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  • Describe one specific (major) negative effect of the Industrial Revolution on urban European populations.
  • Why was India “de-industrialized” by its foreign ruler (you are required to define the foreign ruler and its reasons for “de-industrializing” India)?You will need to be precise about what happened to India’s major exports as Britain industrialized and took greater control of India?
  • Who was involved in the Battle of Adowa/Adwa in 1896, which side prevailed, and why did the winning side win this major clash (consider one major military advantage)?

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HIST 125 2018 LECTURE& DISCUSSION 5 Atlantic Slavery and the Tropical Plantation Complex: The West and Africa, 1450-1800s I. OVERVIEW: We know a lot about slavery, actually (see image of the OSCAR-winning film, “12 Years a Slave”) and now we know why trans-Atlantic slavery was crucial to the making of New World societies during and after the “disease-ridden” Columbian Exchange. What we might know less about are the deeper origins and wider trajectories of “plantation” slavery, the kind of “African slave trade” SLAVERY which dominated the colonized New World. The term “plantation complex” is most often used to describe the economic and political order centering on slave plantations in the New World tropics -The general history of the plantation complex actually spans over seven centuries from the 1100s into the 1800s. In this sense, there were direct links between the 13th century world system (centered on Asia and the Indian Ocean) and the modern global system (which was increasingly centered on the Atlantic Ocean). -In fact, the origins of the tropical Atlantic Plantation Complex can be traced to the Eastern Mediterranean world at the time of the Crusades. [MAP] In the 1500s and 1600s, plantations spread westward from the Mediterranean into the N. Atlantic off the NW coast of the African continent → then to Brazil and the Caribbean -By the time plantations appeared in Brazil and the Caribbean in the 1700s, they had been transformed and became a very important part of a new global economy centered on the Atlantic Ocean. The importance of plantations began to slowly decline AFTER THE 1880s when slavery was finally abolished in Brazil and Cuba. So the institution of the PLANTATION had a long HISTORICAL TRAJECTORY in what becomes known as the modern world system. At its peak in the 1700s, the plantation complex could be found from Southern Brazil to the Mason-Dixon Line in the United States (very near our Fairfax campus). 1 HIST 125 2018 A final period of growth in the 1800s carried the plantation complex around the world to Natal in S. Africa, Zanzibar off the E. African coast, coastal Peru, Queensland in Australia and new “sugar islands” Fiji and Hawaii in the S. Pacific. During its heyday in the 1700s, the plantation complex was much more than a strictly economic order for the tropical Americas; it was also a historically specific social and political order. II. THERE WERE DISTINCTIVE TRAITS OF the TROPICAL ATLANTIC PLANTATION COMPLEX. 1. FIRST, within the Tropical Atlantic plantation (SUGAR) complex, the majority of productive work was the result of forced labor. In other words, most of the people in the tropical Atlantic plantations were chattel slaves. With the institution of chattel slavery came various forms of resistance which were met by various forms of often violent oppression. Slavery, of course, was not a new reality. Slaveholding had existed in the Muslim world and throughout Asia for centuries. But older forms of slaveholding society did not rely so heavily upon slaves as an agricultural labor force. Instead, there were various forms of slavery and slavery was often a marker of political dependence and loyalty. In the Ottoman Empire, well-disciplined Janissary Corps were technically “slaves” of the sultan. The Janissary Corps operated as a special unit of infantry serving as the ruler’s personal bodyguard. Comprised of Christian boys taken from Balkan villages, the J Corps trained with firearms and learned the teachings of Islam. Jan boys might even rise in the Ottoman power structure. Indeed, Janissary Corps eventually became high ministers of state—known as GRAND VIZIERS. The Janissary Corps, then, were not chattel slaves—who were treated as mere commodities and property to be used, disposed of, and sold like cattle or other beasts of burden. 2. SECOND, the POPULATION of the plantation complex was NOT SELF-SUSTAINING Neither European managers nor African workers produced “an excess of births over deaths.” Both European and African populations had to be sustained by a constant stream of new immigrants—both forced and voluntary—from Europe and Africa. This negative rate of population growth continued for 150-200 years in the American tropics. 