By Jeremy Agnew
This booklet explores the position and effect of drink and medication (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this publication is taken into account to be the USA west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the final of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era was once the 1st time in American background that heavy consuming and drug abuse grew to become an enormous social main issue. consuming used to be thought of to be an accredited pursuit for males on the time. Smoking opium used to be thought of to be deviant and linked to teams at the fringes of mainstream society, yet opium use and dependancy by means of girls used to be general. This e-book offers the history of either ingredients and the way their use unfold around the West, at the start for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse ended in the Temperance stream and finally to nationwide Prohibition. This e-book stories the old fact of alcohol and opium use within the outdated West with no bias.
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Additional info for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence
Some visiae has been widely wine was even shipped from as far away as Bordeaux, France. In the 1630s, wine was shipped to Santa Fe used for fermentation of from vineyards south of El Paso before Franciscan wine for thousands of missionaries planted grapes in New Mexico and Calyears. When the concen- ifornia for sacramental use (author’s collection). 22 Alcohol and Opium in the Old West tration of alcohol in wine rose to between 10 and 15 percent (typically about 12 percent with an upper limit of 18 percent), the yeast was inhibited by the alcohol it had produced and died, thus halting further production of alcohol.
In 1851 the British were able to start growing tea in India and Ceylon (the present Sri Lanka), thus relieving some of the trade imbalance with China. The opium trade persisted, however, and tensions soon mounted again between Britain and China, which led to the Second Opium War in 1856. Active ﬁghting in this war was, however, very short-lived. The British stormed the port of Canton and, in the resulting ﬁerce battle, killed or captured an estimated 10,000 Chinese in the space of ten minutes. Even in the face of this defeat and massive loss of lives, the Chinese did not surrender, so the British advanced towards Peking.
In America, the immigrants who spread westward brought opium with them from the East Coast for medicinal and recreational use. On the other side of the continent, thousands of Chinese laborers came to the West Coast in the 1850s and 1860s to work in the gold ﬁelds of California and on the transcontinental railroad, and they brought with them their habit of smoking opium. These Chinese immigrants have been blamed for bringing opium use to the United States, but this is not correct, as opium had been used previously for over a hundred years in American medicine.
Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence by Jeremy Agnew