Gin Act Dbq

Topics: Gin, William Hogarth, Beer Street and Gin Lane Pages: 3 (1148 words) Published: May 19, 2011
In eighteenth-century England, the English saw a huge rise in the popularity and sale of Gin. Gin slowly (from 1701 to 1751) gained much favor over beer and peeked in 1741 out consuming beer times six (Doc.1). As Gin sales started to take over the sale of beer, the government saw this as an opportunity to make taxes and restraints on the sale of Gin to benefit the government. As this persisted, The Gin Act of 1751 was instated. This act is one way that the government made sure that Gin sale did not get out of hand. Although in the preamble of the Gin Act of 1751 it states that Parliament assembled, ever attentive to the preservation and health of your Majesty’s subjects, I believe that Parliament had a more financial goal rather than health goal. As these restraints and taxes were brought upon people who produced Gin, there were mixed feelings on how these restraints would affect the community and the common welfare of the people. Citizens used many aspects of society to gain ground behind their opinions on the restrictions on the sale of Gin. Many citizens were in fact for the restraints because of the occupation they worked, the religion they belonged to, or the position they held in government. Other citizens felt the exact opposite. Many felt that the restrictions of Gin sale were not just and would not allow for citizens “relief or support of nature” (Doc.8). Others were pushing towards a more neutral view on if Gin was bad or good. This type of people was indirectly affected by the sale of Gin but wanted to have their opinions stated.

Amongst the many motives that citizens had to favor the restrictions on Gin, one was to better the common welfare of the people. William Hogarth showed so perfectly, in his work Gin Lane that he believes that Gin degrades the people which degrade the city. In his painting of Gin Lane, he shows how much people don’t care about their city and their fellow neighbors. He shows this through the many buildings falling apart and...
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