Sugar was once so lucrative they called it ‘white gold’. For centuries our love of the sweet stuff drove the world economy and helped Britain develop into a global colonial superpower.
But the nation’s sweet tooth came at the expense of millions of slaves who were shipped from Africa and forced to work on plantations in the West Indies and America. At the centre of the sugar trade was the city of Bristol, where men like Edward Colston grew rich from investments. VICE World News host Zing Tsjeng travels there to tell the not-so-sweet story of the human cost that lurks behind our addiction to sugar.
Empires of Dirt is a show about Europeans getting rich at the expense of everyone else. We uncover the ugly history of the European colonial empires that they don’t teach us in school.
Countries around the world were looted for their treasures, people were oppressed and exploited while European powers relentlessly profited. The far-reaching repercussions of colonialism are all around us; from our financial institutions to the way we travel to the food we have in our cupboards at home – and it’s about time we took notice.
Watch more from this series:
How Banks Made Money From Slavery
How Britain Stole $45 Trillion from India with Trains
How Britain Got China Hooked on Opium
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