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By James A. Delle

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The combination thereof is the essence of capitalism. In the case of the early sixteenth-century Caribbean sugar industry, the only market for the product was the international one as the population was too small to support a robust internal or regional economy for luxury items (Galloway 1985:336). Therefore, almost all the sugar grown in Jamaica was surplus and consigned to the export market. Finally, Garay did not spend his profits on consumables alone; he reinvested them in other agricultural enterprises and the construction of a second mill.

Capital from Spain was invested in land, mills, and the construction of ships that connected the productive enterprises on the periphery to the metropolitan centers of Europe. As this asymmetrical relationship between Spain and the Indies matured, sugar production in the Caribbean became an integral part of the capitalist world economy. During his tenure Garay was the only member of the colony with sufficient means to construct and operate a mill. This enabled him to monopolize sugar production.

Woodward The technology for mills, prior to the introduction of cast iron machinery in the nineteenth century, was timber based. The Spanish had access to a wide variety of local hardwoods that were infinitely suitable for the construction of waterwheels, axles/driveshafts, and gears. The presence of the ruined Spanish mill and a wooden “axle tree” were noted by Sir Hans Sloane when he visited the Seville Estate in the 1690s (1707–25:lxvi). The reconstructed plan of the mill at Sevilla la Nueva demonstrates that Garay built an ingenio, which was the standard technology of medieval sugar production.

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