the internet and he thought i was horrible because if he chose that he wouldn't have the everyday experience of calling to the post office, and those everyday experiences people encounter during his daily walk are the basis for some of his stories. he met a number of interesting characters in new york city and going out and meeting people was a way for him to capture the new material. vonnegut is timeless because the issues, we still have the same issues. we are still suffering with war, disease, famine, environmental issues. he said your planets immune system is trying to get rid of
>> examining the impact of sugar on world history and the role did played in the industrial revolution. during this event, they speak to a group of students at the brooklyn public library in brooklyn, new york. >> well, the important thing is today in about an hour, we're going to cover several thousand years of world history and touch every part of the planet. are you ready to role? ready to go on the journey? this is a journey that as we tach all -- touch all these places did actually start from a family, two family stories, and so if we could look at the world map. marina and i were in jerusalem,
in israel visiting with my family, and i asked about the story of one of my aunts, a mysterious aunt of mine, a nonjewish woman who married into our jewish family, and i wondered the story about her. it turned out her grandfather had been a serf in russia. do you remember what a serf is? hold you, you in the back row. can you hand this to him? >> i think it was a slave. >> a serf was very much like a slave. he was a person or a woman who could be bought and sold with the land. my aunts grandfather was a serf, but he had invented a process for working with beet sugar that was so useful, he became so rich, he bought his freedom.
when we learned about that, we suddenly learned about a connection to marina's family. >> so, i had always known about my family's connection to sugar because my great grand parents traveled from india across to giana that's in south america, but it's considered part of the crabbian, and -- cribbian, and they came to work on plantations. part of what fascinated us is what is this substance where someone in his family all the way in russia, a serf, and someone in my family looking to get a better life over here in india and over to the caribbean, what is this substance that can affect people in different parts of the world.
>> we want to ask you a question. how many of you think you might have sugar somewhere in your family background? that's one, two, three -- oh, man, yes, yes. >> what i'm going to do is bring it out. i just want to hear from a couple of you where your family might have been from, okay? >> well, i think my family might have been in the cribbian. >> caribbean, very good. okay. >> absolutely. >> i feel my family was either in the caribbean or in europe. >> okay, okay. >> i think my family was either in the caribbean or europe. >> okay. very good. anybody else here? actually i know that my family was caribbean. >> if you have the caribbean in
your [background background, you have sugar in your background, but we believe many more people have sugar in their backgrounds than they know. we're about to take you around the world and the sub subtitle of the k boo is a story of magic, sights, stories, freedom, slively, and science. why might we relate sugar to damagic? well, sugar cane originally was very first, you know, off at the edge, on the far edge. we know that it was first grown in new guinea, and they grew sugar cane. have anyone of you seen that before? okay. >> good. >> have you tasted sugar cane? all right. all right. we know that -- we do know that
sugar cane was first grown in new guinea, and then it was brought up to india, and the reason we know that is that there are prayers to the god december durga where you would earn various offerings to the goddess, and one of the offerings was sugar cane. one of the original words for sugar was that which brings sweetness to the people, but at a certain point, the name for this substance changed, and the new name for it was shakara and that means gravel. why would you use a word that means gravel for sugar? >> you might use gravel because when you put it in your hat it
came out like sand and sand is like gravel. >> you're exactly right. originally they had cane, but they had learned how to make cane into sugar, and this is one of the crucial things. sugar granules don't exist in nature. what exists in nature is cane. we had to learn how to turn the cane into those little pieces of sugar, and we'll get to that, but before we get to that, the question is how did knowledge of sugar cane spread? how did people learn about this plant growing in new guinea? this substance used in religion in india? does anyone remember who might have brought knowledge of sugar across -- i think the second guy that has not spoken yet.
