In 1493, Columbus planted sugar cane in Haiti. It eventually became one of the crops associated with Triangular Trade. The sugar plantations needed cheap labor to survive. This program shows how the ships sailed to West Africa with manufactured goods from Europe. They were traded for slaves, and the slaves were shipped to the West Indies. The profits from their sale bought sugar and other crops. For centuries, no other commodity on the world market wielded as much political influence. Sugar affected almost every aspect of government policy, from wages to wars, in much the same way as oil does today.