed on the coast of Cuba in 1492, he described the valleys and mountains “full of tall, cool trees that it was a glory to see,” landscapes in which on saw “ everything full of palm trees groves.” Even Bartolome de Las Casas, affirmed that all was a “flat land full of woods and glades.” Less than two decades later the colon...   [tags: Slavery, Caribbean, Slavery in the United States]

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