24 Reading 34-1 Seven Years’ War of 1756–63 or during the American War of Independence, 1775–83. The planters never learned that the virtue of clever money is not the money, which is the same as anyone else’s, but the free advice which goes with it. Undercapitalized, without any work force disciplined by the need to earn money, their land valueless without labor, their former life-style rotting in the tropical depression, the planters in the British West Indies were never to recover. Sugar production fell until World War I, when the demand for sugar could no longer be satis f ed by the usual beet imports from Europe, a situation which temporarily boosted the West Indian sugar cane industry, in particular that of Jamaica. But the great days were over. The sugar addiction was to grow, but it would be satis f ed more cheaply by beet, and by the new methods and better land of Cuba, the quintessential 19th century sugar island. Cuba had been discovered and claimed for the King of Spain by Columbus in 1492. He returned to Spain with tobacco and syphilis as the f rst imports into Europe from the Western Hemisphere. For nearly 3 centuries this huge island, nearly as big as England, was populated by less than 200,000 people, white
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