2 HIST 125 2018 3. THIRD, Atlantic plantations were LARGE-SCALE CAPITALIST VENTURES. They were geared towards specialized production of cash-crops (such as sugar, cotton, and tobacco) for sale in distant world markets. Here, I just want to note that these Atlantic plantations—which might have from 50 to several hundred chattel slaves—were much larger than European farms of the time. The owner of the land and capital equipment managed all stages of production in person or through agents and overseers. The plantation was VERTICALLY INTEGRATED—meaning that it brought together the processes of production, processing and transport of sugar all in one geographic area. This sort of centralization required huge investments of money and resources— otherwise known as capital. The enormity of the enterprise led to a different organization of laborers and resources all aimed at increasing the profits of the owner or shareholders who put up all of the initial start-up investments. On the plantation itself, a plantation owner’s agents or overseers gave orders for all agricultural operations on a day-to-day and even an hour-to-hour basis. Again, this signaled a SHARP DEPARTURE from patterns of work discipline and management in European agriculture. 4. FOURTH, although these new plantations represented emergent forms of “capitalist” agriculture, they also retained some leftover “feudal” elements as well. The plantation owner controlled his work force not only during working hours, but also in their everyday lives. In short, the plantation owner had complete legal jurisdiction over his workers. His agents and overseers acted informally as a local police force and justice system They punished minor crimes and settled most disputes without going to legal authorities outside of the plantation. This would be akin to a situation in which the boss for whom you work owned you like a piece of property, could punish you at will and control all aspects of your social life—where you live, whom you associate with, how you spend your weekends—without reference to any outside authority. This is what chattel slavery was all about. A form of "social death"—human beings treated like cattle with no regard for social ties of family and no legal recognition as human beings w/ human rights. 3 HIST 125 2018 5. FIFTH, plantations were EXPORT-ORIENTED. Their whole purpose was to supply a distant market with a highly specialized product -Initially plantations specialized mainly in producing sugar, they then turned to producing other lucrative cash-crops such as coffee, cotton, and tobacco. Sometimes plantations would produce food crops to feed their own workers, but in most cases virtually all of the plantation's produce was exported for sale, and food would have to be brought in from outside. This meant that the entire plantation society was wholly dependent upon longdistance trade to carry off the cash-crop and to bring in people and provisions. More of the plantation complex’s total consumption and total production were carried by long-distance traders than in any other part of the world economy between 1350 and 1450. In other words, at this point in world history the American plantation economy was much more export oriented than European or African economies. 6. SIXTH CHARACTERISTIC of the tropical Atlantic plantation complex was its position of COLONIAL DEPENDENCY in relationship to Europe. In other words, economic and political control over the plantation system was exercised by Europeans who often resided on another distant continent and in another kind of society. Domination from a distance has occurred throughout history, but rarely was such direct control exerted from so far away, across such vast stretches of ocean. Furthermore, European political control was fragmented. At various times, Portugal, Spain, Holland, England, France, Sweden, Denmark and Kurland (present-day Latvia) were all active in either the slave trade or in running plantations themselves. Each overseas part of the system in Africa or the Americas was tied to a metropole in Europe—London, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Paris, Madrid, or Seville, etc. And all of these European metropolises were linked together in a system of competitive and often warring states. Often wars and conflicts between European states would spill over into conflicts and competition over overseas territories in the Americas. Imperial control and colonization of the Americas, then, were seen from Europe as a global game of empire. A good example of this is the Seven Years' War between Great Britain 4 HIST 125 2018 and France which took place between 1754-1763, though main action took place between 175663. In British North America, the Seven Years' War was known as "the French and Indian Wars." The idea of colonial dependency also permeated social relations on the plantations themselves. Divisions and distinctions between European masters and their colonial inferiors might be replicated and maintained. Equally as often, however, these divisions also broke down as masters and slaves lived in close proximity and interacted with each other in various ways. [Mention Sally Hemmings story of Jefferson.] III. Origins & SPREAD of the PLANTATION: THE SPREAD OF THIS PLANTATION COMPLEX from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Tropical Atlantic. A. Sugar as Commodity + Historical Catalyst The historical origins and