Caribbean Project: The Demise of Haiti’s Sugar Industry

Haitians wreck their own country ... it never recovers
Haitians wreck their own country … it never recovers

Haiti

In 1789, there were 288 sugar plantations in Haiti’s Northern Province, 314 sugar plantations in Haiti’s Western Province, and 191 sugar plantations in Haiti’s Southern Province. As Saint-Domingue, Haiti was the largest producer of sugar in the world and the most of its slaves worked on sugar plantations.

Sugar is the reason why Saint-Domingue was the most intensely cultivated spot and the wealthiest colony in the world at the time. Its exports were more valuable to France than all of the 13 original American colonies were to Great Britain. It is no exaggeration to say that sugar was the economic lifeblood of Haiti.

These export numbers are taken from Jacques Nicolas Léger’s apologetic book, Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors:

1790

White Sugar – 70,000,000 pounds
Brown Sugar – 93,000,000 pounds

1800

White Sugar – 16,540 pounds
Brown Sugar – 18,518,725 pounds

1824

White Sugar – N/A
Brown Sugar – N/A

These export numbers are taken from “The Beauties of Negro Rule: The Present and Past of Haiti” which appeared in Volume 18 of DeBow’s Review:

1789

White Sugar – 47,516,531 pounds
Raw Sugar – 93,573,300 pounds

1801

White Sugar – 18,517,381 pounds
Raw Sugar – 8,016,540 pounds

1824

Raw Sugar – 2,500,000 pounds

1829

Raw Sugar – 40,470 pounds

1850

Has ceased entirely to be an article of export

It is important to note that both the apologists and detractors of Haiti are in agreement that the commercial sugar industry never recovered from the Haitian Revolution and had ceased to exist by the 1820s. This was not because sugar had ceased to be an extremely profitable commodity.

These export numbers are taken from Clifford L. Staten’s The History of Cuba and Jorge Perez-Lopez’s The Economics of Cuban Sugar. They show how French planters, who were exterminated and banned from owning land and property in Haiti, shifted their operations to Cuba where their capital and expertise was welcomed:

1790

28,000,000 pounds

1805

68,000,000 pounds

1860

1,000,000,000 pounds

Haiti’s earliest rulers – Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe (in the North) – understood the importance of preserving the wealth generating export-based plantation economy and used coercion to keep the former slaves attached to the plantations in areas under their control. This was only reason why Haiti continued to export sugar at all into the 1820s.

Ultimately, it was the Haitian refusal to work on the sugar plantations that doomed the reconstruction of Haiti’s plantation economy. Foreign capitalists were banned from owning property in Haiti and instead used their capital to bring American railroads and steam powered mills to the next generation of sugar plantations in Cuba. By the 1860s, Cuba was exporting a billion pounds of sugar a year and Haiti was hopelessly outmatched in the production of that commodity.

Freedom for the Haitian meant not working on sugar plantations, engaging in subsistence agriculture by squatting on a small plot of land, distilling sugarcane into rum for domestic consumption, and cutting down mahogany or logwood and harvesting wild coffee beans to generate a cash income. This is why Haiti was exporting 83,212,627 pounds of coffee and 154,466,502 pounds of logwood in 1903.

In 1790, Saint-Domingue had exported 68,000,000 pounds of coffee. There are no statistics on logwood which apparently wasn’t a significant commodity at that time. The nature of Haiti’s exports in the 19th century show what was fundamentally an African peasantry living out its own preferred lifestyle.

There’s another number which explains how Haiti became the Fourth World country that we are familiar with today: by 1900, the population of Haiti had grown from around 500,000 to 1,347,000 while the extent of the country itself hadn’t grown by one kilometer since independence in 1804 and the total value of its exports were worth less than those of Saint-Domingue in 1789.

In 2012, there were 10.2 million people living in Haiti. Does it all make sense now?

11 Comments

  1. A point to be made: if Haiti is not a good example of black rule in action then what city or country is?

    Can the defenders of Haiti name any black run city or country in the world which is up to white standards in civic order, cultural advancement, educational achievement and economic progress?

    There are plenty of places to look: sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, many American cities.

    The dreary standard for black run polities, whether a Port au Prince, a Kinshasha or a Detroit is high levels of violent crime, corrupt leaders, bombed out neighborhoods, and a general inability to get it together to do anything other than shake down YT.

    Recently, I saw that Kenya is now considered a failed state. Kenya, once claimed to be one of the best African countries prepared for independence. (Try watching the old movie, “Born Free.”) And how do Congo, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Angola, Nigeria and the rest stack up?

