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Sugar production in the Danish West Indies

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– **History**
– Saint Croix associated with sugar production for over 200 years
– Became wealthiest sugar producing island in the West Indies
– Danish colonists bought the island in 1734
– Planters came from surrounding islands to Saint Croix
– Peak sugar production between 1795-1800 with a large African labor force

– **Decline of Sugar Industry**
– Danish Crown abolished transatlantic slave trade in 1803
– Industry began to decline in the 19th century
– Continued use of slaves despite legal restrictions
– Economic decline due to competition and disasters
– Danish government funded Central Sugar Factory in 1875

– **Impact on Economy**
Sugar industry faced drought and competition
– Disasters in 1860s and 1870s affected production
– Prices fell due to competition from beet sugar
– US purchase of islands in 1917 led to production decrease
– Only 5,823 acres under sugar cultivation in 1929

– **See Also**
Sugar plantations in the Caribbean
– Estate Rust Op Twist

– **References**
– Shaw, Earl B. (1933)
– U.S. Virgin Islands: a guide to national parklands
– Schulterbrandt, Gail (2005)
– Estate Belvedere
– Lewisohn, Florence (1963)

Sugar production in the United States Virgin Islands was an important part of the economy of the United States Virgin Islands for over two hundred years. Long before the islands became part of the United States in 1917, the islands, in particular the island of Saint Croix, was exploited by the Danish from the early 18th century and by 1800 over 30,000 acres were under cultivation, earning Saint Croix a reputation as the "Garden of the West Indies". Since the closing of the last sugar factory on Saint Croix in 1966, the industry has become only a memory.

A typical sugar plantation in West Indies
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