>> christopher klum because -- >> you're ahead of us. we're way back. >> i think it's it spread because it went across the world, and i think china had it. >> yeah, but before china gets it, there's -- here on the end, mary frances marina. >> i think it was, i think it was the slaves. , later. we're way back. we're in bc. we're way, way back. >> australians? >> no, no australians. >> the greeks? >> yes, alexander the great. if any of you remember the story, alexander the great is conquering across from greece, across iran, he's conquering, he gets to the edge of india, and his troops say i won't go any
further. i've gone as far as i'm going to go, but alexander is conquering. he has this hunger to know. alexander can never know enough, so he sends his friend in a boat saying go explore india, find out stuff for me. he comes back and talks about the reed that gives hunny though there are no bees. now, why would you describe sugar cane as the reed that gives honey though there are no bees? >> because it was sweet. >> yes, and why else? >> you'll get a chance. >> because the honey, bees usually produce the honey, and with sugar cane, they didn't need bees. >> before people knew about
sugar cane, how did they sweeten their food? what ways would people use to sweeten their food in >> they used fruits and honey and sap from a maple tree. >> very good. you may remember in north america there were no bees in north and south america. they didn't have honey. they had maple syrup, cactus, and in the rest of the world they had honey. we had sugar used in magical ceremonies. sugar is spreading and people are starting to learn about it. >> one thing to mention is when they used let's say honey or fruit, sugar or sweetness at this time is not the way we think about it where you're going to have a chocolate bar or a cooky. it is just a taste. it is a spice.
it is something you use in your meal to give it one of the flavors, okay? there's a meal you just had where you used sweetness as part of the meal. what big meal did everybody have just recently? >> breakfast. >> okay. think about a holiday. >> a holiday. >> thanksgiving. >> thanksgiving plate, you might have meat next to sweet cranberries. you're using sweetness there as part of your main meal. it's not, maybe you had pee can -- pecan pie or sweet potato pie, but this is a spice. >> this is sweetness now as a spice. >> when sweetness was a spice, do you think sugar was easy to get or hard to get?
how many think easy? how many say hard? right. >> when it is as a spice, it is what we call a luxury item. it's not something that you can just go to the corner store and get a bag of. it's something that will cost you a lot of money. it's very special. you just use a little of it. >> we know that the place that really caused the growth of knowledge of sugar is this wonderful mysterious school. it was a school in what is now iran called jundish. it was the first medical college where doctors trained while they healed patients. it had an observatory of the heavens, and here to this day on the palace of justice in tehran,
there is a sculpture of of the king in iran in this period when this academy was the world center of knowledge so people were coming from india, from greece. there were christians there and jews and persians all sharing knowledge about the world and sharing in particular knowledge of sugar. sugar was also considered a medicine. they actually gave sugar to people to try to heal some of their ills although they noticed it wasn't too good for your teeth. the key next step comes in the 600s and 700ad. can anyone remember what the huge change in the spread of knowledge, the spread of information that came in the 600s and 700s ad?
the big -- the new religion that was spreading all over the world. >> the christians. >> no, we had the christians already. yes, sir, in the back row. >> hinduism? >> no, hinduism existed already. >> islam? >> islam comes to the floor in the 600s, and as the islam spreads across iran and spreads down -- crash -- into china into central asia, into middle east, into europe, islam has a common language of scholarship which is arabic, and
now they are spreading knowledge of sugar anywhere anyone speaks arabic. they can now learn how to use this new substance. one way they used the sugar was to make beautiful sculptures. these look like trees, but these were entirely built out of sugar. what they would do is have these big celebrations where a ruler to show what a wonderful powerful generous ruler he was would commission these huge sculptures made out of sugar, and have you had marzipan? it's a mixture of sugar and almonds, and they would make sheas sculptures out of the mixture of sugar and almonds. what do we call numbers that we
write? 0, 1, 2, 3 -- the way we write them. what do we tall that kind -- what do we call that kind of number? >> accounting numbers. >> or there's another name for that kind of number. >> numeral. >> or what's the word that's just before numeral. >> roman? >> digits? >> no, no. >> arabic? >> yes, we call them arabic numerals because they brought the knowledge -- instead of using roman numerals, all this complicated stuff, x, y, z, and the romans didn't have 0. the arabs brought knowledge of the 0, and what we call counting numbers all throughout the world, but was there any part of the world that did -- can you think of a part of the world near the middle east, near
