How Did Sugar Affect The Growth Of Sugar

Better Essays
The rapid growth of sugar as a food has a long and intertwining history that originated in New Guinea. Following the production, consumption, and power that corresponds with sugar, one is able to see numerous causes and effects of the changes underway in the world between 1450 and 1750. The production of sugar in the Americas eventually led to not only the creation of the Atlantic Slave Trade, but also enhanced commerce. Consumption of sugar through rapid trade thoroughly helped to develop modern capitalism. The power that sugar generated dramatically changed the economic, social, and political fate of the nation as a whole.
Geographically, sugar made its way around the world rather rapidly once it first left Indonesia. Sugar cane was first
…show more content…
One of the most significant causes that came out of sugar production was the Atlantic Slave Trade. “The vast majority of the African captives transported across the Atlantic, some 80 percent or more, ended up in Brazil and the Caribbean (Strayer 568).” Once the Portuguese and British brought sugar to the Americas, they came to the realization that the land was fertile. This opened up a vast array of possibilities that could not progress without the aid of increased labor. Out of this need for increased labor, slavery arises and proceeds to spread. Slaves worked on sugar-producing estates or plantations in horrible conditions. The extensive use of African slave labor gave these plantation colonies an extremely different ethnic makeup in comparison to that of Spanish America. The search for slaves leads to Africa where the “trade triangle” is produced. This triangle of trade includes the Americas, Africa, and Britain. First, Africa provides slaves for the Americas. In the Americas, the slaves are then used to cultivate the sugar production. The Americas have greater sugar production which then enables them to transport sugar to Britain in exchange for other goods and services such as silver and spices. Britain continued to trade with Africa in order to keep the cycle functioning. This triangle of trade allowed commerce to expand and…show more content…
“’s employment in social settings by even the least privileged and poorest of Britain’s citizens; and the significance of sugar for the empire, for the king, and for the classes whose wealth would be made and secured by the growing productivity of British labor at home and British enterprise abroad (Mintz 155).” With this knowledge, sugar was not always a source of profit within the empire. Multiple times, investors or even planters ended up bankrupt. In Sweetness and Power, Sidney W. Mintz goes so far as to say, “Its cumulative value to crown and capital alike were enormous (Mintz 156).” The availability and cost of sugar were the direct consequences of imperial policies that took form in a way of what it would become in the future rather than what it was at the time. Even as African and Asian colonies came into sugar cane cultivation, sugar continued to be consumed in increasing quantities.
The power of sugar led to major advancements within the economy between the period of 1450 to 1750. The long-term economic achievements of the new commodity markets stayed consistent even though some individuals did lose out. Overproduction of sugar became an issue and in a way affected the entire Atlantic economy. The global economy has a sweet tooth which only encouraged the emphasis put on the power of sugar. How could something so loved by the world not affect the economy? Besides the
Get Access