Analyze the multiple causes of and various responses to smuggling activities in the Caribbean region during the late eighteenth century. Identify one additional kind of document and explain briefly how it would help your analysis of the causes and responses.
Source: Dominica governor John Orde’s response to the British secretary of state’s questionnaire, 1788.
Question: What trade does your Colony have with any foreign colonies? What commodities do the people in your colony send to or receive from foreign colonies?
Answer: The French Caribbean Colonies have more population than the English islands. As a result, government expenses are less for each individual in the French islands. But the French are nonetheless behind the English colonies in their economic development. For example, the quality of French Caribbean brown sugar is so much inferior to the English that the average price paid to the French planter is about 80 percent of the price paid to the English planter. In addition, French shipping to Europe costs more than British shipping to Europe because French law requires larger crews. This encourages the French to smuggle sugar into the English islands, and have it exported to Europe as English sugar, which increases the French profits—at British expense
Response to this document
One cause of smuggling activity in the Caribbean is due to the fact that if you were successful at it your profits can increase. This document was meant to promote British sugar over French sugar to try to increase trading relations with other nations and it has resulted in increased French profit and decreased British profit. Orde shows this by stating that the British sugar is worth more than French sugar and that this results in an increased pay for the British over the French and this is even to the point that the French have resorted to smuggle sugar to British ships to increase their own profits. Therefore, while French sugar was seen as “inferior” to English sugar, they smuggled Caribbean products in order to increase profit.