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Word Count: 854
Sugarcane was an important element of the Columbian Exchange and unfortunately resulted in stimulating the American slave trade Sugar cane is native to Polynesia wheresmall 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 the islands woodlands necessary to grow sugar cane Sugar was introduced into the Caribbean soon after the arrival of Columbus in 1492 51 By 1530 there may have been more than a dozen sugar plantations in the West Indies using imported animal imported machinery imported workers in an agricultural development in a new continent an ocean away from the market 52 The reason for this new agricultural growth was because the tropical climate was perfect for growing sugar cane and this would justify the high cost of settlement The Caribbean settlers planted every kind of tropical plant Sugar crops are salable while other crops were riskier Sugar is extremely addictive so the demand for it grew over a period of time 52 Before Columbus carried a few pieces of sugar cane to the Caribbean sugar was a luxury Most European got it from their apothecaries to help make medicine taste better But by the middle of the 16th century tropical American forests were giving way to vast colonies of cane-growing plantations Europe was hooked on sugar Columbian 27 In 1514 Bartolome Las Casas was given a piece of land in the Spanish colony of Cuba The natives that were conquered would rather die than be a slave Las Casas suggested using African slaves instead of the natives since they were known to work willingly and this was the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade Hobhouse 57 By 1548 apparently Las Casas had changed his mind about
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