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November 30, 2013

Essay on Slavery and Sugar

                                                              Slavery and Sugar
Sugar and slaves, are the two words behind the organization of a leading world markets, and in parallel, the establishment of a new type of society based mainly on the exploitation and cultural annihilation of black "race". Closely related, the Caribbean and Brazil were large producers of sugar cane, and became a source of wealth for Europe.
There were plantations of sugar cane in hot countries like the island of Caribbean. The sugar plantations were located primarily in Jamaica and Martinique and Guadeloupe in the secondary. Since a great deal of labor was needed to yield large chunks of sugar on relatively small areas of land, the black slaves became the most suitable option for that matter.
                                                                        Triangular trade
This new concept of trade was introduced with the increase in plantation of sugar. It referred to the triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas, who had set it up to ensure the distribution of black slaves in the colonies of the New World (Americas), to supply Europe with products from these colonies and to provide African American and European products. Ships visiting the western coast of Africa aimed to exchange goods against slaves and then transferred the slave trade in America and cons of sugar, coffee, cocoa and finally the flow of U.S. products to European ports began.
The slaves lived on the outskirts of the master of the house (called "head"). Even the sugar mill was part of the "home". Everything was controlled by the local people and the community of 'great whites' (as opposed to 'poor whites' who were not owners of "residential" tracts of land). The Church also helped to structure the system of slavery, even after 1848. Church taught Negroes the lesson of submission to their masters.
                                   The master-slave relations on sugar plantations
Blacks came from Africa, joined the "house" of the master who bought them, they could bring several hundred Negro slaves. There were two villages that met the two main categories of slaves. The master's house where there were servants and slaves and the commander who led the slaves. The slaves ended up losing their original identity. They met with Africans from other nations whose language they did not understand and who wore unknown name plates. The slaves lived in huts of wood and mud almost empty.
They ate bananas, potatoes, and rice. Their exhausting working days started early and ended late. Sunday was their day off. Some slaves were adopted by their master and they became members of the family. Life in slavery was short, no more than 10 years because of epidemics and working conditions. A slave was not really a man; he was punished without any consideration as an object. Sometimes the slaves purchased their freedom with the consent of masters paying more than their purchase price.
Violence is much more a gentle method used to expand the sugar production. It consisted of various material rewards and relaxations that were primarily attributed to domestic slaves. The punishment inflicted on slaves by another slave had a dual function: to organize the punishment so as to prevent any recurrence in the slave offending and especially that it destroys all desire of solidarity and revolt against the slavery.(Hagerman, 1992)
In the wake of New World, vast fields of sugar canes and other crops were grown only to be exported European empires and to maintain their hegemony over its production. Ships, swarmed with goods, left British ports destined for West Africa in exchange for people. And so began the most notorious period in the history of the world.
Tightly packed into ships, slaves were exported from Africa across the Atlantic to the West Indies. During the journey they were often chained down and kept in terrible conditions. Any slaves who had managed to survive the journey were taken to shore and sold to plantation owners where they spent the rest of their lives working to produce goods like sugar cane.
The most significant upshot of the sugar production and slavery was that it allowed for European powers to expand their colonization and control in the new world. Ultimately, sugar production provided one of the original means and motivations for European expansion, colonization and control in the new world, paving the way for a course of events that eventually led to the pinnacle of slavery.
In 1833 the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed. In the West Indies the economic outcomes of the Act were devastating. The islands heavily became dependent on the sugar trade and in turn on slaves. The planters rendered unable to make the West Indies the blooming centre of trade. From another standpoint, this act set up a landmark moral victory because it broke the chains of slavery.

Hagerman, E. (September 1992). The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare:
Ideas, Organization, and Field Command. Indiana: Indiana University Press.


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