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sugar changed the world

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Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
THE WORLD'S FIRST TRUE UNIVERSITY
Today, few people have heard of Jundi Shapur. But in its time, it was an exceptional university. Jundi Shapur was built in what is now Iran sometime between the 400s and mid-500s A.D. We can only guess the dates, but we do know more about the school. It was the meeting place of the world's great minds. In 529, Christians closed the school of Athens—the last link to the academies of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The remaining Greek scholars moved to Jundi Shapur. Jews joined them, as did a group of Christians called Nestorians, who had their own ancient and scholarly traditions. Persians added their voices, and one of their learned doctors set off for what is now India, to gather and translate the wisdom of the Hindus. The school created the very first teaching hospital in the world, a place where the sick were treated and young doctors learned their craft, as well as a fine observatory to track the heavens. At Jundi Shapur the best scholars west of China all gathered to think and study together.
By the 600s, the doctors at the school were writing about a medicine from India named sharkara or, as the Persians called it, shaker—sugar. Indeed, scholars at Jundi Shapur invented new and better ways to refine cane into sugar. Since the school had links with many of the great civilizations of Asia, the Mediterranean, and Europe, word of sugar and the experience of tasting its special sweetness began to spread.
How does the heading help the reader understand the central idea of this passage?
Read the passage and study the map from Sugar Changed the World.
If you walked down Beekman Street in New York in the 1750s, you would come to a general store owned by Gerard Beekman—his family gave the street its name. The products on his shelves showed many of the ways sugar was linking the world. Beekman and merchants like him shipped flour, bread, corn, salted beef, and wood to the Caribbean. They brought back sugar, rum, molasses, limes, cocoa, and ginger. Simple enough; but this trade up and down the Atlantic coast was part of a much larger world system.
Textbooks talk about the Triangle Trade: Ships set out from Europe carrying fabrics, clothes, and simple manufactured goods to Africa, where they sold their cargoes and bought people. The enslaved people were shipped across the Atlantic to the islands, where they were sold for sugar. Then the ships brought sugar to North America, to be sold or turned into rum—which the captains brought back to Europe. But that neat triangle—already more of a rectangle—is completely misleading.
Beekman's trade, for example, could cut out Europe entirely. British colonists' ships set out directly from New York and New England carrying the food and timber that the islands needed, trading them for sugar, which the merchants brought back up the coast. Then the colonists traded their sugar for English fabrics, clothes, and simple manufactured goods, or they took their rum directly to Africa to buy slaves—to sell to the sugar islands. English, North American, French, and Dutch ships competed to supply the Caribbean plantations and buy their sugar. And even all these boats filling the waters of the Atlantic were but one part of an even larger system of world trade.
Africans who sold other Africans as slaves insisted on being paid in fabrics from India. Indeed, historians have discovered that some 35 percent of the cargo typically taken from Europe to Africa originally came from India. What could the Europeans use to buy Indian cloth? The Spanish shipped silver from the mines of Bolivia to Manila in the Philippines, and bought Asian products there. Any silver that English or French pirates could steal from the Spanish was also ideal for buying Asian cloth. So to get the fabrics that would buy the slaves that could be sold for sugar for the English to put into their tea, the Spanish shipped silver to the Philippines, and the French, English, and Dutch sailed east to India. What we call a triangle was really as round as the globe.

This map shows how the Triangle Trade has traditionally been depicted.
Which statement best explains how the map supports the text?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
Traditionally, English workers had brewed their own beer, which they drank along with bread, their other major source of food. A Scottish writer of the late 1700s noticed that tea had "become an economical substitute to the middle and lower classes of society for malt liquor," which they could no longer afford. "Tea," which had to be transported from Asia, and "sugar brought from the West Indies . . . compose a drink cheaper than beer." The new drink soon became not only cheap but necessary.
