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Sugar production and the slave trade

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 9 months ago

Week 19: The Atlantic World IDs


Cupcakes, Ice Cream, Chocolate...I Love Sugar

Sugar Production & The Slave Trade



  • Sugar cane was processed in the field then it was cut and pressed in large mills, and the juice from this was heated until it crystallized into sugar, all of this required many laborers and resulted in their involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade


  • There were some free workers who had skilled occupations, but slaves did most of the work


  • By the end of the 17th century Brazil had about 150,000 slaves (half of its population)


  • Other colonies especially the Caribbean followed their example of both sugar production and the importation of slaves


  • In1630 the Dutch seized a portion of Brazil and controlled its sugar production, but were expelled in 1654 – however they soon established their own plantation in the Caribbean, which hurt Brazil because the price of sugar declined significantly


  • By the 19th century, Portugal began to move toward the abolition of the slave trade due to pressures from the British.




This shows the backbreaking labor that slaves had to endure in order to produce sugar. This is how it was done in the 1800s, the slaves had to bend down and cut the sugar cane as low to the ground as possible because the bottom contained more liquid. It then had to be taken to the mill for the liquid to be extracted and the sugar produced.

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