Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

A Timeline of the History of Alcohol

The change of name represents a change in aims and policies, from total opposition to any drinking to advocacy of an objective consideration of alcohol problems. This change is manifested also in the character of the international congresses convened by anti-alcohol organizations once devoted essentially to descriptions of the horrible effects and denunciations of the evils of alcohol. Beginning in the 1960s these organizations were infiltrated by presentations from the scientific-academic world. This was in contrast to the entry in the 1942 Encyclopædia Britannica that labeled alcoholism as “drunkenness,” described it as a vice and not a disease, and asserted that the only treatment was prolonged involuntary institutionalization. Dionysus, or Bacchus, the wine god, was the most popular; his festival, the Bacchanalia, has given English one of its literary names for a drunken orgy.

The history of liquor is still being written, but there is no denying that the current chapter is a good one. More than 66 percent of Americans have an average of four drinks a week, according to a 2012 Gallup poll. Alcohol spending grew every quarter from 2010 to 2014, andForbesmagazine declared 2011 “the Year of Alcohol” because of how quickly liquor stores grew, a sign of returning consumer confidence after the Great Recession came to an end in 2010. So intrinsic is liquor in the history of the human race, that “humans were made to drink alcohol,” in the words of Patrick McGovern, the University of Pennsylvania biomolecular archaeologist. The drinking reflex is, for most humans, initiated in the first few minutes of life through the act of breastfeeding.

  • America celebrated the end of the Great Recession with $400 billion in economic activity for the alcohol industry; 3.9 million jobs were created, raising $90 billion in wages.
  • It gives a history of alcohol while governing you the history of the world.
  • Clearly, drink and drinking had highly positive meanings for early peoples, as they do now for many non-Western societies.
  • In America, the history of alcohol dates back to the early colonial period when settlers first arrived in North America.
  • However, as the teachings of Islam, Buddha, and Confucius spread, most Africans and Asians became temperate and sometimes abstinent .

The subjects most commonly cited marriage and/or an increase in family responsibilities as reasons for their change in drinking behavior. These findings, which also were confirmed in the Core City sample, suggest that in young alcohol abusers who have not yet developed alcohol dependence, changes in their social responsibilities and peer groups often can reverse their drinking patterns. Other studies also noted that drinking behavior can change considerably between adolescence and young adulthood but tends to become more stable during middle age (Jessor 1987; Fillmore 1987).

While Christianity adopted wine as a central holy symbol, the Koran banned liquor entirely—and yet it was Arab chemists who perfected the science of distillation, which produced a liquid they compared to mascara—in Arabic, al-koh’l. During Prohibition, American moonshine-makers didn’t have time to age their spirits, so they faked the effect by adding dead rats and rotten meat. Over the past 55 years, two longitudinal studies have been monitoring the drinking behaviors and their consequences of several hundred men from adolescence and early adulthood to old age.

Sickness and Health

In 1651, John French published The Art of Distillation the first major English compendium of practice, though it has been claimed that much of it derives from Braunschweig’s work. This includes diagrams showing an industrial rather than bench scale of the operation. The Chiricahua prepared a kind of corn beer called tula-pah using sprouted corn kernels, dried and ground, flavored with locoweed or lignum vitae roots, placed in water and allowed to ferment. Early Vedic literature suggests the use of alcohol by priestly classes.

history of alcohol

The importance of these alcoholic beverages is evident in the multiplicity of customs and regulations that developed around their production and uses. Alcoholic beverages played an important role in the Thirteen Colonies from their early days. For example, the Mayflower shipped more beer than water when it departed for the New World in 1620.

English sailors received a ration of a gallon of beer per day, while soldiers received two-thirds of a gallon. In Denmark, the usual consumption of beer appears to have been a gallon per day for adult laborers and sailors. It is important to note that modern beer is much stronger than the beers of the past. While current beers are 3–5% alcohol, the beer drunk in the historical past was generally 1% or so. Chicha is a Spanish word for any of variety of traditional fermented beverages from the Andes region of South America.

Incredible book on the history of the world through the lens of how humans have imbibed over time. The book focuses – to its detriment – almost exclusively on the alcohol culture in the west. Granted, in the synopsis, it does specify alcohol’s impact on Western culture. However, I’d love to get more information on how alcohol has shaped the entirety of human civilization, whereas this only briefly touches on alcohol traditions outside of Europe and the United States. An endless source of trivia and handy facts for when you’re out socializing and have nothing to add to the conversation.

