Sugar Haciendas of Morelos, 34 K

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“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”

There is no real consensus as to the amount of haciendas in the state of Morelos at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. There are those who swear that there were 37 and those who dare say that there were more than fifty. But it is true that the system of haciendas in the state of Morelos of that time, as in the rest of the country, was the main production, economical and political control core.

Even though it is true that the hacienda is the direct heir of the feudal society and the parcel, it is also true that the technological innovations of the Nineteenth Century played an important role. The sudden collapse which this production system suffered with the Revolution forced the new class in power to try to make a series of superficial modifications in the social relations of production. At the end of the Nineteenth Century and beginning of the Twentieth, the landowners obtained a great deal of power and money which is what finally caused the armed movement which in Morelos achieved a high grade of organization.

During the Porfirian period when the haciendas system reached its plenitude you could find haciendas that fluctuated between extensions of ten thousand to one hundred hectares. It is said that Luis Terrazas, in Chihuahua had more or less four hundred thousand hectares. In the state of Morelos there were no haciendas that large, except for those of Luis Garcia Pimental, Santa Clara, Tenango and San Ignacio, which as a whole added up to about sixty eight thousand hectares. What did stand out in Morelos was its extraordinary fertility because of the profusion of rivers and springs. They also had an additional virtue; the proximity to Mexico City (less than one hundred kilometers).

It was in this way that the state became the main producer of sugar cane in the entire country. The technological renovation of this industry which began in 1880 played an important role in the impressive growth of this industry.

The traditional methods of sugar production were used during the colony and in independent Mexico. It was at the middle of the Nineteenth Century when a first essential advancement presented itself with the introduction of a new variety of sugar cane, the cane from Havana (Saccharum otahitense) replacing the Creole variety (Saccharum oficianarum, much easier to grind in the mills. Another important change was the use of vapor instead of the waterfalls to start the mills working. With all of this the amount of crushed cane increased significantly.

The growth of the sugar cane haciendas was strengthened thanks to the introduction of some technological advances, such as multiple effect processors and vacuum evaporators which controlled the heat and the crystallization of the cane syrup; of scales, cranes and mule trains, all of which made measuring more precise and eased the transportation of the cane from the field to the mill and from the mill to the railroad station. It is true that the appropriation of the best planting fields as well as monopoly of water, which greatly affected the communities, also played an important role in accelerating development.

Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.

Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com

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