A History of the World in 6 Glasses

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A History of the World in 6 Glasses

By: Tom Standage

Essay by: Tiffany Dang

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage is about six drinks (beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and coca-cola) and how they have affected the world in the past and the present. All of these drinks were invented in different eras, and the inventions of these drinks were affected by what had occurred in the time period.

There were many historical eras that are covered in the book. Beginning with the Stone Age, which was the time period beer was created. The Stone Age is divided into three separate periods- Paleolithic Period, Mesolithic Period, and Neolithic Period- each period was based on the degree of sophistication in the fashioning and use of the tools. During this time period, people got there food and necessities by hunting and gathering. When beer was discovered/created Mesopotamians started farming rather than hunting and gathering.

The second time period in which wine was created was the rise of the Greek and Roman empire. This time period was based on strong city-states, and when wine was discovered it became a part of Greek and Roman lifestyles. Also political classes were partially based on the type and quality of wine you would drink. Having the access to wine showed whether you were rich or poor, it showed your status in social life.

The third time period was the Age of Exploration. During this time period spirits were discovered by the distillation (the process of purifying a liquid by boiling it and condensing its vapors) of wine. During the Age of Exploration explorers from around the world would sail on ships in search of new land. They searched for new land they could conquer for their country or to find trading routes as well. They also explored to spread their religion, to become famous (if they did discover something), and to get some money as well. This is the time period when America was discovered. Spirits were drunk on ships throughout voyages. They were drunk on voyages because sailors would get a sickness called scurvy (which is a sickness caused by the lack of vitamin C), and the spirit that would cure it was called aqua vitae.

The fourth time period is the Age of Reason which was the time period coffee was discovered/created. The Age of Reason represented the way man viewed himself, the pursuit of knowledge, and the universe. The Age of Reason encouraged intellectual freedom, freedom of religious beliefs, and politics. During this period, many people wanted to prove Greek philosophers wrong and rebuild human knowledge. Also during this period, coffee determined social status as well. As coffee grew in its popularity, coffeehouses were being built. Coffeehouses were the place where people could come and talk about politics, news, and gossip.

The fifth time period was the Industrial Revolution in England where tea played a major role. Once tea had been discovered people thought it was an interesting drink. One of the main parts of the Industrial Revolution began in England was because of tea. Many people enjoyed drinking tea, so there was a higher demand for tea. To transport tea to Europe faster, it was brought by steam ships. Also because of the higher demand for tea, people began to make machines that would help pack tea.

During the eighteenth century to the twenty first century coca-cola was invented/created and has changed over many years. During this time businesses and industries began to grow, manufactured items and technologies were being invented, and the medical field was making big advances. In this period, coca-cola was sold in pharmacies and was used as a medicine. Even coca-cola was a medicine, people still drank it because of its taste and how refreshing it was. So eventually coca-cola became a beverage as well. Throughout...
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