the diffusion of the plantation complex are inextricably tied to SUGARCANE. How many of you have ever seen or eaten raw sugar cane?? What is it like? [A lot like bamboo on the outside; deep purple bark; peel away the bark, suck the cane juice out from a fibrous inside—much like texture of celery; rough on the teeth] European contact with sugarcane began in the 1100s during the Crusades It was during the Crusades that knowledge of sugarcane grown in the Levant spread—the Levant refers to those lands bordering the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, esp. presentday Syria, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestinian State. This was an impressive discovery for Europeans, whose main source of sugar up until then had been honey. The first thing we should understand about processed sugar in the pre-modern world is that it—like many of the spices we take for granted today—was a LUXURY ITEM associated with long-distance trade. NUTRITIONALLY speaking, sugar is very different from the most common forms of carbohydrates. Traditional staples such as wheat and rice along with American crops such as maize, potatoes, and manioc or cassava, normally supplied more than half the total nutritional intake of people living in pre-industrial times. Producing these staple crops took up a huge part of any society’s agricultural efforts. 5 HIST 125 2018 So, prior to the 1500s most people got most of their calories from wheat and rice and increasingly from maize, potatoes, and cassava. Large sectors of society spent their time working the land to produce these staple crops. Sugar, however, could NOT serve as a nutritional substitute for these staple foods. As every kid knows, sugar tastes really good and is somewhat ADDICTIVE. The nutritional reality, however, is that it cannot provide most of the calories in a healthy diet. In other words, sugar was not a subsistence crop that could feed and sustain local populations—it was a luxury export item. In this respect, dates are very similar to sugar—dates are a crop with very high caloric content and high yields, but a very limited nutritional role. So, both sugar and dates, like spices, have been associated historically with the development of long-distance luxury trade. PREMODERN PRODUCTION OF SUGARCANE The production of sugar prior to the industrial revolution was extremely expensive in terms of its start-up costs. First, it required serious manpower: Before the advent of modern machinery, a common ratio in agriculture was one worker for each acre of sugarcane [1 acre = 200 ft. x 220 ft. plot]. That is, IT TOOK AN AVERAGE OF ONE WORKER TO PLANT AND HARVEST ONE ACRE OF SUGARCANE. Sugarcane also required on-site processing before it yielded a product profitable enough to ship. Harvested cane is much heavier and much bulkier when compared to such grasses as wheat and corn. Sugarcane just cost too much to ship in its raw bulky, bamboo-like form. The only solution to this problem was to concentrate the sugar by squeezing out the cane juice and boiling it down to crystalline sugar and molasses. In other words, you had to process the sugar cane into sugar or molasses before it would be worth shipping over long-distances. Every early cane farm, even one with only 100-500 acres of land, had to have its own sugar factory to concentrate the product for shipment. This is why the tropical plantation complex was characterized by vertical integration. 6 HIST 125 2018 -Once cane sugar was concentrated, it had a high value-to-bulk ratio. In other words, like a diamond or a precious metal or spices or narcotics (e.g. cocaine), a tiny bit of sugar could be sold at a high price. This meant that cane sugar products could be carried great distances, especially by relatively cheap water transport, and still sold at a profit at some distant market. -Processed sugar and molasses, then, were consummate cash-crops and luxury items that derived from raw sugar cane. THIS HIGH VALUE-TO-BULK RATIO MADE processed SUGAR THE PERFECT COMMODITY TO SHIP OVER LONG DISTANCES, BUT ONLY IF ONE COULD FIND THE RIGHT CLIMATE AND A CHEAP AND ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF LABOUR. This merger of plantations and sugarcane into a viable and lucrative business was known as the “Sugar Revolution.” But how exactly did sugar production and the plantation complex move out of the Mediterranean world to become such integral parts of an emerging Atlantic Economy? B. The Post-1500 “Sugar Revolution” Venetians and Genoese first imported sugar from the Muslim dominated Levant [Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine] Then other Europeans began to grow sugar cane on territories gained in the Crusades. a. First in the Levantine mainland itself b. Later on Crete and Cyprus as well as other eastern Mediterranean islands Here a proto-plantation complex emerged with sugar production under capitalist management, using a combination of local labor and slave labor acquired mostly from the north shore of the Black Sea. [Where does the word “slave” come from? Etymology?] -so, some of the earliest slaves were not just African slaves, but also Slavic peoples and Arabs. [IN FACT, THE WORD “SLAVE” DERIVES ETYMOLOGICALLY FROM THE WORD “SLAV”] In other words, slavery in the medieval period was NOT EXCLUSIVELY RACIALIZED or limited to the enslavement of blacks. The increasing racialization of slavery only emerged later—in the 1500s—with the further development of the plantation complex in the tropical Atlantic. 