A History of the World in Six Glasses
1. From which advanced civilization/culture did Europeans get the “science” of how to make spirits? The Europeans got the “science” of how to make spirits from Córdoba in southern Spain, the capital of Arab Andalusia. 2. In what ways was the “discovery” and use of distillation important to the rebirth of science in Europe? How was distillation perceived and which infant science did it go hand in hand with, this probably leading to further work and discovery? Also look at what sorts of texts had to be translated and what that might have led to. The “discovery” and use of distillation was important to the rebirth of science in Europe by creating new principles of chemistry. Distillation was used to create perfumes, aromatic liquids, dyes and pigments, and the extraction of sugar. Distillation was perceived as magic or a miracle of medicine. It went hand in hand with the infant science of perfume making in the fourth millennium BCE. This led to the discovery of distilled wine. The texts that had to be translated included works from Greece, India and Persia being translated into Arabic, as well as Arabic works being translated into Latin. This might have led to globalization because the translation of texts allowed ideas from all over Europe to be shared. 3. How did spirits advance or accelerate colonialism?
Spirits were a durable and compact form of alcohol for transport on ships. They were also economic goods of great significance. When the first English settlers in 1627 failed to grow tobacco, they tried sugarcane. Unfortunately, growing and harvesting sugarcane requires a lot of slave labour. Spirits became the main currency for African slave traders. 4. In the 18th century, how did spirits help Britain have a more superior navy than France? In the 18th century, there was a common disease called scurvy, caused by a lack of vitamin C, which killed many sailors. When the British sailors switched from drinking beer to grog because of how much more durable and compact rum and grog is, the vitamin C found in the lemon or limejuice in grog reduced the amount of cases of scurvy and made the sailors healthier in general. French sailors, on the other hand, switched from wine with traces of vitamin C to eau-de vie, with no vitamin C at all. So while the British navy grew in size and efficiency, the French navy was dying of scurvy. 5. How did spirits help build America? Consider the establishment of independence and consolidation of federal power. Rum was a very popular drink in New England. Because of this, they started making their own instead of having it imported, which made them realize that they could separate themselves from England. This separation from England’s imperialism gave way to many advantages. 6. What were the negative effects/uses of spirits? Use the entire chapter to answer this. The high alcohol content of spirits meant that it was highly flammable, caused an unpleasant burning sensation in the throat after swallowing, and quickly intoxicated whoever was drinking it. The privilege of spirits was abused, especially in taverns. When intoxicated with rum, for example, people were known to become violent, hence the name “Rumbullion.” Since it was a lot more compact and durable for transport by ship, sailors began to drink rum instead of their usual wine or beer. This new habit caused the sailors to become less efficient in their work. Also, spirits became the main economic good for trading with African slave traders. The more spirits there were, the more African slaves the Europeans could buy for their sugarcane fields and the more those slaves were subjugated. COFFEE
1. Who did the Europeans get coffee from and how did it spread to Europe? The Europeans got coffee from the Arabs. Yemen, Arabia, is where coffee originated. There, it was a religious drink. It is only after it was introduced to Mecca and Cairo that it became a social drink. The...
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