Sugar, Engineering and Commerce in Nineteenth Century Cuba (Sub-imperial Globalisation and the Phoenix of Empire)

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    Authors & editors

    Curry-Machado, Jonathan [Author]

    Publisher Commodities of Empire
    Year of publication 2007 Working Paper No.2

    Medium Digital

    Food (non-cereal) processes > Sugar


    Scope & contentExcerpt:
    The growth in Cuban sugar production from the end of the eighteenth century saw the emergence of a creole elite that sought the development of the island. The search for new technologies to enable improvements in sugar production necessarily took them beyond the restricted possibilities of the Spanish empire, to the industrial centres of the United States, Britain and France.

    They were assisted in this both by the migrant engineers that accompanied the new machinery, and also the often foreign-born merchants who enabled the island’s involvement in the transnational commercial networks through which sugar was exported and industrial goods imported. Such tendencies made Spanish dominion over Cuba increasingly irrelevant, and helped fuel the emergence of an independent Cuban identity.

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