The Effects of the Social Hierarchy on Beer: England 17-19th Century

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The Effects of the Social Hierarchy on Beer: England 17-19th Century
Petition presented to the Parliament (England 1673): “Before Brandy, which is now become common and sold in every little alehouse had come into England in such quantities as it now doth, we drank good strong beer and ale, and all laborious people (which are for the greater part of the Kingdom) their bodies requiring after hard labor, some strong drink to refresh them, did therefore every morning and evening used to drink a pot of ale or flagon of strong beer, which greatly helped the promotion of our grain, and did them no great prejudice; it hindereth not their work, neither did it take away their senses nor cost them much money.”[1]

Throughout England’s history,
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Even though this may seem irrelevant, in actuality it is very important, since it returned the lower classes back to consuming beer. Since the higher classes could not control their drinking habits, they turned back towards beer as a solution to their problem. For they were seen creating acts, which prohibited spirits and lowered the price of beer, as well as even reestablished the public houses to accommodate them with a place to drink. In doing so, the upper class was not only able to control the drinking habits of the working class, but also reestablish beer itself. With this, it is clearly apparent that the social hierarchy system in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is responsible for transforming beer into the ‘social drink’ it is today. Up until and even at some points during the seventeenth century, beer was originally relied on in England as a staple part of one’s diet. Englishmen of every class were seen consuming beer, but the working class was particularly dependent upon it.[4] Since it is generally assumed that most beer that was drank was small or weak, it has never been properly acknowledged for its importance as a
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