Jeremy Agnew's Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence PDF

By Jeremy Agnew

ISBN-10: 078647629X

ISBN-13: 9780786476299

This booklet explores the function and effect of drink and medication (primarily opium) within the outdated West, which for this e-book is taken into account to be the United States west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the last of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era used to be the 1st time in American background that heavy ingesting and drug abuse grew to become an enormous social trouble. consuming was once thought of to be an authorised 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 normal. This ebook offers the history of either elements and the way their use unfold around the West, at the beginning for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse resulted in the Temperance stream and finally to nationwide Prohibition. This publication studies the old truth of alcohol and opium use within the previous West with no bias.

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Sample text

By 1830, there were more than three million Chinese opium addicts and Britain was selling almost five million pounds of opium a year to China. At one point, one-seventh of the revenue of British India came from China as payment for this habit-forming drug. ”16 By 1838 China’s balance of trade had become so unfavorable that the Chinese emperor started another war on opium. He increased the penalties for growing, selling, or smoking opium and eliminated many of the prominent opium dealers. But this still did not eliminate the opium trade.

Physiological changes include a rise in pulse rate and blood pressure. An accompanying problematic disadvantage is the intake of additional fluid and the effect of alcohol on the kidneys of an increase in the output of urine. 33 As a result, in this early stage of intoxication many drinkers become happy, enthusiastic, relaxed, and talkative. Joking and laughing is common. ”34 Overindulgence in whiskey made drunkenness, fighting, and general mayhem seem like the normal behavior in many saloons and low-class brothels of the Old West.

Opium smoking increased in China in the 1600s among the rich as a means of relieving boredom and among the poor to temporarily escape the drudgery of their everyday lives. The Chinese originally used much of their opium for medicinal purposes and ingested it by mouth. This changed around 1620 when Portuguese and Dutch sailors who visited China introduced the new habit of smoking tobacco. Around 1650, sailors started to mix opium with tobacco in the belief that this practice prevented malaria. Tobacco smoking became so popular in China that the Chinese emperor Tsung Chen prohibited it.

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


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