Wish Fulfillment for Florida Growers: Managed Market, Disciplined Labor, Engineered Landscape

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:
Wish Fulfillment for Florida Growers: Managed Market, Disciplined Labor, Engineered Landscape

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This chapter argues that the newly established Florida sugar industry now faced three problems in expanding its production and profits: competition for quota share, labor supply, and water control. It begins by offering a fresh interpretation of the domestic political maneuverings behind the 1930s Sugar Acts, arguing that Florida's sugar interests played a hitherto unrecognized role. The Sugar Acts were the main tool of New Deal sugar policies, which were intended to balance the competing interests of sugar-producing regions through a system of quota allocation. With the legislative establishment of quotas, political competition among producing regions intensified, and new discursive strategies of place-based comparisons emerged. The chapter demonstrates how ideas about sugar and national security were used to restructure the geography of the regional labor market with the help of the federal government. Finally, it examines how the federal government addressed the third problem facing the industry when the Army Corps of Engineers undertook the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project, economically justified in part by the potential for increased sugar revenue.

Keywords: Florida sugar industry; sugar production; sugar quotas; labor supply; water control; Sugar Acts; labor market; national security; Flood Control Project

Chapter.  18596 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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