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Lecture 3

Worlds of Childhood - Week 3 Lecture Notes

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1970
Professor
Krys Verrall
Semester
Fall

Description
A Brief History of the Caribbean By: Jan Rogozinski Sugar Rules the Islands • After the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, the economy (especially the sugar industry) in the Caribbean grew rapidly The Non-Spanish Islands Give Themselves Wholly to Sugar • On the British islands, sugar became virtually the only crop • The French islands had a more diversified economy o Sugar was still their main and most important product • The Danish Virgin Islands and the Dutch Leewards served as free ports selling slaves to the British and French islands • As the sugar industry flourished, sugar plantations also came to dominate Danish Saint Croix • Sugar plantations require large amounts of capital Europeans Consume More and More Sugar • Prices of sugar generously rose until the 1820s (especially the 18 century) • Europeans increasingly drank tea, coffee, and cocoa and ate processed foods, jams, and candy • Planters in Barbados enjoyed profits of 40 to 50 percent a year (1650s) • By 1661, a glut had formed in the European market and prices fell close to 70% o Remain depressed until 1690s, then it rose again and then they had another slump in the 1730s • Planters on the British islands did well during the war (1748, 1756-1763) • Prices began to fall dramatically in the 1840s o European governments subsidized the beet sugar industry o Cuban production soared o British Empire found new sources in Asia th The Mercantilist System during the 18 Century • French and British governments sought to make their colonies benefit the mother country • They forbade islanders from importing and exporting goods that weren’t owned by their subjects • Placed duties on any sugar imported from foreign countries • Taxed imports of semi-refined sugar at a much higher rate than the raw product • Neither government followed a totally consistent policy because they had to please many constituencies • British government followed a high tax policy to increase their revenues o High import duties on tropical products  Sugar, tobacco, tea o British planters were restricted to making raw sugar, but were guaranteed high prices • French government had a lower tax policy and focused on increasing its exports o Emphasized sale of tropical products to other European countries o Encourage commercial growth o French planters made a lot of clayed sugar, so that meant they had a lot of extra molasses  North American merchants purchased rum and molasses from the French islands which caused the British planters to lose the American market • British government attempted to prohibit French rum and molasses through the Sugar Act, which infuriated the American merchants/shippers o Became a major grievance leading to the American Revolution of 1776 The Profits and Power of the Sugar Lords • The direct duties were a small part of the revenues Britain and France took from the islands o Sugar and slaves were lucrative trades and most of the profits went to the homeland • European states invested nothing to govern their Caribbean colonies • Three separate profits were made and taken: o Selling consumer goods to the slaves o Derived from selling slaves to the planters and mine-owners of the Americas o The largest one is the sale of American and West Indian cargoes in Europe • European consumers paid high prices that covered all taxes and costs of producing sugar • British and French statesmen considered sugar and slavery essential to the national economy The Varying Fortunes of the Islands • Innovations began in Barbados • French and British planters were willing to learn from each other (despite the war) • Natural resources partially determined which regions formed part of the fabled sugar empire • New plantations always enjoyed the advantage that was accentuated by improvements in technology over time • Plantations along the sea enjoyed a cost advantage o Best sugar land was near the coast Barbados and the British Leeward Islands • Sugar planters in Barbados enjoyed their highest profits during the 1650s and the 1660s • Planters in Leewards tried to follow their success o Lack of capital and slaves held back development of cane estates o French invasions depopulated the islands during the War of the Spanish Succession o PAGE 6/19 Foundations: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Chapter 4: Developing Critical Reading Strategies What is Critical Reading? • Reading o Acquiring meaning from a text • Critical Reading o Reading any text with interest, comprehension, and questioning frame of mind o Looking for what the author is saying and also the links in argument o Questioning the validity of the argument Strategies to Increase Comprehension and Retention • Distinguishing Primary from Secondary readings: o A primary work is the text to be analyzed  Primary text in literature is a work of fiction, poetry, a play etc.  In history or political science, primary text might be treaties, speeches, letters, government documents etc. o Secondary text is the analysis, summary or interpretation of the primary text  Secondary texts that are devoted to a specific topic of research are called monographs (written on one particular subject) • Skimming for an Overview or Preview o Experienced critical reader
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