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American Sugar KingdomThe Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934$
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Cesar J. Ayala

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780807847886

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867976_ayala

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The Twentieth-Century Plantation

The Twentieth-Century Plantation

Chapter:
(p.183) 7 The Twentieth-Century Plantation
Source:
American Sugar Kingdom
Author(s):

César J. Ayala

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807867976_ayala.11

This chapter discusses the occupation of Cuba and Puerto Rico by the United States in 1898 and the gradual expansion of imperial influence over the Dominican Republic, which culminated in the occupation of that island by U.S. Marines in 1916–24. This, in turn, led to an impressive expansion of sugar production across the Spanish Caribbean. Sugar production for export, however, was not new to the islands. The study of European and U.S. imperialism in the colonial world too often emphasizes the metropolitan side of the process of underdevelopment at the expense of local social actors. Underdevelopment then appears as an inevitable, unchangeable course determined exclusively by the will and social agency of metropolitan forces. Social transformation promoted by colonial actors appears impossible because only the wider forces of the world market seem to have any bearing on the course of development.

Keywords:   Cuba, Puerto Rico, United States, imperial influence, Dominican Republic, sugar production

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