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The reasons for the change from tobacco to sugar and logwood to mahogany

During the seventeenth century the Caribbean economy experienced a great change that would
be revolutionary. This change was termed the "Sugar Revolution". The "Sugar Revolution"
describes the change from tobacco to sugar as the chief crop of the region and the changes that
were associated with it. But were the factors that led to this great change?

The factors include:
1. Competition: West Indian tobacco faced great competition from tobacco grown in the North
American colony of Virginia. Virginia produced tobacco of a better quality and in larger quantity
compared to the West Indies. Due to the demand for tobacco in England, Virginia was able to
meet this demand, thus the demand for West Indian tobacco decreased as it was of an inferior
quality compared with tobacco from Virginia.

2. Demand for Sugar In Europe: During the seventeenth century, tea and coffee became popular
in Europe. Due to this there was a demand for sugar to sweeten these beverages, as honey which
was used became expensive. They also needed sugar to preserve fruits and make jams.

3. Right climate and soil: The West Indies possessed the ideal climate (tropical) for growing
sugarcane. They also had the right soil which was easily drained to cultivate the crop.

4. Sugar was not bulky: Sugar was light which made it easy to transport in the small ships used
during the seventeenth century.

5. Access to Market: Through the transatlantic voyage, the West Indies became more accessible
to the European markets.

6. Help From the "God Fathers' (Dutch): The Dutch helped in the establishment of the sugar
industry by providing their expertise in sugarcane cultivation, capital and labour (slaves).

B. & Dyde. R.. Caribbean certificate history 1: Amerindians to Africans (3rd ed.It was these facts that made it possible for the West Indian sugar industry to develop during the seventeenth century.). Source: Greenwood. . (2008). Hamber. S. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean.