European Voyages

663 words | 3 page(s)

Chocolate is a luxury that rivals the most pleasurable things on Earth. In many cases, it is more desirable than fine wines, diamonds and caviar. For centuries, mankind has worshiped this naturally bitter mixture. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs grinded it and add spices to make a frothy drink. The Europeans horded the bean for only the rich and elite. They added sugar to enhance its taste. The Industrial Revolution allowed chocolate to become very affordable. This is when the mainstream population started consuming it. (“History of Chocolate,” 2007)

Around 250 A.D Mayans came across a amazing bean called cacao. The cacao tree was harvested from the rainforest and planted inside different communities. The Mayans would roast and ground the bean. Then, they added spices to make a frothy drink . This special mixture was given to the rulers, socially elite and priests. The priests would offer it their gods as a tribute. By the 1400s, the Aztecs ruled most of Mesoamerica and adopted chocolate as a part of their traditions. Like the Mayans, the rulers and religious leaders consumed the drink. In both cultures, it became a form of currency that was used during trading. (“History of Chocolate,” 2007)

puzzles puzzles
Your 20% discount here.

Use your promo and get a custom paper on
"European Voyages".

Order Now
Promocode: custom20

By 1521, Europeans stumbled across cacao when the Spanish invaded Central America. They took the bean back to Europe, where the Spanish keep it a secret for almost 100 years. At which point, trade routes were established to ship these beans to Europe. Cacao was the only drank by the wealthy, as they were the ones who could afford it. They added sugar to the bitter mixture to create a sweeter taste. There were also special serving pots and cups exclusively for the cacao drink. Socially, it was a symbol of the money and power for anyone who consumed it. (“History of Chocolate,” 2007)

Both cacao and sugar were a labor intensive product. To keep up with the demand from the elite in Europe, large plantations were set up in Central and South America. They focused on the growing and harvesting process. A combination of laborers and slaves were used to gather the beans. This solution worked for a while. Until, the Europeans brought with them various diseases such as smallpox. This killed large numbers of the Mesoamerican people. To deal with the labor shortages, slaves where brought over from Africa. (“History of Chocolate,” 2007)

During the Industrial Revolution, everyone was exposed to chocolate. This is because machines allowed for mass production to occur. In this case, the steam engine played a significant role by creating an efficient process which lowered costs. This allowed the average person to afford to buy a piece of chocolate at a corner drug store for just few cents. In the 21st century, it is being used as an extract in the manufacturing of prescription drugs and cosmetics. (“History of Chocolate,” 2007)

As a result, contemporary society is no different from previous ones, who valued the cacao bean. The only difference is, mass production enabled consumers to have it readily available. While at the same time, important discoveries are taking place by extracting its chemical properties for medical research and new product development. This is a commodity, that is imported in a similar fashion as fruits / vegetables, oil and consumer goods. In many cases, a lot of these products result in the workers never benefiting from their efforts. Nike is a classical example of this, as they utilize cheap labor in third world countries to maximize their profit margins. They will pay employees cents on the dollar for every pair they make. Then, sell them inside countries, such as the United States, for over $100.00. This is similar to the Mesoamericans and slaves who came from Africa. They were never able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The biggest difference is these workers are provided with a few pennies to live on. (Jennings, 2011)

  • History of Chocolate. (2007) Chocolates History. Retrieved from:
  • Jennings, M. (2011). Business Ethics. Mason, OH: Southwestern.

puzzles puzzles
Attract Only the Top Grades

Have a team of vetted experts take you to the top, with professionally written papers in every area of study.

Order Now