The Dutch started to develop parts of the Guianas mainly because they had not succeeded in conquering, defending and exploiting Caribbean islands suitable for profitable plantation agriculture. The colonial economies remained fragile and growth would increasingly depend on credits extended from the Republic. The one unique and lasting Dutch contribution to the technology of sugar production was the adaptation of the Dutch polder system to plantation agriculture. The population of the colonies was overwhelmingly of African birth and descent, and almost entirely enslaved. While manumission was rare, in Suriname the major route out of slavery was marronage, and Berbice saw a major slave revolt, which almost ended Dutch rule.
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