The cultivation of sugar was a lucrative enterprise as a result of the increased in sugar consumption in Europe. The increased demand for Barbadian sugar on the English market prompted planters with largest plantations to devote more than 80% of their estates to the production of sugar. As a result, Barbados and its planter class imported cheese, clothing, shoes, boots, butter, nags and other goods to sustain the plantation population. These commodities were manufactured at English factories and transported on English merchant vessels. Richard Ligon, a Barbados resident, reported that at least 100 ships entered Barbados yearly and brought tools for tradesmen, locks, knives, cloth, olives, capers, linen, swords, timbers, steel and other goods. The manufacturing of these goods provided a large number of employments at English sea ports, factories, and shipyards. The magnitude of trading activities during this period by was recorded by John Paige, a London merchant, specializing in the importation of luxury wine from the Canary Islands. Another London merchant named William Freeman in a series of letters with his associates recorded the trading activities between the colonies and England. Merchants like Freeman and Paige made exorbitant returns for the services they provided to their associates.
With the increasing demand for food and durable goods, most of which were imported from England as per the Navigation Acts, English existing and new industries grew rapidly. English factories exported massive quantity of commodities to Barbados and West Africa on yearly basis. On July 23, 1653, during a council meeting at Whitehall, the council granted permission for a number of desired good to be exported annually to Barbados. The l...
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...eated the perfect opportunities that allowed new and existing English factories to produce more durable goods, creating more jobs for the average English men and women. The factory employments provided long-term income, job security and stability to the English economy. It was off the sweats of the African men and women that English entrepreneurs and regular citizens enriched themselves. Furthermore, the profits gained from the sugar cane explosion and the trades that supported the kidnapping, transporting and the selling of the Africans to work for free on Barbados’ plantations financed the English government, and the development of new business ventures and inventions. Even though Barbados’ sugar production had declined by the end of the seventeenth century, the island continued to pump a lot of money in the English and European economies in the intervening years.
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