7 HIST 125 2018 LET ME RETURN TO the WESTWARD MIGRATION of the Plantation Complex through the Mediterranean, then out into and across the Atlantic Ocean. 1. Westward Migration Europeans who set out to produce sugar in the Eastern Mediterranean were clearly hoping to create an alternate and perhaps cheaper supply of sugar From the 1100s onward, sugar production under European control spread westward to Sicily and into the southern regions of Spain and Portugal. There was just one problem: The Western Mediterranean—with its cool and wet winters—was not really ideally suited to growing sugarcane. Nevertheless, various Europeans continued in their efforts to produce their own sugar. After exploring the northern Atlantic and the coast of NW Africa, Europeans began to import plantation managers from the old sugar areas of the Mediterranean. This led to the appearance of plantations on the Atlantic islands of Madeira (controlled by Portugal) and the Canary Islands (controlled by Spain) Following this geographical shift to the NW coast of Africa, the demand for labor to work these plantations was increasingly met by the growing maritime slave trade from tropical Africa toward Europe. This provided an increasingly cheap source of labor. 2. Racialization of slavery As plantations in the tropical Atlantic became more and more ECONOMICALLY dependent upon a steady supply of African slave labor, Europeans came up with racial theories in order to justify and buttress their own business practices. According to these racial theories, blacks were deemed to be more biologically suited for hard manual labor. Here I want to stress that very notion of RACIAL INFERIORITY was a socially constructed IDEOLOGY—that is, a set of useful fictions or fantasies—that helped to GUARANTEE AND SECURE the continuing PROFITS and POWER of those who had invested in and controlled the Atlantic Plantation Complex. The presumed intellectual inferiority of Africans was never actually tested; it was simply presumed. The institutional arrangements of the plantation complex—that is chattel slavery—came FIRST, then the theories of RACIAL INFERIORITY came NEXT. DIFFERENCES IN SKIN COLOR, were assumed to 8 HIST 125 2018 reflect intellectual DIFFERENCES. A pervasive fear of blacks often led whites to engage in more violent forms of oppression against slaves of African descent. Thus the racially unequal and violently oppressive institutional arrangements that characterized the Tropical Plantation Complex were ideologically naturalized and self-perpetuating. 3. The quantum leap—to Haiti + Brazil The QUANTUM LEAP in the Sugar Revolution, however, came in the 1500s. With the colonization of the Americas in the Post-Columbian age, the heart of the plantation complex shifted once again from the Canary Islands to Santo Domingo (present day Haiti) and other Caribbean islands under Spanish control and then from Portuguese controlled Madeira to Brazil. The establishment of plantations coupled with the devastating effects of disease upon native Amerindian populations created a huge demand for imported labor that further fueled the Atlantic slave trade. a. → French + British Caribbean—2 stages Two further stages carried the production of slave-grown sugar onward into the French and English Caribbean. [MAP] 1. The first stage—beginning in the 1640s—took sugar and the slave plantation complex on into the Lesser Antilles—made up of islands such as Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago. This was carried by Dutch shippers who always had a keen eye for profit and became acquainted with the plantation complex after the Dutch had conquered parts of northeastern Brazil. 2. The SECOND STAGE came in the late 1600s and the early 1700s—when English merchants carried the “SUGAR REVOLUTION” and the plantation complex into the islands of Jamaica and western Cuba. As should be clear by now, European interests dominated the Atlantic system centered on this tropical plantation complex. “TRIANGULAR TRADE: RUM, SUGAR, SLAVES.” The manufacturers who supplied finished goods and the investors who provided the capital to finance all of this long-distance trade operated from Europe. 9 HIST 125 2018 The main consumers of plantation products also lived in Europe. In other words, Europe had the financial resources and vibrant consumer markets for goods produced cheaply in the Americas. Before 1600, sugar had been rare and fairly expensive in western Europe. By 1700 the annual consumption of sugar in England had risen to about 4-5 pounds per person. European prosperity and declining sugar prices led to increases in European consumption of sugar, starting with the upper classes and working its way down the social ladder. People spooned refined sugar into ...
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