africa, near asia that doesn't speak arabic at this time? we're now talking about 1000ad. where is there a place where they don't speak arabic? >> turkey. >> okay. what's another responsibility? >> china. >> what's a big place where they are not speaking arabic? >> pakistan. >> europe? >> yes. you got it. as the arabs are spreading knowledge, spreading numbers, spreading information about sugar all over the world, europe is going in the opposite direction. europe is shutting down, blocking out, saying we don't want any of what you got, so europe is withdrawing. >> [inaudible]
>> we ain't there yet. in europe, however, they still liked spices, and, in fact, if you were having a feast, you might have boar's head. we have used the medieval recipe to reconstruct it. why is it green? they painted it with mashed up parsely or something because they wanted to have just like the arabs made these things out of sugar, in medieval europe, you showed you were rich by making something elaborate by making this and by using spices, but the europeans did not know where the spices came from, so if you look at this picture in the upper corner here, this shows someone fishing in a river that they thought came out of paradise. they thought spices floated down
a river somewhere in asia which was where the garden of eden still was because they didn't know. they didn't know where sugar could come from. >> the garden of eden is in the persian gulf. >> okay. >> we've been talking about the spread of sugar. the arabs are the ones who developed it, but there's one big problem with sugar, with this sugar cane. in fact, the one we have right here right now. what is the problem with sugar or sugar cane? >> it can give you diabetes. [laughter] >> yes. >> but when you have to make sugar. >> it -- [inaudible] >> exactly. take a look at this cane. you can see it's pretty dry, pretty woody. do you think you'll get many crystals from this? absolutely not.
this is a reed in which it must be milled within 48 hours of being cut, so you have to cut the cane, get it over to some kind of process where they crush the cane and they can get the pulp out, and then it has to be boiled and boiled and boiled so that we can get those crystals that we all know, and so this has to happen within a very short period of time, and it is, in fact, the egyptians, the arabic world that developed this system by which we could process these reeds and they developed something called the -- anyone want to guess what they invented to make the sugar cane to be processed in a timely way? what do we call that?
>> they did use mills, but what's the system called? >> where you got a lot of people working to get this sugar cane processed. what do we call that? >> plantation. >> very good. so it was in the ashic world -- arabic world that they first developed the plantations where you have will thes of people -- lots of people working, cutting the cane, getting it over to the mills, turning those fires on so that the fire can be processed, so this idea of sugar cane plantation, processing sugar spreads upward into the mediterranean island, the canary islands, okay? and there's somebody who we will now talk about how it made its
way over to -- in the 1400s spain and portugal were speating to explore down the post of africa and find a sea route to asia. that way, they could have the prime asian spices they wanted without having to pay high prices to the middlemen. sailors searching for sea route conquered the canary islands. soon, they began building muslim-style plantations on the island some staffed by slaves purchased from nearby africa. once they were keen to knowing these islands particularly well, you traded in white gold, sugar. then, at the second voyage across the sea to what he thought was asia, he carried
sugar kane plants from gomara, a canary island with him on his ship. his name was christopher columbus. >> i have to tell you, marina and i, cannot agree on who wrote that passage. we both like it so much we each want a feel. >> i say i wrote it. >> i say i wrote it. >> we still don't know where the truth lies. okay. a lot of you mentioned south america, the west indies, all of you who had backgrounds in the caribbean; right? okay, this is now -- sugar has been brought across to this whole area here. we've got dominican, barbados, all these places with cane planted on it.
espanola. these are all places where sugar is being planted. what is this now the beginning of in terms of world history? >> now, to be clear, there has always been slavery everywhere in the world. slavery is as old as world history. it has existed in every part of the world. however, as marina was saying, people are now -- christopher columbus brings sugar over on his second voi yays. what do you need to have a lot of sugar? you need fertile soil. you need wind or water power to run the mill. you need to be near water so you can ship it. you need a lot of wood; right?
