Download Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence by Jeremy Agnew PDF

By Jeremy Agnew

This e-book explores the position and effect of drink and medicine (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this booklet 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 turned an enormous social problem. ingesting used to be thought of to be an authorized pursuit for males on the time. Smoking opium was once thought of to be deviant and linked to teams at the fringes of mainstream society, yet opium use and dependancy by way of girls used to be standard. This ebook offers the history of either elements and the way their use unfold around the West, firstly for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse ended in the Temperance circulation and finally to nationwide Prohibition. This ebook studies the old fact of alcohol and opium use within the outdated West with out bias.

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Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence

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Extra info for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence

Sample text

The revel was kept up in this mad way for three days, growing wilder every hour. Some never slept at all during that time. ”36 One. The Demon Rum and Other Drinks of Choice 25 Drinkers also usually experienced increased feelings of power and amorous intent. Whiskey was considered by patrons of saloons and other drinking establishments of the Old West to be a stimulant because of the sensations it produced. In reality, alcohol does not stimulate this excess of outgoing feelings, but depresses the part of the brain that controls them, thus decreasing inhibitions and shyness, allowing the more primitive instincts to manifest themselves freely.

When the bud was cut open, the cavity could produce several gallons of liquid before the plant died. This juice, from which pulque, mescal, and tequila were made, was called agua miel, or “honey water,” by the Spanish because of its sweetness. Pulque was made primarily from six of the species of agave plant, but particularly the Agave americana. The extracted sap was fermented by sealing it in a pot for several days. This step yielded an alcoholic beverage similar to beer or hard cider. The resulting brew, named pulque, remained viable for only about twenty-four hours, so it had to be drunk right away.

The Convoluted History of Opium 43 generally tolerated by employers because it kept the Chinese workers happy and willing to continue as slave labor. A more pragmatic side to the issue was that opium distributors profited from its importation, the government profited from taxes on sales, and business owners saw the use of opium as a form of control over their workers. CHAPTER THREE A Motley Mix of Indigenous Brews Alcoholic drinks that were brewed and drunk in South America and Central America before the arrival of European invaders and settlers eventually worked their way north during contact with native civilizations.

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