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University of Toronto Scarborough
Neville Panthaki

1. Coffee by Steven C. Topik Latin America, particularly Brazil, leading producer of coffee, where it was grown on both large estates (fazendas in Brazil) and small farms planted, tended, and harvested by family farmers, free labour, and slave labour; and it was an agricultural and industrial process capital intensivetrees take about 7 years to yield beans, requiring considerable investmentand labour intensive since beans need great care in picking th th 19 and early 20 centuriescoffee was leading export of nearly half countries of Latin America and important in number of others tied together archaic and bourgeois, slave and free, proletarian and intellectual, arduous toil and frivolous leisure coffee was introduced into Brazil by a European colonial powerPortuguese interests of Portuguese crown together with conditions within Brazil dictated continued use of slaves initial form derived from combination of international availability of African bondsmen and reluctance of European immigrants, history of social acceptance of slavery, and lack of a thmestic alternative because of internal resistance Brazils agricultural boom began to fizzle in early 19of a recession in world economy burst of European and North American demand for coffee as their economies recovered from the Napoleonic Wars redoubled Brazils reliance on export economy and stimulated its craving for slaves by far largest importer of African bondsmen and last country in Western world to abolish slavery when emancipation finally arrived in 1888 decision to force slaves to till land and pick beans had formidable consequences for Brazil on one hand, it made Brazil worlds greatest coffee producer; Brazil had the largest railroad network, by the time slavery was abolished, next to India, outside of Western Europe and North America, of which two-thirds was in coffee-growing provinces abolition of slavery in 1888 created one of the most abrupt and through transformations of a labour system in history rather than employing freedmen and free Brazilians, states attracted almost a million Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish immigrants to plantations by 1914 transformation was so rapid that slaverys end did not harm coffee economy at all, instead, Brazilian coffee exports ballooned five-fold in 2 decades after Golden Law of abolition was passed decision to turn to immigrants derived from internal struggles within Brazilresistance by Brazilian freedmen refusing to work long hours and refusing to allow wives and children into fields; resistance by other peasants preferring to occupy own plots rather than working for plantation owners colono labour systemcentral work unit was family; only head of household was paid; family might tend 5000 trees (about 15 acres); little integration or specialization; provided colono about 40% of monetary income; during harvest time and occasionally at other times, paid for day work, accounting for 25% of monetary income; most of total income came from work as peasant; subsistence may have constituted 70% of remuneration; colono sold own corn, beans, and livestock, accounting for 33% to 40% of earnings; could and did move about; ultimate choice of leaving Brazil altogether slaves in Brazil were especially cheap because of proximity of Africa, volume of trade, and size of existing Brazilian slave population 2. Sugar in Brazil by Peter L. Eisenberg massive importation of African slaves into Brazil from 1500s through 1800s was result of labour requirements of sugar plantations th sugar plantations formed heart of politics and society until emergence of coffee as Brazils largest export in 19 during late 19tury, Pernambuco sugar industry led Brazil in exports, exemplified problems of national industry well, and experienced two kinds of difficulties: falling prices and stiffer competition Brazilians failed to overcome these difficulties and their industry stagnated, deteriorating export revenues first indicating predicament falling sugar prices, especially after 1860, reduced returns in early 1870s to level of 1850s in 1880s access to US market spurred export growth, but by 1890s sugar exports were again in serious trouble negative trends in export trade hurt industry because foreign markets absorbed over of Pernambucos sugar moreover, consequence of such adverse turns were magnified by Brazils high dependence upon imported goods, which required foreign exchange earned by selling abroad and falling foreign exchange rage after 1851 only compounded problem this decline in foreign exchange rate had 2 contrasting effects: (1) benefited sugar producers because it enabled them to sell foreign currency earned in exports for increasing amounts of milris,(2) it hurt importers, for whom foreign exchange became more expensive sugar producers were exporters and importers, since nearly all capital equipment, as well as many of consumption goods, came from abroad exchange rate falls did not compensate for sugar price falls and growing European beet sugar industry cause many of Pernambucos problems beet sugar producers invaded and conquered world market; cane sugar producers, who had enjoyed over 90% of world market in 1840s, had access to less than 50% of world demand by beginning of 20 beet sugar squeezed Brazil out of European markets and to replace English markets, Brazilians exported to USA; but even there Brazils position was tenuous; sales to US climbed rapidly in 1870s, and by end of Empire the US had replaced Great Britain as Brazils principal foreign market Brazilian domestic market offered only outlet for producers unable to meet foreign competition in Second Empire, Pernambucans sold between 15 and 20% of their sugar to home consumers vast majority was refined branco variety, for 3 reasons: (1) Brazilian consumer, like European, demanded white sugar on table; (2) since imperial Brazil had no large refineries, the planters themselves had to transform mascavado into white sugar; (3) imperial government imposed import taxes on foreign refined and crystallized sugars, which frequently had protectionist effects Brazilian planters, and particularly Pernambucans, could attribute their difficulties to relatively few causes export crisis was clear product of beet sugar boom, which drove down prices and pre-empted traditional markets only protected domestic market remained, and here, because of Pernambucos distance from major population centers, north-eastern producers were unable to maintain ascendancy enjoyed in foreign markets 3. Studying a Colonial EconomyWithout Perceiving Colonialism by Irfan Habib When Cambridge Economic History of India was published in early 1980s, its editors built on Morris D Morriss thesis that Indias economy had not th industrialized in 19ry because it did not have right preconditions, to which, Irfan Habib wrote scathing review arguing that economy of Indian subcontinent could not be studied without accounting for effects of colonial government in addition to the continuous drain of Indian wealth to Britainin the form of taxes, tributes, and revenue that were transferred to the British government and in the form of protections granted to Manchester textile industry that enriched private individualsBritain invested very little in infrastructure, education, or public works in India according to Habib, colonial economy was largely extractive and benefited Britain, rather than India if Indians in particular industries were able to thrive economically, Habib argues that it was in spite of colonialism, rather than because of it it has been widely recognized that British tariff policy was mainly directed towards making India an unprotected market for Britain Morris immediately begins to contest this and says that scholars feel that a vigorous protective tariff policy would have very little effect he argues that the jute and cotton textile industries grew swiftly without tariff protection and had important markets overseas according to Habib(1) it is illogical to lump jute and cotton industries together, (2) for exports, it is obvious that industries with protected home markets can often afford to accept lower profit margins in foreign markets, and so protection at home helps them abroad textile industryaccording to Morris, only domestic; according to Habib, only major industry, which, owing to close access to cheap raw materials and a large home market, had some change to growth and other industries had no chance at all according to HabibMorris does not describe tariff and excise nor currency manipulation with which Britain tried to stifle Indian cotton industry; under Lancashire pressure all duties on imports into India were abolished in 1879 and 1882, ostensibly to remove unfair competition and in the interest of the native population, who would get cheaper cloth in 1894, a tariff of 5% was now levied on imported cloth, but excise was levied on Indian mill-yarn competing with Lancashire in 1896, in order to further protect Lancashire, such excise was levied on all Indian mill-cloth Morris cannot but notice the setback the Indian cotton mill-industry suffered as a consequence, but he put it odd terms saying that the Indian industry was not harmed by the excise measures, but the Indians shouting themselves hoarse over them rise in value of rupee naturally made exports to East Asia and Middle East less competitive and cheapened British yarn and cloth in India if Indian textile industry eve
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