Social Implications

The development of sugar throughout history has had an impact on society.  It divided the world in different classes and divided classes even further. For example. it separated people into slaves, merchants, traders, owners of factories, local elites; so it generated a working class without rights for a long period of time. Additionally, even between classes, there have been separations. It has not been the same to be a manager or a president of a company (1).

The sugar plantations required an insane amount of labor force; thus, slavery was created. Africans were put to work in the plantations, while Europeans worked in the cities. There was no hope for slaves. There was inequality among people in the world. Nobody had the same privileges as somebody else. Your class and race defined who you were and sugar plantations were the perfect place to put slaves to work. Sugar played a big role in determining the differences between people through the times. For Africans, it meant that they would not be able to prosper any time soon. However, for Europeans, it meant the opposite. Europeans were able to develop at the expenses of others due to sugar production. Additionally, colonialism and sugar plantations generated a new kind of societies. Racial mixes happened and multiethnic populations grew. Europeans, Americans, Africans, and Asians mixed in every possible way and new kinds of people were born (1).

Additionally, countries that once used to faced slavery like Brazil and Colombia, were able to develop once they gained independence. Furthermore, their economies were able to grow and their people benefited from sugar in the long run. Nowadays, sugar represents large economic profit for most of the countries that once were under the shade of slavery (1).

Finally, Slavery was ‘abolished’ around the world during the 19th century due to The Declaration of The Human’s Rights. However, some countries still have plantations with slaves. A report from National Geographic shows that slavery during our times is greater than it was during the colonialism. “There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The modern commerce in humans rivals illegal drug trafficking in its global reach—and in the destruction of lives” (2). Owners make them believe that they will earn money from it and recruit them. On the long run, they allow them to have children, so when they are born they have more labor force. An example of it, is a plantation in Brazil. The videos below show the testimony of the slaves and the conditions in which they have to work.


Works Used:

(1) “The Cambridge World History of Food – Sugar.” Web. 22 Jan. 2012. <;.

(2) “21st-Century Slaves @ National Geographic Magazine.” National Geographic Magazine. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <;.



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