New Tastes, New Trades

On the Water - New Tastes, New Trades Section Head

Ships returning from the Americas carried new luxuries that transformed daily life—sugar and tobacco.

Beginning in the 1600s, sugar and tobacco offered people on both sides of the Atlantic new flavor sensations. Exotic and expensive, they made some planters in the Americas, merchants in England, and ship owners who connected them immensely rich. The price was the forced labor of millions of African people. The work of field hands on plantations in the Americas changed the lives of consumers elsewhere.