The Spanish Colonies

The first colony to be under Spanish Rule was the Canary Islands.  This archipelago was made up of Teneriffe, Grand Canary, Palma, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Hierro and Gomera. (Deerr).  The colonization of all the islands was done through Pacific conquests but three of the islands, (Grand Canary, Palma, and Teneriffe) were settled only after drawn out resistance.  Christopher Columbus played an integral part in sugar cane expansion in the Spanish Colonies when he travelled from Spain to the West Indies.

Pictured is Christopher Columbus, who brought sugar to the West Indies

The first record of sugar cane in a Spanish colony was on the island of Gomera after the recognition of Spanish rule in 1480, but the first official record of sugar cane in the Canary Islands was in Palma in 1491.  (Deerr).  The sugar industry was never extremely successful but some areas definitely saw better yields than others with the main areas of sugar cane production being the colonies of the West Indies, Cuba, Hispaniola, and Porto Rico.  The first record of actual sugar production comes in 1576 in Havana, now the capital of Cuba.  (1)

(1) Deerr, Noël. The History of Sugar. London: Chapman and Hall, 1949. Print.


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