Sugar Trade Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Caribbean

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Many things helped drive the sugar trade. Demand, slavery, and climate played a major role in the driving of the sugar trade. Demand was greatly increasing throughout the years. The climate of the caribbean islands where cane sugar was grown. Slavery provided free work to produce sugar which in turn increased profits for the farmers. In England, sugar was not shipped there until the year 1317. But once the sugar was becoming a popular import, it boomed. Sugar consumption and import grew tremendously from 1700 to 1775. In 1700, Britain imported 280.7 sugar imports per 1000 cwts and each person consumed 4.6 pounds of sugar annually. These numbers increased by almost as much as 500% of imports and almost 400% of consumption. In 1770, 1,379.2 per 1000 cwts were imported to Britain and each person annually consumed 16.2 pounds of sugar. Sugar consumption equalled nearly 105 of overall food consumed for some families in England in the 1700s.

After 1660, sugar imports exceeded the total imports of ALL the other imports coming into Britain. Slavery was probably the most important factor in the driving of the sugar trade. Slaves could be traded for common items that people on plantations had. This in turn could pretty much provide free labor in the production of sugar. If a plantation owner could have enough slaves to run the sugar farm, they could produce more profit and eliminate paid labor. in 1768, at a male slaves peak price, they cost 41 British pounds. If a plantation owner needed say 100 people to farm and produce sugar, they would be spending roughly 4100 British pounds to have slaves do essentially free work then. If a plantation owner owner had to hire 100 workers and had to pay them 1 British pound a day, then in 41 days, they would be spending more money than they would have if they would have bought 100 slaves.

So, slaves essentially paid for themselves in 41 days. After 41 days, production of sugar would be free for the plantation owners. Climate was also a key role in the sugar trade. Without the right climate, sugar cane would have to be produced further away therefore increasing the price of the import. Ideal climate for the production of sugar cane was a latitude range of 37 degrees north to 30 degrees south, a temperature range of 68 to 90 degrees, soil type of volcanic or alluvial with sand/silt/clay mix, and an average rainfall of 80 to 90 inches a year.

The climate for the two caribbean islands that Britain received its sugar from was 18 degrees north latitude for Jamaica and 13 degrees north for Barbados, the temperature range for Jamaica was 68 to 86 degrees and 72 to 86 degrees in Barbados, the soil type was clay/silt/sand mix in Jamaica and clay and sand mix in Barbados, and the average rainfall was 77 inches in Jamaica and 60 inches (with considerable variety) in Barbados. The sugar trade was a very booming trade. Many things influenced this trade. We are still experiencing a major usage of sugar in todays world, with many of the same things influencing it, except for slavery. Machines took the place of the slaves.

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