How Sugar Changed The World

  • 100

    Sugar used as Medicine

    The ancient greeks, in the year 100, used sugar as medication for ailments involving the intestines, bladder, and kidneys. Back then, they refered to it as a type of 'coalesced honey'. Their name for it was 'sakcharon'. They described it as having the same consistency as salt, and as brittle as it. Mixing it with water and drinking the water was determined to be effective against problems with the kidney, bladder, and intestines.
  • 100

    Sugar Domesticated

    Back in the year 8,000, BCE, the citizens of New Guinea domesticated sugar. They were the first known civilization to domesticate this plant, Sugar Cane. Back then, it was thought of as a sweet food, not as what we think of it as today: an additive. For a long while, the civilization of New Guinea was the only known domesticator of Sugar.
  • Nov 6, 1425

    Henry The Navigator brings sugar to Maderia.

    During this time, an explorer known as Henry The Navigator brought sugar to the country of Maderia. It was brought still as a cane, and planted on the island. There, it was grown and used by the locals for many things. It was primarily used as a delicacy.
  • Aug 1, 1492

    Sugar Travels with Columbus

    Sugar travels with Columbus in 1492 to the land he discovered. When planted, Columbus discovered that it grew extremly well in that environment. The land that the sugar was planted in is today known as South America. As such, sugar is still grown their today due to its climate.
  • Beet Sugar Discovered

    A German chemist by the name of Andreas Marggraff discovers sugar in the root of the Beet plant. While he himself did not act on it, a student of his, Franz Achard, did. He built a sugar beet processing factory in Cucern, Silesia. The plant operated until 1801, when it was destroyed by Napoleon. Today, Beet sugar provides 30% of the world's sugar.
  • Tax Acts by the English.

    During this time period, England put many taxes onto the people of the United States, causing the start of a rebellion. This later became the American Revolution. One of these acts put a tax on sugar. The Americans were angry that even after they escaped from England, they were still being taxed.
  • America Rebels

    America rebels from England, splitting off and becoming their own 13 colonies. This is relevant to sugar due to something found out later. England had their own sugar colonies close to the homeland, and they always feared a revolt. For this reason, much of England's navy was kept at the colonies nearby, leaving only a small portion to go to war with America. This is believed to be one of the reasons that America won the war.
  • Mechanization of Sugar

    Sugar's production becomes increasingly mechanized. With this happening, slavery is barely needed. The mechanization increased for years and years. Today, only in poor areas, sugar is still gathered by slaves. Most of it is made by machinery.
  • Slavery Illegal in United States.

    During this time period, especially in the early 1800's, slavery becomes illegal in the United States, closing down all sugar plantations. Due to this, the pressure on sugar to become more mechanized grows. During this time, sugar became scarce, until it was made by machines instead of by hand.
  • Sugar Plantations Created

    The world's first sugar plantations are created in areas around the Mediteranean and Spain. Not soon after, slaves flooded these plantations. The plantations were horrible places, the most terrible working conditions of the time. Slaves were beaten and tormented by brutal slavemasters. Many died on the plantations.