O primado do mercado interno: a proeminência do espaço canavieiro de Minas Gerais no último século de hegemonia das atividades agroaçucareiras tradicionais no Brasil
During 19th century and the beginning of the following century Minas Gerais was the most important sugarcane plantation area in Brazil. In the 1830's there were presumably 4.150 productive unities working with sugarcane transformation in Minas Gerais. Probably, the sum of all sugar mills in the main regions producing to foreign markets - northeast coast, north of Rio de Janeiro and the plains of São Paulo - did not reach half of the number of sugar mills in Minas Gerais. In the same period, it is estimated that approximately 40% of the slave working force of Minas - more than 85.000 captives - was employed seasonally in the fabrication of sugar, of rapadura and of aguardente. It is high the possibility that such a large contingent had neither been employed in any other sugarcane plantation area nor in any other period of Brazilian slavery history. Furthermore, it is estimated that in the 1830's Minas Gerais produced around 33.200 tons of sugar and of rapadura, and more than 22 million liters of aguardente. According to the available information, it is suggested that the sugar production of the state of São Paulo did not surpass 8.500 tons, and the production of the state of Pernambuco was about 27.000 tons. The sugar exportation of the state of Bahia was not more than 30.000 tons; the amount exported by Rio de Janeiro did not reach 17.000 tons; the provinces of Alagoas and Sergipe exported together less than 6.000 tons.
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