AuthorYarrington, Jonna M.
AdvisorWilliams, Brackette F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the 1700s, French colonies in the Caribbean produced massive amounts of sugar cane for shipment exclusively to France. The French Revolution of 1789 precipitated long years of economic conflict between England and France, during which French scientists and entrepreneurs worked to develop technology and capital investment to produce sugar on the French mainland from European-grown beets. Economic and agricultural viability of mass production of beet sugar was established by 1812 and used to promote French autarky (self-sufficiency) in emerging ideologies of economic nationalism. Beet sugar's equivalence to cane sugar meant direct competition with colonial cane, marking a period of "conjunction," when questions of colonial belonging and rights to participation in markets were actively contested in Paris as debates over tariff and bounty legislation. New forms of symbolic inclusion and exclusion of French colonies were produced—with important results for the cane sugar complex, colonial producers, and the system of French trade relations. Guyane Française (French Guiana) provides the prime illustrative case of colonial changes due to the sugar conjunction. A colony in northeastern South America, Guyane had been claimed by France since the early seventeenth century, but remained sparsely populated and experienced relatively weak development of the cane sugar complex. Thus, during and following the sugar conjunction, the French moved to make the colony a place for exile of state prisoners, rather than continue to develop it for cane cultivation and sugar production. The first shipment of convicts—stripped of their French citizenship before departure—arrived in Guyane in 1852 as the first prisoners in the penal colony that would be come to be known around the world as Devil's Island.
Degree ProgramGraduate College