Why did the English, in particular, need a low-cost, filling hot drink? In a word: factories. England was the first country in the world to shift from making most of its money in traditional places, such as farms, mines, or small shops, to factories. In the early 1800s the English figured out how to build machines to weave cloth, and how to organize workers so that they could run the machines. Factory workers needed to leave their homes to go to work—they were not on farms where they could grow their own food, nor were they in shops where they could stop when they wanted to have a snack. Instead, they worked together in long shifts, taking breaks when allowed. Factory workers needed cheap food that was easy to transport and that gave them the energy to last until the next break.
All over England, in sooty cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, when the factory whistle blew, workers would set down their presses and file out to drink a quick cup of tea sweetened with sugar—usually dipping a piece of bread in the warm drink. Soon a smart manufacturer figured out that this break, and the need for a jolt of sweetness, was an opportunity. English workers were offered sugary cookies and candies—what we call today energy bars—that quick pick-me-up that helped workers to make it through their long shifts.
Starting around 1800, sugar became the staple food that allowed the English factories—the most advanced economies in the world—to run. Sugar supplied the energy, the hint of nutrition, the sweet taste to go with the warmth of tea that even the poorest factory worker could look forward to. Sugar was a necessity.
Which text evidence best supports the authors' claim that sugar became an essential source of energy to English workers in the 1800s?
Read the two passages from Sugar Changed the World.
The abolitionists were brilliant. They created the most effective public relations campaign in history, inventing techniques that we use to this day. When he spoke, Clarkson brandished whips and handcuffs used on slaves; he published testimonials from sailors and ship doctors who described the atrocities and punishments on slave ships. When Olaudah Equiano published his memoir, he educated his readers about the horrors of the slave trade. And then, when the English began to understand what slavery really was, Clarkson and others organized what we would call a boycott of "the blood-sweetened beverage."
Slave labor was valuable because it produced cheap sugar that everyone wanted to buy. But if people stopped buying that sugar, the whole slave system would collapse. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, the women of New England refused to buy English products and English tea. The loss of income made London rescind some of the taxes it had imposed on America. Now this same tactic—boycotting—was used to fight slavery. Some 400,000 English people stopped buying the sugar that slaves grew and harvested. Instead, they bought loaves of sugar that carried a label that said, "Produced by the labor of FREEMEN"—the sugar came from India.
Back in England, Clarkson and his friends saw their chance: France was no longer in the midst of a revolution, and Napoleon's sugar dreams had failed. England now had no excuse; the abolitionists would force their countrymen to face the question: Was England a nation built on Christian beliefs or on treating people as property?
In 1806, the antislavery forces brought a new bill before Parliament that would limit British involvement in the slave trade. Some of the most powerful testimony in favor of the bill came from former army officers who had been to the Caribbean and had seen the courage of the former slaves and the horrors of slavery. The slaves spoke through the testimony of the very men who had gone to fight them. One member of Parliament told his colleagues of the tortures he had seen in the islands. Slavery was not an abstraction, an economic force, a counter in the game of world politics—it was the suffering of men and women. Members of Parliament were being confronted with the reality of slavery, just as audiences at Clarkson's lectures were when he showed shackles and whips.
While Parliament debated the new bill, Clarkson and his allies went on lecturing, talking, changing minds all across England. They succeeded. Newspapers reported that even in Bristol, a port city with a harbor filled with slave ships, "the popular sentiment has been very strongly expressed against the continuance of that traffick in human flesh."
William Wilberforce, another leader of the abolitionist cause, felt the new mood in his country. "God can turn the hearts of men," he marveled. Many members of Parliament recognized the same change in the "sense of the nation." In 1807 a bill to ban all English involvement in slave trading passed the House of Commons, then the House of Lords. At precisely noon on March 25, King George III signed the law.
