How did the Industrial Revolution affect the production of this commodity? What, if any, affect did the Great Depression have on the industry?

  • 4
    Do your own homework. Apr 16, 2015 at 14:25
  • He is doing his homework, using a source for ideas and information. At least he isn't copying wiki verbatim...
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 15, 2016 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


Other than coffee and tobacco, the main "cash crop" for Cuba (and most other Caribbean islands) was sugar, in the 18th century. This was originally used to make rum for the so-called "triangle trade." (Sugar from the Caribbean became rum in New England or Europe, traded to Africans for slaves, taken back to the Caribbean).

The industrial revolution helped expand this market, because "sugar in tea" was among the first "luxuries" for industrial workers.

The Great Depression hurt this industry, and similar commodities, because the hardest hit people were the above-mentioned industrial workers, who had to cut back on products for which there was inelastic demand. That is products whose prices need to fall more than proportionately to compensate for a drop in demand.

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    your triangle trade is slightly inaccurate. they weren't trading sugar or rum for slaves, they were trading textile goods from Europe, for slaves in Africa, slaves in Africa to the new world, for sugar, other cash crops, back to Europe, were the sugar would buy textile goods, to go back to africa.
    – Himarm
    Apr 16, 2015 at 21:22
  • @Himarm: You might be right about the "European" version. But that was certainly the dynamic for the American version.
    – Tom Au
    Apr 16, 2015 at 21:44

There was a period in Cuba "the sugar revolution" as it is called in Franklin W. Knight's review. Sugar industry includes large set of products, and between 1750-1850 there was a big explosion of demand for sugar. In the beginning of that period aristocracy used up most of the sugar, later in mid 19th century and especially somewhat later even the common people had enough purcashing power to buy some sugar related product. In this period Cuba also lost strict Spanish rule on export-import, and got independent from Spain, introduced and later abolished slavery, by these factors their economy could accelerate.

By 1880's Cuba's sugar production almost entirely ended up in US (according to Wiki, however it is not cited). And we all know US was a serious emerging power in the region by that time.

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