A Summary Of The Age Of Reason Drinks

Decent Essays

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage explores how drinks have taken us through different periods of history. The Colonial Period, 1500 to the mid 1700’s, and the Age of Reason, late 1600’s to early 1800’s, were two historically different and significant time periods despite their century of overlap. These differences, as well as the similarities in the years where they both occur, are evident through the economic and political role of their drinks: spirits, tea, and coffee. Economically, the roles of drinks were very different, both in different time periods and locations around the world. However, in both cases, drinks were instrumental in trading. Rum completed the cycle of commerce with sugar and slaves, leading to an increasing market and worldwide dependence on spirits (110). Similarly, patronage of coffeehouses by merchants, captains, and other maritime professionals led to several of them turning into hubs of entrepreneurial commerce where auctions and bartering as well as the spread of vital information took place (163). Despite this similarity, Colonial and Age of Reason drinks differed on the front of taxation. British government placed several taxes upon rum and spirits in the form of the Molasses Act, an act that placed a tax of sixpence per gallon upon imported molasses, specifically, the French molasses used by colonists to produce rum (117). When this was rejected and ignored, British parliament issued the Sugar Act, a revised version of the

Get Access