sugar revolution

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Caribbean Pages: 5 (1730 words) Published: July 8, 2014
The Effects that the Sugar Revolution had on the 18th century Caribbean Society The Sugar became population in the West Indies. The English, French colonies who settled Caribbean island such as St.kitts in the early 16th grew tobacco in order to make money. For a little while they were able to make the profit. However by 1640’s the faced different competition from tobacco grower in virgina had certain advantages which are virgiana had large lots of fertile land. Virginia tobacco was cheaper and the quality was better. The English and French colonists found themselves in quandary as virgana tobacco was out selling their tobacco which meant they earned less money. Tobacco prices fell. the abundance of tobacco governs caused a glut on the markets tobacco production suppressed the customer base. The English and French settles realized that they needed as new cash crop and sugar was chosen due in European, honey was hard to access and it was expensive. Sugar was becoming popular as sweenter in Europe. And also the dutch were willing to assist them in delevoping a sugar industry by providing capital, credit, slaves and expertise. The adoption of sugar cane as the new cash crop caused far reaching changes in the british and French colonies. These changes were so dramatic that they were termed the ‘Sugar Revolution’ which mean the changover of cash crop from tobacco to sugar which caused widerspread changes in the colonies socially, economically, demographically and plotically.The sugar revolutions were both cause and consequence of the demographic revolution. Sugar production required a greater labor supply than was available through the importation of European servants and irregularly supplied African slaves. At first the Dutch supplied the slaves, as well as the credit, capital, technological expertise, and marketing arrangements. After the restoration of the English monarch following the Commonwealth (1642-60), the King and other members of the royal family invested in the Company of Royal Adventurers, chartered in 1663, to pursue of the lucrative African slave trade. That company was succeeded by the Royal Africa Company in 1672, but the supply still failed to meet the demand, and all types of private traders entered the transatlantic commerce.

Between 1518 and 1870, the transatlantic slave trade supplied the greatest proportion of the Caribbean population. As sugarcane cultivation increased and spread from island to island--and to the neighboring mainland as well--more Africans were brought to replace those who died rapidly and easily under the rigorous demands of labor on the plantations, in the sugar factories, and in the mines. Acquiring and transporting Africans to the New World became a big and extremely lucrative business. From a modest trickle in the early sixteenth century, the trade increased to an annual import rate of about 2,000 in 1600, 13,000 in 1700, and 55,000 in 1810. Between 1811 and 1870, about 32,000 slaves per year were imported. As with all trade, the operation fluctuated widely, affected by regular market factors of supply and demand as well as the irregular and often unexpected interruptions of international war.

The eighteenth century represented the apogee of the system, and before the century had ended, the signs of its demise were clear. About 60 percent of all the Africans who arrived as slaves in the New World came between 1700 and 1810, the time period during which Jamaica, Barbados, and the Leeward Islands peaked as sugar producers. Antislavery societies sprang up in Britain and France, using the secular, rationalist arguments of the Enlightenment--the intellectual movement centered in France in the eighteenth century- -to challenge the moral and legal basis for slavery. A significant moral victory was achieved when the British Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, ruled in 1772 that slavery was illegal in Britain, thereby freeing about 15,000 slaves who had accompanied their masters...
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