Securing Sugar, Draining the 'Glades

in Raising Cane in the 'Glades

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780226349503
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226349480 | DOI:
Securing Sugar, Draining the 'Glades

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This chapter explains an apparent economic contradiction: the transformation of the Everglades into an agro-industrial complex for sugarcane at great ecological and monetary cost during a period of oversupply depressed prices in the global sugar market. It begins by discussing the impact of World War I on U.S. sugar politics. The prospect of sugar shortages and the need to share the Cuban crop with allies provided Florida boosters with a powerful discourse in their struggle to construct a Florida sugar bowl; politically and economically interested parties developed a nationalistic and moral-geographic discourse concerning the transformation of the Everglades for sugar production. In the postwar period, under markedly different political-economic conditions for the global sugar market, protectionist policies sparked development, bringing long-promoted ideas about Florida's agro-industrial potential to fruition. The chapter demonstrates how, once established, the “Nation's Sugar Bowl” in Florida became a locus of power in the political struggles over domestic and international sugar policy.

Keywords: Everglades; agro-industrial complex; sugarcane; sugar production; sugar politics; sugar supply; protectionism; Florida; sugar policy

Chapter.  16227 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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