Each year during this decade the United Kingdom ingested about 70,000 tons of re
ned sugar, which
replaced about 80,000 tons of wheat in energy value.
The wheat was worth during that decade an average
of £10.5 per ton.
Wheat was roughly in balance during the 10 harvests 1783–92, and the United Kingdom
imported during that period an average of less than 15,000 tons, or about 0.5 percent of production, of which
most came from Ireland.
In most years an extra 80,000 tons of wheat would have been available from the
Baltic, from the Americas, and from Ireland.
The entire sugar effort, costing the British about £5–6 million
net per annum, replaced wheat, which would have cost not much more than £800,000 net per annum.
is the price, not just of addiction, but of corruption.
The corruption was not only of the consumers, poor addicts that they were, nor of the slaves, degraded
by the system which needed them, nor of the slave owners, objects of both hatred and contempt, but of the
whole mercantile system as it existed at the end of the American Revolution.
Whig mercantilism (“par1i-
amentary Colbertism”) became suspect to the generation that made peace with the Americans; indeed had
not the Whig policy led to the loss of America?
The Elder Pitt had said so; was this not enough for his son,