you need to keep the fires burning because this bubbling vats of sugar, but you need one more thing to produce sugar. what do you need? >> [inaudible] >> hard workers. >> you need hard, cheap workers. you need people who you can get to work for very little because the more they work, the cheaper they are, what happens to the price of sugar? >> it goes higher. >> or, more likely it? >> goes lower. >> it goes lower because you're producing cheap sugar, the price goes down less. look at -- now here is the most important little diagram. can any of you remember of the approximately 12-13 million
africans sold into transatlantic slavery, what percentage were brought to north america where we are? what percentage came to north america? looking for someone who has not spoken lately. this is a wild guess. this is not on the region. >> 80%? >> that's one guess. >> 91. >> 91% to north america is another guess. >> 75%. >> 75. one more guess. >> 52%. >> 52%. >> marina is now going to show you the actual percentage. >> 4%. 4%. 4% of the enslaved africans were brought to north america. 96% of the een slaved after --
enslaved africans were taken to the sugar lands. if we have 50 of you in this room, that means two of you came to north america. 48 of you went to work in sugar. if you want to know the history of enslavement, it's sugar. sugar drove the world economy. it was the labor of the africans that spun the world because as sugar is getting cheaper -- >> well, first of all, we're going to talk about what it was like to work on these suregan plantations. we got suregan plantation -- sugar plantations all along here, haiti, all of these areas. that 96% are going to those sugar lands. let's talk for a moment about
what life was like on the sugar plantation. you saw these cane reeds here, okay? you heard that once the harvest started, the sugar cane had to be cut and processed no later than 48 hours. what we have is we had droves of people, women, children, they were the ones who very often did the work of weeding. they were constantly hoeing the plants to get rid of the weeds. you would stand there all day long in the broiling sun getting rid of the weeds that would spring up around the sugar cane. there were other people who were sent in to plant, and they had to plant in a very exact way. you see this tile here? it would be in the middle of that one and then make the next one and the next one. then there was very often the strongest slaves were the ones
who eventually would be sent in and they would be the cutters, and they would cut the cane, and they'd use -- they'd called it cutlets, and they'd cut it here and let it go down, and they would have to carry this cane, very often on top of their heads, okay, sometimes they had a cushion that would go on top of their heads, and they carried over. then there would be other people -- >> i want to interrupt for a second. i want a strong person to step up here. >> a very strong person. right here. come on. >> hold up all those canes, together. all right. left them all up. all together. just grab and lift them. guess how many in an average day
women gathered and carried them. now that you lifted this, how many do you think a woman could carry in a day? just guess. give me a number. >> three. >> women had to gather 1200 stalks a day. 1200 stocks a day of the weight of what robert is just now carrying to keep the process moving. thank you. >> so, you got the people who are carrying it, taking it over, and then there's the people who are feeding it into rollers into whatever mill system they have going that will grind it. then there are people working in what we call the boiling house, and boy, that boiling house is boiling. if you think it's hot right now under the lights, imagine a house with a furnaces going all
the time, day, night, and you have to keep working no matter what. as they processed that ground up sugar into the boiling vats, then there are people called pan boilers, and they took these long ladles and they are testing it and taking the scum at the top off. they are testing it for the moment when sugar turns to crystal because there's an exact moment. it's called reiching, and that is when it goes from being a liquid to a crystal, processed down, then there's a whole other group of slaves who are there to put the sugar, to sift the sugar and put them in the barrels and then they are shipped across to the sea. this goes on and on and on re relentless cycles of work.
you might have several harvests a year. it's not like you're off from the rest of the year. it's one field here for harvest, another field there for a harvest. you are put on this relentless cycle of work, working, working, and danger work, particularly in the boiling house where people's arms could get caught in the rollers. it's very, very hot and dangerous work. >> if you look carefully at the illustration of the mills, there's a sword that was kept next to the mill. can anyone guess why you would keep a sword next to the mill? >> protection? >> nope. why would you keep a sword next to the mill? >> just in case it stops working? >> nope.
