The Dutch in the Caribbean

2208 Words Mar 26th, 2012 9 Pages
Assess the contributions of the Dutch to the development of the Caribbean.

The incorporation of the Dutch into the Caribbean during the latter half of the 16th century and early 17th century came on the heels of them seeing the prosperous economic opportunities at the time dominated by the Spanish. In the Caribbean, the Dutch concentrated on wrestling from Portugal its grip on the sugar and slave trade through attacks on the Spanish treasure fleets on their homeward bound voyages.
Though the prime and most active time for the Dutch in the Caribbean lasted for about one hundred years, they were able to damage the monopoly the Spanish blissfully enjoyed by their; privateering attacks this created a diversion so that the English and French
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According to the Dutch innovators, sugar was best grown on land that was near the coast where the soil was naturally yellow and fertile. The sugar colonies of Barbados and Jamaica grew to become jewels of the British Empire during the 1700s. The sugar cultivated on the plantations sweetened the teas of Europeans in the 17th century.
Evidently, sugar needed capital which the small planters of the eastern Caribbean did not have, but the Dutch came to the rescue by supplying credit. A Dutch merchant would put up the capital on the security of the crop. In this way many planters started. The Dutch took over the export and sale of the crops in return for providing the initial capital. Here we see the Dutch concocting a deal with planters who are not entirely financially equip to sustain a sugar plantation by offering loans on credit to planters in return the Dutch exported and sold the cultivated sugar back to Europe.
Furthermore, early sugar plantations had an extensive use of slaves because sugar was considered as a cash crop, and it was most efficiently grown on large plantations with many workers. As a result, slaves were imported from Africa to work on the sugar plantations, the Dutch responded to the needs of the plantations in the Caribbean by supplying the labor that was needed following the failure of previous labor systems used on the British and French colonies such as the use of indigenous

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