Which claim do both passages support?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
In 1806, the antislavery forces brought a new bill before Parliament that would limit British involvement in the slave trade. Some of the most powerful testimony in favor of the bill came from former army officers who had been to the Caribbean and had seen the courage of the former slaves and the horrors of slavery. The slaves spoke through the testimony of the very men who had gone to fight them. One member of Parliament told his colleagues of the tortures he had seen in the islands. Slavery was not an abstraction, an economic force, a counter in the game of world politics—it was the suffering of men and women. Members of Parliament were being confronted with the reality of slavery, just as audiences at Clarkson's lectures were when he showed shackles and whips.
While Parliament debated the new bill, Clarkson and his allies went on lecturing, talking, changing minds all across England. They succeeded. Newspapers reported that even in Bristol, a port city with a harbor filled with slave ships, "the popular sentiment has been very strongly expressed against the continuance of that traffick in human flesh."
William Wilberforce, another leader of the abolitionist cause, felt the new mood in his country. "God can turn the hearts of men," he marveled. Many members of Parliament recognized the same change in the "sense of the nation." In 1807 a bill to ban all English involvement in slave trading passed the House of Commons, then the House of Lords. At precisely noon on March 25, King George III signed the law.
How do the authors use English history to support the claim that many people joined the antislavery movement for moral reasons?
Read the two passages from Sugar Changed the World.
England had begun talking about ending slavery, but then it saw the chaos in France and sent an army to try to defeat the Haitians. Now Napoleon's France followed in the footsteps of the English.
Napoleon's 35,000-man army was led by his brother-in-law and soon scored an amazing success: They captured Toussaint in 1802 and brought him to France, where he died in prison in 1803. But the former slaves fought on. In two years of fighting, nearly 50,000 French soldiers died. And on January 1, 1804, the victorious Republic of Haiti was born. Fighting for freedom, the former slaves defeated the armies of first England, then France: Europe's two most powerful nations.
Haiti was born free; human rights won over property rights.
In 1807 a bill to ban all English involvement in slave trading passed the House of Commons, then the House of Lords. At precisely noon on March 25, King George III signed the law. We should mark that date, honor it, to this day. For while no slaves were freed by the bill, it marked a great change in the world. More slaves from Africa had been shipped by the British than by any other nation. That part of the grim history of sugar and slavery was over. Indeed, that very same year Congress passed a law forbidding Americans from being involved in importing slaves. In the great contest over whether a human, any human, could ever be property; the tide was turning.
How do the authors develop the claim in the two passages?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
The English public, now consuming some eighteen pounds of sugar a year, knew little about the lives of the enslaved Africans whose labor sweetened their meals. Worse yet, every Englishman who hammered the wood, sewed the sails, manufactured the rope for slave ships, or built the barrels to hold slave-harvested sugar made his money from the slave trade. The English were getting richer because Africans were being turned into property. Clarkson and others who believed as he did, who in the coming decades would be called abolitionists, realized that while that link gave the English a stake in slavery, it also gave the antislavery forces an opportunity. If they could reverse the flow—make the horrors of slavery visible to those who benefited from it—they might be able to end the vile practice forever.
The abolitionists were brilliant. They created the most effective public relations campaign in history, inventing techniques that we use to this day. When he spoke, Clarkson brandished whips and handcuffs used on slaves; he published testimonials from sailors and ship doctors who described the atrocities and punishments on slave ships. When Olaudah Equiano published his memoir, he educated his readers about the horrors of the slave trade. And then, when the English began to understand what slavery really was, Clarkson and others organized what we would call a boycott of "the blood-sweetened beverage."
Which excerpt from the passage best states the authors' claim?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
Slave owners fought back, arguing that owners should be able to list their slaves as property when they arrived in France and take them with them when they left. Though most parts of France agreed to this, law-makers in Paris hesitated. Pierre Lemerre the Younger made the case for the slaves. "All men are equal," he insisted in 1716—exactly sixty years before the Declaration of Independence.
To say that "all men are equal" in 1716, when slavery was flourishing in every corner of the world and most eastern Europeans themselves were farmers who could be sold along with the land they worked, was like announcing that there was a new sun in the sky. In the Age of Sugar, when slavery was more brutal than ever before, the idea that all humans are equal began to spread—toppling kings, overturning governments, transforming the entire world.