It’s a fascinating look at just how much of mankind’s history is wrapped up in the production, distribution, and enjoyment of booze. We learn how beer and wine came into being as a form of liquid nutrition, sober houses in boston but rapidly became much more than that. Gately adeptly traces alcohol’s religious, spiritual, psychedelic, and other aspects. Rob Arnold begs to disagree, vigorously arguing the case for terroir in whiskey.

Mao Zedong: Reader, Librarian, Revolutionary?

In 1790 a federal tax was imposed on whiskey to help pay off the debt owed by the new United States. The producing farmers were so angry about the new tax that they joined forces to oppose it. Their protest, known as the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, forced the new federal government to call up the militia for the first time to put down the opposition. At about the same time, Benjamin Rush, a noted physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, started a campaign against long-term heavy drinking, asserting that it was damaging to one’s health. Europeans came into contact with civilizations and tribal peoples who had long occupied North America, Central America, and South America. Alcoholic beverages appear to have been totally unknown north of Mexico, although a vast variety of beers and other fermented brews were important in Mexico as foods, as offerings to the gods, and as direct ways to achieve religious ecstasy.

In Europe in the 1600s, water was considered to be less sanitary than fermented beverages like wine and beer. Public sources of water were often contaminated, but the processes involved with producing alcohol made it safe to drink. When the Puritan settlers came from England to the New World in the early 1600s, they brought an abundant supply of beer.

Most of the people in India and China, have continued, throughout, to ferment a portion of their crops and nourish themselves with the alcoholic product. Cellars eco sober house price and wine presses even had a god whose hieroglyph was a winepress. The ancient Egyptians made at least 17 types of beer and at least 24 varieties of wine.

history of alcohol

Each new type of alcohol is introduced in the text with a brief history of how it came about, but the meat of the book is how these beverages fit into the world around them, what impact the drinks had and how various people viewed them. Thus, if you are looking for a history of alcohol that focuses primarily on the origins, creation, manufacture, etc. of the drink, you are best to look elsewhere. However, if you wish to learn the glorious and inglorious history of mankind’s favorite drink, this is the book for you. The prospective, longitudinal studies of both the Core City and College samples described in this article have helped researchers and clinicians to begin finding answers to the five questions listed earlier. The only exception to this rule appeared to be sociopathy, which constitutes a risk factor for the later development of alcoholism. Other risk factors for alcoholism identified in these studies included cultural factors (i.e., a person’s ethnic background) and genetic factors (i.e., a family history of alcoholism).

Alcohol consumption worldwide

You will recognize a constant pattern throughout the book where the rich and powerful are treated very differently than most of the population when it comes to access, cost, and punishment. Second, they were the best medicine available for some illnesses and especially for relieving pain. They enabled periodic social festivity and the personal jollification of the participants, thus also serving as the mediator of popular recreation. By helping to reduce tension and fears and preoccupation with safety, alcohol can reduce as well as stimulate the impulse to engage in aggressive or dangerous activities.

history of alcohol

At age 60, only 6 of the 42 men could still be considered stable asymptomatic drinkers; the others had either relapsed, become stably abstinent, left the study, or had been reclassified as not meeting the criteria for alcohol abuse. In contrast, the long-term outcome was more stable for Core City subjects who at age 47 had been abstinent for more than 3 years. At followup 15 years later, almost all of these men were still abstinent, and only one man had relapsed. In most Core City subjects, the progression from social drinking to alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence occurred gradually, generally over a period of 3 to 15 years. This rate of progression can vary significantly, however, depending on the subjects studied.

Alcohol in America Today

While the negative effects of that phenomenon may have been exaggerated, Parliament passed legislation in 1736 to discourage consumption by prohibiting the sale of gin in quantities of less than two gallons and raising the tax on it dramatically. However, the peak in consumption was reached seven years later, when the nation of six and one-half million people drank over 18 million gallons of gin. And most was consumed by the small minority of the population then living in London and other cities; people in the countryside largely consumed beer, ale and cider. Spirit drinking was still largely for medicinal purposes throughout most of the 16th century.

Rather the problem stems from a particular kind of chemistry between alcohol and certain drinkers. According to the alcoholism perspective, most people can drink with virtually no risk. But a minority—fine people in all other respects—cannot drink without succumbing to the disease. Thus it is the responsibility of the alcoholic or those who care about him or her to see that the disease is treated and abstinence is maintained. Protestant leaders in Europe maintained that alcohol was a gift from God and could be used in moderation for pleasure, enjoyment and health. As cultures struggled for balance on the subject, Spanish and Polish peasants consumed an average of three liters of beer per day, and in some English districts, beer and ale consumption averaged 17 pints per person, per week.