Modernization of Sugar Essay examples

1236 Words Dec 1st, 2014 5 Pages
Modernization from Consumption of Sugar

According to Wikipedia, “modernity” is defined as a post-traditional period that is marked by the move from feudalism towards capitalism and industrialism. From the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century, many countries and economies progressed towards a more modern environment. Many factors contributed to the push for modernity; however, the sugar industry exhibited major influence throughout the world. Once sugar cane was established in the Caribbean, this new crop pushed the region to shift from a traditional agrarian economy towards a more industrial and capitalistic economy. The new production process made sugar readily available for the first time in history, which allowed
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After sugar was successfully mass-produced in the Caribbean, this crop became viewed as a commodity to be enjoyed by the masses rather than as an item reserved only for a select, elite few. Because sugar was now a readily available commodity, it slowly began to transition from a product with unique purposes, i.e. medicine, spice and decoration, to a food product. For example, “the former medicinal purposes of sugar were now assimilated into a new function, that of a source of calories” (Mintz 108). The greater availability of sugar from the Caribbean allowed for new, modern usages of sugar to emerge. “In general terms, sugar’s use as a spice and a medicine declined as its use as a decoration, a sweetener, and a preservative increased.” An increase in sugar supply drastically decreased its price, which caused “consumption of sugar in other forms to rise” (Mintz 126). Jam consumption, for example, “began to catch hold among working people after the big victories of the free-trade movement of the mid nineteenth century” (Mintz 126). “New foods and beverages were incorporated into daily life with unusual rapidity, and sugar had an important role in nearly all of these new items” due to increased availability and reduction in price (Mintz 120). The greater availability of sugar throughout the world

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