    In the 21st century we have growing African populations in many European cities. European countries are mostly welfare states with liberal ideology solidly entrenched, where “racism” is banned via “hatecrime” laws. You’d think that with all these positive socio-economic conditions, blacks would be light years ahead. Certainly these countries do not have the USA’s “long history of slavery & segregation ™.”

    Yet blacks in these countries manifest the usual patterns of violence. We have seen widespread rioting in Britain (as well as similar third worlder depredations in other European cities). Welcome to the Long Hot Summers.

    What is amazing is how the liberal ideological machine will justify any amount of dysfunction, violence, demagoguery and plain out barbarism when it is committed by blacks. And more than justify; liberals will hand over entire cities and countries to blacks, no matter what the historical record of their epic fail.

    “Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.”–James Burnham

  2. Isn’t it nearly always HARMFUL products like white sugar, corn syrup, cocaine, tobacco, jewelry, pornography, prostitution and human slaves that ‘create immense wealth’?

    Haiti’s loss of sugar plantations would have been all gain for the health of Western people, however Cuba quickly replaced the supply.

    Without the threat of the lash, it is only NATURAL (NOT ‘unforunate’) that the Haitian Africans shifted to easier crops like coffee and cacao and grew ONLY as much of those as necessary to get whatever they needed to subsist. From our point of view, they even began to produce a little benefit for us: Coffee and chocolate have SOME health benefits, unlike refined sugar and rum. So I say: Let the Africans HAVE Haiti now (remember always that they didn’t CHOOSE to be there) and LET THEM BE AFRICANS. If the White French would ever want to reclaim the land for themselves, let the French decide that. Otherwise it is an IDEAL preserve for Africans outside of Africa, perfect for them to live as they wish.

    Re: ‘Kenya, once claimed to be one of the best African countries prepared for independence (Try watching the old movie, “Born Free”)’:

    That brings to mind that if the Africans were left entirely to themselves now, with their existing supply of guns and present overpopulation, they would soon exterminate all their endangered large mammals. All of the White-created wilderness preserves would be destroyed before everything collapses to the natural level of mud hut subsistence. Preserving the Africans as Africans (letting the Africans alone, to live as Africans without outside aid and intervention) AND preserving the endangered African flora and fauna too, is impossible all at once.

  3. I agree with Mosin Nagant. I’m hardly a Negro booster but I don’t blame them for not wanting to slave away on sugar plantations and South Africa is definitely for the Whites. They built it.

  4. ” So I say: Let the Africans HAVE Haiti now (remember always that they didn’t CHOOSE to be there) and LET THEM BE AFRICANS. ” – I don’t see an argument for taking back haiti here, or of pining away for lost Saint-Domingue. Just a rebuttal to the idea that Haiti is in the mess it is in because of dreaded foreign(white) influence.

  5. “Isn’t it nearly always HARMFUL products like white sugar, corn syrup, cocaine, tobacco, jewelry, pornography, prostitution and human slaves that ‘create immense wealth’?”

    Before the Industrial Revolution perhaps. And what have you got against either candy or jewelry on beautiful women? In what way does jewelry harm them or anyone else?

    I like a good cigar now and then myself.

  6. This is a good point point!

    Could we stick all the 45 million niggers on Haiti? Build them a megalopolis and HQ a few banks there and a few factories.

    Advertise it as a Caribbean Black Nationalist Zion.

  7. Mosin Nagant says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm
    I think SOUTH Africa still belongs to the whites who mostly settled it.

    That’s not how it works. See Detroit.

  8. ‘In what way does jewelry harm them or anyone else?’

    Yes, I wondered whether I should have included that. I thought I had opium on the list too. Well, people do kill and die for those diamonds that are a girls’ best friends, don’t they? Of course they’re not harmful in themselves, but a lot of harmful fuss is connected with them. What ethnic group is over-represented in the jewelry trade, as well as the drug and pornography and slave trades?

  9. ‘”I think SOUTH Africa still belongs to the whites who mostly settled it.” That’s not how it works. See Detroit.’

    I meant that S.A. still belongs to the Whites who settled it BY RIGHT, not that it still belongs to them now in practice.

    Anon wrote: ‘I don’t see an argument for taking back haiti here, or of pining away for lost Saint-Domingue. Just a rebuttal to the idea that Haiti is in the mess it is in because of dreaded foreign (white) influence’.

    I see in these articles BOTH the ‘pining’ admiration of good old Golden Circle days of immense wealth creation AND the rebuttal of ‘foreign influence causes Haiti to be in the mess it is in’ (which is really not a mess at all, but an improvement in the sense that African nature is being preserved and allowed to take its natural course). I also get the impression the author would not HATE to see Haiti put back under white rule and the Africans enslaved again and forced to ‘clean up their mess’.

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