Sugar Trade

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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 slave’s 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....
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