Sugar was the connection, the tie, between slavery and freedom. In order to create sugar, Europeans and colonists in the Americas destroyed Africans, turned them into objects. Just at that very same moment, Europeans—at home and across the Atlantic—decided that they could no longer stand being objects themselves. They each needed to vote, to speak out, to challenge the rules of crowned kings and royal princes. How could that be? Why did people keep speaking of equality while profiting from slaves? In fact, the global hunger for slave-grown sugar led directly to the end of slavery. Following the strand of sugar and slavery leads directly into the tumult of the Age of Revolutions. For in North America, then England, France, Haiti, and once again North America, the Age of Sugar brought about the great, final clash between freedom and slavery.
Which excerpt from the passage best states the authors' claim?
Read the two passages from Sugar Changed the World.
Slave owners fought back, arguing that owners should be able to list their slaves as property when they arrived in France and take them with them when they left. Though most parts of France agreed to this, law-makers in Paris hesitated. Pierre Lemerre the Younger made the case for the slaves. "All men are equal," he insisted in 1716—exactly sixty years before the Declaration of Independence.
To say that "all men are equal" in 1716, when slavery was flourishing in every corner of the world and most eastern Europeans themselves were farmers who could be sold along with the land they worked, was like announcing that there was a new sun in the sky. In the Age of Sugar, when slavery was more brutal than ever before, the idea that all humans are equal began to spread—toppling kings, overturning governments, transforming the entire world.
Sugar was the connection, the tie, between slavery and freedom.
Clarkson and others who believed as he did, who in the coming decades would be called abolitionists, realized that while that link gave the English a stake in slavery, it also gave the antislavery forces an opportunity. If they could reverse the flow—make the horrors of slavery visible to those who benefited from it—they might be able to end the vile practice forever.
The abolitionists were brilliant. They created the most effective public relations campaign in history, inventing techniques that we use to this day. When he spoke, Clarkson brandished whips and handcuffs used on slaves; he published testimonials from sailors and ship doctors who described the atrocities and punishments on slave ships. When Olaudah Equiano published his memoir, he educated his readers about the horrors of the slave trade. And then, when the English began to understand what slavery really was, Clarkson and others organized what we would call a boycott of "the blood-sweetened beverage."
Which statement best explains how the authors develop their claim across the two passages?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
Knowing that their slaves were likely to die by the time they reached their thirties, Louisiana sugar planters were extremely selective—they bought only healthy-looking young men in their late teens. On average, the men purchased in Louisiana were an inch taller than the people bought in the other slave states. Those teenagers made up seven to eight out of every ten slaves brought to America's sugar Hell. The others were younger teenage girls, around fifteen to sixteen years old. Their job, for the rest of their short lives, was to have children. Elizabeth Ross Hite knew that, for sure, "all de master wanted was fo' dem wimmen to hav children." Enslaved children would be put to work or sold. The overseer S.B. Raby explained, "Rachel had a 'fine boy' last Sunday. Our crop of negroes will I think make up any deficiencies there may be in the cane crop." That is, a master could sell any slaves who managed to live, if he needed more money than he could make from sugar.
Jazz was born in Louisiana. Could it be that a population of teenagers, almost all of them male, were inspired to develop their own music as a way to speak, to compete, to announce who they were to the world? Bomba in Puerto Rico, Maculelê in Brazil, jazz in Louisiana—all gave people a chance to be alive, to be human, to have ideas, and dreams, and passions when their owners claimed they were just cogs in machinery built to produce sugar.
How do the authors use historical evidence to support their claim in this passage?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
With their victory, the people of Saint Domingue announced that the conflict between freedom and property was over: "All men are equal" meant that no men are property. This idea terrified the English—and not merely because their sugar island of Jamaica was just over a hundred miles across the water from Saint Domingue. Indeed, slaves in Jamaica were beginning to sing a new song while they worked:
One, two, tree,All de same;Black, white, brown,All de same;All de same.One, two, tree,All de same!