>> to chop up the cane. >> the reason you have a sword next to the mill is if you -- people are working 12 hours a day, i'm sorry, 14 hours a day. have you ever been really tired and you closed your eyes for a minute. if you're feeding the mill and your you close your eyes and your hand goes into the mill, the mill doesn't stop. the only way to save you is to cut off your arm. they talked about how many one armed people they saw on the plantations because that was it. they would never -- what marina said was true, it will never stop the process, and that is why when we talk about the 96% and why it's so unfamiliar for so many of us, in all of the sugar lands, the enslaved people died faster than they had
children. the work was so brutal that you were constantly bringing over more people simply to replace the people who were dying. the work was so relentless. >> so here's my question. we now have sugar as the chief commodity. mark, you want to give us the steps on how much sugar we go from? >> in 1700, the average english person ate four pounds of sugar a year. 1800, 14 pounds. 1900, 90 pounds. 2000, 140 pounds in america. now, in 2010, 150 pounds. sugar transformed how we ate, transformed who we were, and
this acceleration is because you have enslaved people who are driving the price of sugar so far down that everyone can have it. it's not a luxury. it's not a spice. it's not a deck -- decoration. it's a necessity. >> it's what we call a staple. let me ask you, who are these people who are eating all this sugar? 90 pounds of sugar, 40 cups a day. what's going on? why are people eating suture sugar -- so much sugar in their day? >> because it's a sweet? >> that's part. >> we've always had a sweet, but why so much consumption is going on? >> because sugar is in everything now that you eat. >> but why? why were people craving it?
>> prices went down. >> the price went down, and who are the people eating the sugar? >> because there are more slaves. >> that's who is making the sugar. who is consuming? the barrels are going across the sea. where are they going? >> what's happening is just at the moment that the sugar price is going down, there's a huge change taking place first in england in how people work. people used to work on farms. they would work in a little shop. starting around 1800, people in england are working in factories. if you work in a factory, you're working 10 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours. can you just leave your factory and go to the farm and pick an apple? if you're working, how are you going to get enough energy to
get through your day when you're working in the factory? >> sugar. and there are three substances that they would take their sugar with. tea, coffee, and chocolate, so what you have is you have slaves in the caribbean producing this cheap sugar, shipping it off in barrels, and it's going to england where you have workers working in factories, working long shifts. they get through the day with that sweetened tea. they drink it, they gulp it, they have it with bread, put sugar on that bread. before you know it, it's called a cookie, a biscuit, the energy bars people like to eat now. all of that dates back to the
moment when people began to work in factories. at that time, they would drink something like 40 cups of tea to get them through the day. this is why they're starting to consume so much sugar. >> here's a twist. here's the interesting twist. we've just seen sugar lead to death, brutality, enslavement. we saw how sugar is fueling the industrial revolution. well, on the sugar islands, the planters are getting really, really rich. they are getting so rich, they don't even have to live on the islands anymore. they move off to england. the plant you may own 2,000, you know, 2,000 people, acres and acres in jamaica, antigua, but you live in london, and when you live in london, you can go to
parliament and you can make the laws in england, and you can make laws that says everybody in the english empire must eat sugar only from british islands, and you know who gets mad about that? the americans. the americans say no taxation without representation. how come the sugar island owners are so rich they can live in london. we can't live in london. that's not fair. we want to be independent, so the beginning of the drive for the american revolution comes when the americans say i can't stand these sugar laws that -- >> [inaudible] >> the sugar tax, exactly what you said, you're so right. the beginning of that american revolution is started as the americans are angry over the british planters. we've mentioned the industrial revolution. we've mentioned the american
revolution. anybody remember any other revolutions that happened during around you know, the end of the 1700s and at the start of the 1800s. >> around the world. what other revolutions do we know about? >> the french and indian war, and what revolution? the french revolution, you're right. so the french revolt. the french get rid of their king. the french even abolish slavery. however, the french revolution consumes itself in violence. anybody of you hear of the guillotine? the guillotine is this big knife going slash, slash. they are consuming themselves in violence, so a general was put in charge of france. does anyone remember his name? >> famous french general.
