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Jamaican Sugar Plantations

Powerful Essays
Jamaican Sugar Plantations

When beginning to discuss sugar plantations in Jamaica, the word slavery comes to mind. This thought occurs because of the crucial role that the slaves played in attempting to make these plantations successful. During the 18th century, "the so-called sugar colonies were the most valuable possessions of overseas empires" (Floyd, 38). Sugar plantations produced money for not only the economy of Jamaica, but for their motherland England as well. Essentially these plantations were created because the aristocrats in Europe needed something to sweeten all of their drinks. However, with lack of space in Europe, the wealthy decided that plantations would flourish in Jamaica. Despite the success of these plantations, they were tools used to discriminate and exploit African-Americans. When the abolition of slavery occurred in Jamaica, the role of the sugar plantation significantly declined. One can say that sugar plantations in Jamaica were mass industries that were designed to belittle the Africans and give them little chance at success.

The island of Jamaica is roughly 4400 square miles and its size rivals that of Connecticut. "Most of the island comprises a rugged and highly dissected topography, with steeply sloping hills and sharply twisting valleys" (Floyd, vii). With this rugged terrain, it seems to be quite ironic that nearly half of the population lives off the land. The Jamaicans rely on exceptional soil, a good irrigation system and fertilizer to ensure that their most prosperous crops will flourish. Sugar is among these resources that has helped create a stable economy in Jamaica.

Jamaica established itself as a leading sugar producer in the 18th century after they decided that they had ...

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...ound to become broken down. With the harsh realities slaves faced everyday, it was inevitable that its collapse would come. Nonetheless, sugar cane production was able to produce a stable economy in Jamaica for several years and ultimately led to the success of an entire nation.

Bibliography

Beckles, Hilary. Caribbean Slave Society and Economy. The New Press: New York, 1993.

Cliff, Michele. Abeng. Penguin Books: New York, 1984.

Floyd, Barry. Jamaica An Island Microcosm. St. Martin’s Press: New York, 1979.

Hall, Douglas. In Miserable Slavery. MacMillan Publishers:London, 1989.

Holt, Thomas. The Problem of Freedom. Hopkins Press:London, 1992.

Knight, Franklin. The Caribbean: Second Edition. Oxford University Press: New York,

1990.

Tomich, Dale. Slavery in The Curcuit of Sugar. Johns Hopkins University Press:

Baltimore, 1990.
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