That chant did more than threaten a slave revolt—it was a challenge to all ranking hierarchies. Jamaica had already seen many slave revolts, and the reverend John Lindsay was certain that the talk of freedom and liberty in North America had inspired the slaves: "At our tables (where . . . every Person has his own waiting man behind him) we have I am afraid been too careless of Expressions, especially when the topic of American rebellion has been . . . brandished with strains of Virtuous Heroism." But the slaves did not need to overhear their masters to learn about the ideas of equality. Black sailors working ships running all through the islands were carrying the word. And if this spirit of liberty got out of hand, that could be really dangerous. After all, in England itself only 3 percent of the population had the right to vote. If this expanded idea of freedom spread, how safe were the kings and dukes, earls and knights, of England? Starting in fall 1793, British troops began arriving in Saint Domingue to reenslave people and return them to their sugar plantations. As Henry Dundas, the British secretary of war, put it, their goal was to "prevent a circulation in the British Colonies of the wild and pernicious Doctrines of Liberty and Equality."
How do the authors use historical evidence to support their claim? Select two options.
Read the two passages from Sugar Changed the World.
By the late 1700s, Saint Domingue (what is now Haiti) was the world center of sugar. So many sugar plantations dotted the landscape that slaves called commanders managed other slaves. On the night of August 14, 1791, commanders from the richest sugar plantations in Saint Domingue gathered in a place called Alligator Woods and swore a solemn oath. They would rise up against their white owners, "and listen to the voice of liberty which speaks in the hearts of all of us." That voice told them to destroy everything related to sugar. Sugar made the Africans slaves, so sugar must be wiped off the island, now a vast sugar factory to the world.
By the end of August, the French colony was in flames. So many cane fields were on fire that the air was filled with "a rain of fire composed of burning bits of cane-straw which whirled like thick snow." Smashing mills, destroying warehouses, setting fields on fire, the freedom fighters demolished some one thousand plantations—and that was just in the first two months of their revolution. The fight against sugar and chains soon had a leader, Toussaint, who called himself "L'Ouverture"—the opening. Toussaint was making a space, an opening, for people to be free.
When the Haitians defeated the French armies, Napoleon lost control of the world's most productive sugar islands and with it his dream of great sugar profits. As a result, Napoleon had no use for the land in North America he had so recently obtained from Spain. Napoleon did, though, need money to pay for his wars. That is why he sold the vast Louisiana Territory to Jefferson for the bargain price of just fifteen million dollars. What textbooks call the Louisiana Purchase should really be named the Sugar Purchase. Americans obtained the middle part of what would become their nation because the Haitians achieved their freedom.
Which claim do both passages support?
Read the passage from Sugar Changed the World.
Sugar has left a bloody trail through human history. Sugar plantations from Africa to the Caribbean and Louisiana and as far as Hawaii are haunted by stories of brutality, torture, rape, and murder. When slaves rebelled, they often took gruesome revenge on their masters, only to face even more horrific reprisals when the owners and overseers regained control. Indenture was a step better than slavery, but masters did their best to intimidate workers to keep wages low and silence critics. Violence was the very soil from which sugar sprang. The only way to fight sugar masters, it seemed, was for the workers to be harder, tougher, and more willing to accept bloodshed than the owners.
Gandhi began to see that there was a way for the indentured Indians to strengthen themselves without having to rely on machetes and guns. Freedom, he realized, did not come only from rising up against oppressors or tyrants. It could also be found in oneself. The mere fact that the sugar masters treated their workers as some form of property did not mean the Indians had to accept that definition. In fact, it was up to them to claim, to assert, their own worth, their own value. A man who had his inner, personal dignity was free—no matter how a boss tried to bully him. Gandhi's years in South Africa became a laboratory, as he experimented with how to be a truthful, free person. Finally, he was ready to put his ideas into practice.
Which statement best describes the claim the authors make in this passage?