For almost three decades – from the later part of XIX century through second decade of the XX century- natural rubber underpinned one of the most important development booms in Brazil."Discuss.

Rubber is considered an important raw material for having a significant role in designing the modern civilization. The process of its synthesization gradually became a matter of curiosity to learn more about its composition. In the XIX century, the discovery of the isoprene polymer took place.

Significance of Brazil

The Brazilian rubber tree is well known for the production of latex that is used to make natural rubber after coagulation. During the second half of the XIX century, the world witnessed an Industrial Revolution that developed the automobiles, transport, communication, and electronics sector by opening new markets.

History

With more than  42,000 tonnes of rubber output, Brazil achieved the hegemony of the world rubber market by the end of the 19th century. However, in the meantime, Rubber tree seeds were smuggled by the British from Amazonia to the Botanical gardens of London. There, more resistant varieties were developed through grafting, and then they were sent to British Colonies in Asia, particularly Malaysia, Singapore, and Ceylon.

Amazon rubber boom

Amazon Rubber boom started with the industrial revolution and the development of the vulcanization process that increase the demand for rubber in different sectors. The huge demand was met by the rubber trees of Amazonia. The region which was hitherto poor and sparsely populated suddenly saw heaps of wealth.

Comment

The government of Brazil had committed some mistakes at that time. They never planned to take necessary action for the expansion of the industry and increase productivity. Even after multiple failed attempts, rubber plantations never succeeded in Brazil. The government’s inability to go for more efficient means of production increased the cost of production and reduced efficiency. Gradually, the companies that had set their markets in Brazil moved away in other productive areas.

Question for UPSC Mains:
For almost three decades – from the later part of XIX century through second decade of the XX century- natural rubber underpinned one of the most important development booms in Brazil.” Discuss.

Published: October 27, 2015 | Modified:September 13, 2020

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