Silver and Sugar
Although similar with the increase in forced labor, silver and sugar differed with the effect it had on the Chinese and British empires. The reason for the difference was the way it was used in the empires.
Silver led to the increase in forced labor of the native people in the Americas. The Spanish conquered the Incas to take over the silver mines in that region. They made use of the mitu system; the mitu system meant that slaves had to work a certain amount of hour/collect a certain amount of silver. The Spanish instilled a sense of fear in the slaves by punishing those who did not fulfill the day’s work requirement. Similarly with sugar, slaves were also used to plant the sugar plantations. The slaves first came from the native land but after that (after most of the natives died of disease), the British used African slaves. That led to the increase of African slaves because of the high demand for sugar. The higher the demands for sugar, the more slaves were needed. African slavery will replace the Native American slave labor and by 1888 9.5 million African people will be enslaved in the Americas. From a sugar planter’s point of view, African slaves—plentiful, cheap, and usually experienced at farming—were a practical solution.
Silver and sugar differed with the effect it had on the Chinese and British Empire. Silver led to the collapse of the Chinese Empire. Silver made the world go round in the time period. Most of the world’s silver ended up in China; therefore, China issued a new tax that required people to pay in silver. This inflation led to serious economic decline. Because the supply of goods is less than the demand for them, the