>> famous for being short. >> that polian. >> nay polian. he takes over in france, and napolian says wait a second, that's not a good idea. he decides that he wants to feed his empire. he's going to get a lot of money for france by going back to ease -- espanola. to do that, he buys middle america to feed haiti. anybody remember one more revolution? 1804, 1804, a date you need to know. >> [inaudible] >> nope, 1804. >> the haitian revolution? >> very good, very good. >> in 1804, the haitians have
defeated the two most powerful armies in the world. they have defeated the british and the french. when the haitians become independent, napolian no longer needs the middle of north america, sells it to us, and that is called? >> louisiana purchase. >> great. it is haiti's gift to america. it is because haiti achieved its freedom that napolian didn't need the center of america. all right, haiti is the second country in the world to fight free of its european masters, to be independent. it is our near neighbor. in 1804, haiti becomes free. when does the united states recognize its sister? the only other free republic in our part of the world?
when? just take a guess, yeah. >> when they take out -- >> no, what year? >> 1893. >> that's not a horrible guess, but it's not true. [laughter] >> 186 #. >> yes, 1862. if we, the utes, will not -- united states, will not recognize a republic of freed slaves. why not? why does it take until 1863 to recognize a republic of freed slaves? >> because that's the time of the civil war. >> exactly. until we are ready to free our own slaves, we cannot accept the principle that slaves can free themselves. here you have haiti achieving its freedom, and we ignore it. we ignore it. except there's one thing that
happens. the slave masters from haiti need to go somewhere. they are not going to stay in a republic of slaves who fought for their freedom. where might they go? some went to a province in cuba, but where did the other ones go? someone who hasn't spoken. you haven't spoken much. where's the -- >> the united states. >> where? where in the united states might they go? somebody, come on, where might they go? take a guess. >> i'm not sure. >> just guess. >> south america. >> no, in the united states. where? someone who hasn't spoken. where might they go? >> i don't know, the south? >> somewhere in the south where? >> where in the south? >> who won the super bowl last year? >> all right.
louisiana. louisiana. friends, i have something to tell you. i have something to tell you. i mentioned that in all the sugar lands, enslaved people died faster than they had children. in every one of the american slave states with one exepg, enslaved people had children faster than they died. there was one exception, what do you think the exception was? >> so they could have more labor. >> yeah, but what's the one slave state where people died faster than they had children. >> so they could work? >> yeah, but where? what state. >> what state? >> probably maryland? >> nope. the answer is louisiana. because sugar is deadly. sugar is nonstop labor, so the one slave state in which people died faster than they had
children, so we're going to now switch to the next act, but i want to tell you something, friends, this is the hard part of writing this book. it's that we had to write about this tragedy, about this level of brutality and death because it's true. you have to tell this story. but we also wanted to give some voice to the people who passed away. how could we let them speak? well, one way we could is there's a lot of music and dance that came out of the enslaved lands, the sugar lands, and on our website, sugarchangedtheworld.com, there's a dance called mukulalay. have you seen that? this is a clip, and this came from the sugar plantations.
[clapping] >> it's fighting style, but it was also a performance. they are having a good time. if you do want to fight, you want to rebel, you want to know how to fight, and so, we have on our website many kinds of music and dance that is the heritage that came out of the sugar lands so that we would understand this isn't just death. there was also life. >> so what we want to now turn the next act to is this idea of how did slavery, in fact, end? okay. you have sugar that is now being
relentlessly created with slaves in the west i indies. it's cheap product that everybody eats, that we're all dependent upon. you have slave owners. you have with indian planters who are getting rich off of this, and they basically own parliaments in england. they are going to get heard. how would it be possible to ever have this idea that a slave could be free? that a slave is not the property of another person? where did this idea begin? what we're going to do is we're going to go back to thinking about that world of england where you have people working in factories, where you have people also having another kind of revolution. it's a revolution in their minds. it's a change of ideas, and what
starts to happen is you have what we call the abolition movement in england. this is not the abolition movement of the united states, but in england where they launch a brilliant, brilliant campaign. how many of you know sometimes you'll go to a coffee shop or a star bucks, and they'll say this coffee is free trade coffee or you might have a cotton shirt saying this has been made, no children have worked in this factory. have you seen anything like that? no children helped make this rug; right? free trade coffee. all of that dates back to the abolition movement where you have people trying to figure out how do i convey to the average
