The Effects of the Columbian Exchange on the Distribution of Sugar Products

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What we know the world to be today is not what the world has always been like. Millions of years ago, continents that were once connected drifted apart from each other, otherwise known as continental drift. North and South America were, at one point, connected to Eurasia and Africa. This shift caused many changes, for instance, divergent evolution. Simply put, the western continents had things the eastern continents did not have, and vice versa. Eventually, Europeans made it across the Atlantic Ocean and stepped foot on American land. The Columbian Exchange began because the New World had things to offer that the Old World did not, and the Old World had things to offer that the New World did not.

A lot of things that we have and use today in our everyday lives have been brought to us because of the Columbian Exchange, but we never really stop to think about where that product came from and the line of history it has. A huge product used in our everyday lives that has a huge history behind it is sugar. We use sugar in baking, in beauty products such as a body scrub, in sweetened iced drinks such as tea; the uses are endless. We may look at the product of sugar as a positive thing, however, some don’t believe that it is.

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Sugar was first encountered by Greek conquerors in north-western India, dating back to the fourth century B.C.E. In terms of sugar cane production, there were four aspects that were of importance: sugar canes grow best in hot, moist areas; sugar production required a lot of labor, and that labor had to be provided year round; sugar is ‘commercially viable only when it is produced on a relatively large scale; and lastly, sugar is an industrial enterprise. At first, sugar was only available to the rich and powerful. For example, Queen Elizabeth the first enjoyed eating sweet things, and soon enough, she had to deal with tooth decay. That example was one of the first signs that sugаr may be unhealthy.

Our first source, source 1, talked about a guy named Dr. Willis, who connected increasing sugar consumption with declining health. Even after that was said, there was a dramatic increase in sugar consumption in England, which brings us to source 3. This source was a letter written to a member of the Parliament, taxes England should put on sugar. Due to the rise in sugar consumption, the profit made by the sugar industry made a target for the government. The author of that source has warned us that the raise of taxes would do more harm than it would do good. Another source, source 4, was another one that was against sugar production, stating that America had been depopulated due to the required land to produce the sugar, as had Africa. I believe that everything has its pros as well as its cons, and sugar production is a great example of that belief. It is hard to imagine a world today without sugar, seeing as it has become a huge product used in everyday routines.

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The Effects of the Columbian Exchange on the Distribution of Sugar Products. (2022, Jun 10). Retrieved from

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