Sugar Trade DBQ

Satisfactory Essays
Jordan Daniels
White 3rd Hour
11-23-14
Sugar Trade DBQ The rise of absolute monarchies in Western Europe during the 1400’s brought a new economic theory called mercantilism. In mercantilism countries desired a favorable balance of trade, in which raw materials were imported from their own colonies, manufactured, and then exported. After the discovery of the Americas, cane sugar was introduced to the West Indies and became a prominent plantation cash crop. From that time sugar trade remained part of the global economy. In the era of 1492 to 1750 key factors such as favorable climate, demand for sugar, and profit from the slave trade, drove the sugar trade to flourish. In 1493 Columbus introduced sugar cane to the West Indies and the crop thrived. Originally native to New Guinea, sugar cane had eventually moved to India and the Mediterranean, but few Europeans had ever heard of it. In the Caribbean, sugar cane found its ideal growing conditions met. Facts from Document 2 state that sugar cane grows best in the latitude range of 37°N and 30°S (Document 2). In Document 1, the colonial map of the Caribbean shows the West Indies spanning from about 10°N and 27°N (Document 1). In addition, the temperature range for Jamaica and Barbados in the Caribbean fit the cane sugar’s ideal temperature range, soil range, and the rainfall averages are only a few inches short from ideal. With these growing conditions, sugar cane thrived. The surplus of cane sugar allowed Europeans to taste and demand more of it. With the new abundant supply of sugar, more people encountered it. According to Benjamin Moseley, in his book in 1800, “The increased consumption of sugar, and increasing demand for it, exceed all comparison with any other article, used as an auxiliary, in food,” (Document 3). His book, A Treatise on Sugar with Miscellaneous Medical Observations was entirely about sugar, so the doctor had a little favorable bias towards it. He may have thought sugar was the most demanded of

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