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AlcoholA History$
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Rod Phillips

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617602

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617602.001.0001

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Europe and America 1700–1800

Europe and America 1700–1800

Alcohol, Enlightenment, and Revolutions

(p.153) 8 Europe and America 1700–1800

Rod Phillips

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the history of alcohol in the eighteenth century. This period saw the emergence of clearly defined, class-based drinking cultures and a much starker differentiation between elite and popular drinking. Not only did the better-off drink beverages such as port, madeira, and brands of wine that carried social cachet, but they more explicitly and frequently distinguished their drinking cultures from those of the common people. In stressing not the volumes consumed but what was drunk and how it was drunk, the elites echoed the alcohol ideologies of the Greeks and Romans centuries before, as they condemned beer-drinking peoples as “barbarians.” Meanwhile, people in the lower echelons of society defended what they perceived as their rights to alcohol at a fair price.

Keywords:   alcohol consumption, drinking culture, social class, elite, common people

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