person the sugar they eat every day is produced by someone who is giving their life for this, so they began to create little purses that they would carry that showed an image of a woman slave weeping under a tree. they would have labels that would say do not drink this blood sweetened beverage. they would remind people every day when they were sipping that wonderful sweetened beverage that blood went into that beverage. they made it close to the people, and year after year they would show the change that the slaves were brought over in, the whips that were used so that people would get a feeling for this practice that took place so many thousands of miles away. all they know is the sugar. >> what they did is they connected the product to the
person who made it, so every time you took a sweet taste, you thought of the blood price for your sugar, and they won. in 1838, england ended slavery. england which was making more money out of sugar slavery than any other country in the world was the first country in the world to abolish slavery. >> what you had then, imagine this, 1838 in jamaica, in trinidad, in that -- tabago, all the bells rang and they rang and they rang. it was an emancipation day. all of those slaves were now free, but, there were people who
were not happy with the idea that the slaves were free. there were people who listened to those tolling bells, and they felt this is the death now of my life live hood, and that was the west indian planters because they said who's going to cut my cane for the cost that i need it to be? we're going to find out soon how they solved that, but in the meantime, we're going to take a break. >> we'll take you on -- remember that short general with -- what was his name again? all right, napolian has this problem. he lost haiti, sold louisiana, the british control the seas. where is he going to get sugar? he can't get it from the brits. they are his enemy. where can napolian get sugar? >> new guinea. >> no, that's not a bad idea,
but the brits control the seas. he can't make use of any sea born transportation. >> europe? >> but sugar cane doesn't grow in europe. >> how are they going to get sugar? >> how are you going to get sugar? >> asia. >> but you can't -- sugar from asia, not very likely. how is poor napolian and the french people going to sweeten their hot chocolate? marina is going over there. >> by using something syrup from the maple trees or using bees. bees? >> bees. >> remember where we began? remember where our story began with my aunt whose grandfather had been a serf? napolian learned that a german
scientist had figured out that beet sugar is chemically identical to cane sugar. this was the first time in human history that a tropical product could be substituted by another product. science is now going to tell us where our sweetness comes from, not anymore the plantation, at least the british slaves have been freed. science is now going to begin to give us our sugar. >> so what you have in this period which is exactly what links us, same period, that serf that's related to his aunt, okay, he's developing beet sugar, and here in the west indies, the planters are saying who is going to cut my cane? >> where can they get someone to cult their cane? no one is coming from africa, no one from south america, no one
from north america. they did actually try bringing in slaved people from ireland. they said to barbados was to take a slave -- which by the way shows savory was racial. you could be enslaved for being catholic because it was about who are we gipping to get to cut the -- going to get to cut the cane? we're not getting anyone from here or here, you're not getting anyone from here. where can you get someone to cut the cane? >> your children or family members? >> no. the formally enslaved people are far as way from the plantations they can get. >> not too interested in going back to the plantations; right? >> canada? >> nope. >> canada? >> ukraine? >> no. the answer is people were
brought from the other country in england controlled india, marina's relatives were brought people from india. any of you who have been to trinidad, jamaica know there are many people from india in the caribbean. why are they? because they were brought to cut the cane. >> once those were told and the slaves didn't want to work, what the slave owners, what indian planters did is they started a system that we call indenture where you're not quite a slave. you sign a contract. they bring you over, and you have to work for at least five years on the plantation. you are technically allowed a passage back if you fulfill the terms of your contract.
very often people did not go back, sometimes because they didn't make enough money to make it worth it. they not going to go back to their village to say look at the money i made, or most chose to settle. most settled in the caribbean or other places they were taken to. they are the ones who are now working the sugar cane plantations which is precisely how it links to my family's story. we should also mention that this idea of bringing people over to work the plantations or perhaps not as slaves, but as indentured workers, also affected another part of the world. it's now part of the united states. it is a place where they grew a lot of sugar cane. can anybody think what that place might be where there might be a lot of sugar cane?
>> hawaii. >> hawaii. you're absolutely right. >> exactly right. they brought over japanese, chinese, koreans, and filipinos in various ways to work the cane plantations which were growing in hawaii, so the indentured system is how many, many, many people still work these plantations. now, there is another place in the world where there was sugar plantations, other kinds of plantations too, where indians were sent. anybody have any idea? not the caribbean. any idea of one other place where indians were sent from india? >> madagascar? >> yeah, some. >> some, yes.