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Comparison Between Ferrer's Sugar And Society

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The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed synopsis of and response to Ferrer’s “Insurgent Cuba” and Mintz’s “Sugar and Society”, beginning by addressing the authors’ salient points and concluding by addressing questions which arise. 19th century Cuba was unique in many respects when compared with all other Spanish colonies of the period. It held the title of largest exporter of sugar in the entire hemisphere, and was perfectly situated for the cultivation of tobacco leaves. Both of which combined to make it Spain’s most profitable colony. More importantly, from a sociological standpoint, its anti-colonial movement and societal revolution was firmly based on racial unification. At a time when racial integration attained during reconstruction…show more content…
The former used it as a tool to bolster and strengthen an anti-colonial fighting force, while the latter used race to prevent such a fighting force from being successfully established. White Cuban planters attempted to use the Haitian revolution of 1791, the only successful overthrow of colonial powers by slaves to date, to stifle the burgeoning separatist movement in Cuba. They argued that if separatist factions were to prevail, and Cuba were to become independent, the inevitable consequence would be the transformation of Cuba into the region’s second black republic. They effectively chose to be beneficiaries of what sociologist Michael Dyson coined the “false wage of whiteness”. Regardless of the fact that both planters and masters were subjects of the crown and each lacked freedom, the former more than the latter, Cuban planters chose to maintain the status quo. For them, independence from Spain and the ability to self-govern was not worth the resulting demographic and societal changes which would follow. Independence was not worth the cost of…show more content…
Cuba, however, by crediting joint political action by various ethnicities, saw unity as a by-product of efforts by all, including individuals of color, with the role played by minorities in achieving nationhood being key. It has been established that Cuba’s revolution consisted of a multiracial force seeking state creation. But what factors allowed for such a unique multiracial force to emerge in the case of Cuba? Was the way in which Cuban society was structured in pre-revolutionary days, a key to the emergence of a multiracial force driving the nation towards independence? Cuba varied was fundamentally different from its sugar exporting contemporaries. Prior to the transformation of Cuba into a mass sugar producer and exporter, it was able to cultivate a unique society of its own over a 200 year period, from which a “creole adaptation” emerged. During this period, the enslaved had a significantly easier time not only achieving freedom, but fully integrating themselves into
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