Posted in Kafevend Blog
Sugarcane's journey over the atlantic is attributed to Christopher Columbus, who brought it to Hispaniola, which today comprises of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Seeing its potential as a cash crop, sugarcane spread across the Caribbean to the glut of colonies established by powerful European nations like Great Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands. Sugarcane processing developed over this period, resulting in the trade of other byproducts such as molasses and the creation of every sea rover's favourite drink, rum.
For around three centuries, sugar grown in the Caribbean formed part of a trade triangle. The sugar grown in the colonies was sold either in New England or Europe. The profits raised by the sales would be spent on goods which were then taken to Africa. There, the goods were traded for slaves, who were transported to the colonies to work on the sugar plantations.
Several million slaves were taken from Africa, particularly from the west coast. Shackled and packed into vessels, they were taken on the voyage known as the Middle Passage, where many would die of hunger, thirst and disease. As the ratio of slaves increased on the plantations, rebellions became widespread. A particularly famous and successful uprising was the Haitian rebellion, led by François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, a freed slave. The rebellion ended with Haiti becoming an independent republic.