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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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Economic Collapse and Revolution

Economic Collapse and Revolution

(p.231) 8 Economic Collapse and Revolution
American Sugar Kingdom

César J. Ayala

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how World War I increased the demand for Caribbean sugar in Europe and drove up its international price. Before the war, the European allies of the United States were either self-sufficient in sugar or had drawn their supplies from continental Europe. The outbreak of war with Germany cut off the United Kingdom's sources of sugar in central Europe. The beet-growing areas of France were overrun by the invading German army. The principal alternative sources of sugar were Java and Cuba. The scarcity of shipping during the war impeded the importation of Javanese sugar, forcing the allies to turn for their supply to Cuba, whose sugar had been sent mostly to the United States since 1902. The Sugar Division of the United States Food Administration undertook the organization of sugar supply during the war through several committees: the Louisiana Sugar Committee, the (Beet) Sugar Distributing Committee, and the International Sugar Committee, which arranged for the purchase of foreign sugars in cooperation with England, France, and Italy.

Keywords:   World War I, Caribbean sugar, Europe, international price, European allies

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