Sugar Plantations

A Sugar Plantation in 1823

A Sugar Plantation in 1823

This article on Sugar Plantations providing facts and information about the Sugar Plantations in the Southern colonies of Colonial America:

  • Slaves on the Southern Plantations
  • Sugar Plantations in the South
  • Trade and Economic activity in the Plantations
  • Invention of the Sugar gin
  • Fast Facts and info about the  Plantations in Colonial America
Colonial TimesPlantations
Southern Colonies
American Colonies Index
Colonization, Trade & Colonialism

History of trade, plantations, colonialism and colonization in the 13 Colonies

Sugar Plantations: Colonialism, Triangular Trade, Mercantilism, Trade, Industries and Plantations

Sugar Plantations
Sugar Plantations were established using a system of agriculture in which large farms in the Southern colonies used the enforced labor of slaves to plant, grow and harvest Sugar cane for trade and export. In the Sugar Plantations the crops were planted on a large scale and dependent on a large labor force. The system and economics of the Plantations were based on 'cash crops' by which sugar cane was
sold for profits in distant markets.

Facts about Sugar Plantations
The following facts provide an overview of the advantages and the disadvantages of Sugar plantations.

Facts about Sugar Plantations

FactsFacts about Sugar Plantations 
Fact 1

Sugar cane is a tropical, grass that forms shoots at the base producing multiple stems

Fact 2

The sugar cane stems grow into cane stalk from which the sugar is extracted.

Fact 3

Sugar Plantations  were not established until the 1800's. The growing number of slaves over time allowed plantation farming to expand to farm different plantation crops.

Fact 4

Slaves on Sugar plantations. Cheap labor was essential for the plantations to become profitable. The use of slaves in the plantations in the Southern colonies was extensive. After the initial cost of purchasing a slave little expenditure was required to support the slaves. The successive generations of slaves born on the slave plantations ensured that their masters gained new workers at no cost

Fact 5

Plantations in the south. The Southern colonies who established Sugar Plantations were the Maryland Colony, Virginia Colony, North Carolina Colony, South Carolina Colony and the Georgia Colony

Fact 6

The fertile soil of the Southern colonies was highly suited to the growth of sugarcane

Fact 7

One of the reasons that the system of Sugar Plantations sprang up in the South was due to the climate of the regions. The Plantations required a tropical or subtropical climate. Mild winters and hot, humid summers made it possible to grow Sugarcane throughout the year which was ideally suited for these Plantations

Fact 8

Typical Plantations ranged from 500 to 1,000 acres. Each acre produced about 5,000 plants. Vast areas of land had to be cleared for planting and crops had to be sewn and harvested by hand - this was only made possible with a large labor force

Fact 9

The use of slaves kept the costs down on the Sugar Plantations - slaves were not well fed, well housed or well treated. Slaves were sometimes expected to work 18 hours a day. Paid workers would have significantly reduced the profits made from the Plantations

Fact 10

Sugar plantation homes: The slaves lived in basic, crude wooden cabins consisting of one or two rooms, often with a dirt floor, in the slave quarters. The owners lived in Georgian style mansions often featuring frontages with Grecian style columns and large verandas.

Fact 11

Slaves in the sugar plantations were expected to plant between 5,000 - 8,000 seeds in order to produce one acre of sugar.

Fact 12

Sugar cane crops could be cut and produced up to 4 times without having to be replanted

Fact 13

Before canes are harvested the sugar fields were burnt to remove leaves and weeds

Fact 14

product of sugar cane is molasses were was used to produce rum - a major trade export of the Northern colonies.

Fact 15

The Rows of furrows about 1ft wide were dug to plant the sugar canes. Seeds were planted by hand at one-yard intervals

Fact 16

After America purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the colonists followed the French example and also began growing sugar cane

Fact 17

The first years of sugar cane harvesting in Louisiana produced 300,000 tons of sugar per year, so it was a profitable crop for the slave plantations of the southern colonies.

Fact 18

Navigation Act of 1733, also known as the Molasses Act levied heavy taxes on sugar from the West Indies to the American colonies forcing colonists to purchase the more costly sugar from Britain

Fact 19

The Purpose of the Sugar Act of 1764 was to but ensured the new tax could be collected by increased British military presence and controls

Fact 20

The mass production of Sugar required a suitable transport system to transport the Sugar to market. The waterways of the South provided an efficient, natural transport system

Fact 21

Life on a Sugar plantation. The sheer size of the land covered made the Sugar plantations to large degree, self-sufficient and similar to a small village with the main house, slave quarters, a dairy, blacksmith's shop, laundry, smokehouse and barns

Fact 22

Plantations required minimum input from the owners - overseers were hired to manage the slaves and Sugar production. The overseers were under considerable pressure from the plantation owners to maximize profits.

Fact 23

Environment: Sugar Plantations involved the deliberate introduction and cultivation of this economically desirable specie of tropical plant and resulted in the widespread replacement of the original native and natural flora.

Fact 24

The labour-intensive system of the Southern Sugar Plantations declined abruptly in the United States with the abolition of slavery

FactsFacts about Sugar Plantations 

Facts about Sugar Plantations

Slaves cutting Sugar Cane

Slaves cutting Sugar Cane

Sugar Plantations

The information and facts about Sugar plantations in the Southern colonies provides a fast overview of this particular system of agriculture. The facts provide answers to many questions raised about the invention of the Sugar gin, the introduction of the spinners, the climate required to successfully establish plantations, the necessity of a large, cheap labor force to maximise profits on plantations, the use of slaves on Sugar plantations and the significance of foreign trade and exports on plantation economy.

Sugar Plantations

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