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Raising Cane in the 'GladesThe Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida$
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Gail M. Hollander

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226349503

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226349480.001.0001

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Securing Sugar, Draining the 'Glades

Securing Sugar, Draining the 'Glades

(p.62) Chapter Three Securing Sugar, Draining the 'Glades
Raising Cane in the 'Glades
University of Chicago Press

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

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