Coffee and slavery

Slavery Between the years 1511 and 1886 over 1 million slaves were imported from Africa to Cuba in order to cultivate their crops. Although production and selling of sugar in the country began slave holding, the presence of coffee played an equally important role in establishing slavery in Cuba. When coffee first reached Cuba, farmers welcomed it due to the coffee's requirement of less land to grow and the decreased use of machinery . The slave holding during this time was enforced by prison-like attitudes creating unrest and inevitable rebellions against the wealthy owners that enslaved them. Coffee production in Cuba did not last as long as other countries due to the competition with Brazilian coffee.[51] In some areas of Brazil in the 1870s, some coffee holders held about 10 slaves each, dependent upon on the size of the plantation. Slavery did not change throughout the 1900s. Slaveholdings increased with the expansion of coffee production.[52] Coffee is mostly grown in the developing world. Coffee cultivation has been accused of contributing to child labour.[53] Coffee entered the Caribbean in the early eighteenth century and flourished. Its cultivation has been connected to the slave trade, slave labor, and harsh conditions on plantations. In certain African societies, there was very little difference between the free peasants and the feudal vassal peasants. Enslaved people of the Songhay Empire were used primarily in agriculture; they paid tribute to their masters in crop and service but they were slightly restricted in custom and convenience. These non-free people were more an occupational caste, as their bondage was relative.[3] Several nations suc as the Ashanti of Ghana and the Yoruba of Nigeria were involved in slave-trading. Groups such as the Imbangala of Angola and the Nyamwezi of Tanzania would serve as intermediaries or roving bands, waging war on African states to capture people for export as slaves. Historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African American Studies, has stated that "without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred."[4] Scottish explorer Mungo Park wrote: The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters. Custom, however, has established certain rules with regard to the treatment of slaves, which it is thought dishonourable to violate. Thus the domestic slaves, or such as are born in a mans own house, are treated with more lenity than those which are purchased with money. ... But these restrictions on the power of the master extend not to the care of prisoners taken in war, nor to that of slaves purchased with money. All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection of the law, and may be treated with severity, or sold to a stranger, according to the pleasure of their owners.