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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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Vertical Integration in the Colonies

Vertical Integration in the Colonies

(p.74) 4 Vertical Integration in the Colonies
American Sugar Kingdom

César J. Ayala

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the sugar economies of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in the period 1898–1934 were dominated by large foreign corporations. The corporations were absentee-owned. The structure of ownership of these corporations, however, has not been studied. The chapter looks at the history and interlocking directorate structure of the large concerns that controlled sugar production in the Spanish Caribbean before the Great Depression of the 1930s. The exact extent and precise form of organization of absentee capital in the islands of the Spanish Caribbean had a direct bearing on the process of development. Direct foreign investment in plantations contributed to the overspecialization of the islands in the production of sugar and blocked an alternative path of development based on national ownership and a diversified economy.

Keywords:   sugar economies, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, foreign corporations, structure of ownership

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