Columbian Exchange - Sugarcane

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Sugarcane was an important element of the Columbian Exchange and unfortunately resulted in stimulating the American slave trade. “Sugar cane is native to Polynesia, where…small pieces were often found washed up on foreign shores where they were said to flourish. This was the ‘explanation’ of its movement to China, India, and elsewhere” (Hobhouse 44). Refined sugar originated (1432) near modern Funchal, Portugal. Vineyards eventually would replace the sugar crops because the Europeans had destroyed most of …

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…a result of the Columbian exchange had a huge impact on the Caribbean and on the slave trade. Sugar crops were easy to grow in this tropical environment. The exclusive use of African-Negroes made it the first time that a single race would be “uniquely selected for a servile role” (63). Since sugar is addictive, it was in high demand. The high demand of sugar helped to make the slave industry as big as it was.