Analysis Of Andrea Stuart's Sugar In The Blood

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Fortune Favors the Bold: Sometimes Andrea Stuart’s Sugar in the Blood tracks the life of her maternal ancestor George Ashby throughout his migration from England to the island of Barbados. But, why is it that this book exists? Why was it that he migrated, and why did it take until the 17th century for Stuart’s ancestors to cross the ocean? With the religious, political, and resulting economic upheaval that characterized this century members of the lower classes were left with only two options. They could remain stagnant in their countries and live out a monotonous life that would amount to nothing, or they could venture out to see these lands they had only heard of with the hopes of freedom from the economic and political poverty they knew…show more content…
The stories of men becoming powerful and successful upon reaching the new world were extremely rare and were often not the case (page 16.) Though George Ashby’s tale is inspiring, about 50% of those who survived the journey to the new world died trying to improve their fortune after arriving. Many risks still existed on the island including foreign creatures and insects (page 39.) Not only that, but there was a terrible plague that wiped out an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people on Barbados (page 55.) Still though, Ashby pressed on and his perseverance was rewarded. He eventually became a good planter despite his start in the blacksmith’s trade. Tobacco was the first crop he worked on but, he and the rest of the country struggled to produce this crop due to inexperience producing quality tobacco. Once he began farming sugar his profitability went up substantially (page 59.) Due to his stature in society he was included in the census demonstrating that he was a white male who owned enough land (page 56.) This was a huge accomplishment for Ashby because it meant that he had gone from being the lowest in society to being considered a worthy citizen of this New World, a point of recognition he never would have received had he stayed in England. Despite all odds being against those settling in the New World the immigrants still chose this path because it paid its dividends tenfold if the man was lucky enough to succeed in his exploits. George Ashby was certainly a rare case of success but stories like his are what drove people to try their luck in the new

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