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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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Carleton University
HIST 3109
Roderick Phillips

Lecture 8 Tuesday, November 12, 2013 • Can’t give out final exam until Dec. 10/11? When exam period begins…will try to give it out earlier if possible. • Two lectures tonight! Yaaay! • First half: alcohol and imperialism o Not actually on the syllabus, but it’s important—should have been on syllabus o We talked about alcohol and the New Worlds, 17 -18 centuries th th o Today: later period. 19 -early 20 centuries. How it played into imperial policies— mainly in Africa, also North America. • Second half: alcohol in WWI • **makes sense chronologically. Leading up to WWI, then WWI. • Important to think about alcohol and imperialism th o Intense phase of imperialism in the 19 century o By European countries that were implementing regulations on alcohol—in some cases, temperance nad prohibition p0licies o How these impacted imperial policies o Place of alcohol in the colonies o How imperial experiences with alcohol may have looped back to impact domestic policies in some cases th th th • Europeans colonized in many parts of the world—15 , especially 16 -17 centuries— Spanish, Portuguese with North America, followed by French, British, Dutch, etc. • But 1800s was INTENSIVE imperialism • Countries attempted to grab what was left. Motivated by economic concerns— industrialization was well under way, economies needed raw mateirals for industrial production and food for their populations (growing rapidly), also because their eocnomies were shifting from agrarian to commercial (in cities, became consumers— needed externals ources of food either in raw or finished form… tea/coffee/grain/meats/dairy products) • 19 century: major period for expansion of European economies and its link to imperialism • AFRICA o Mid-19 century: grab for the bits of Africa not already under European control o Scramble for Africa o Chaotic, led to conflicts between Eruopean powers o Conflicts over territorial acquisition o 1884 Berlin Conference—the rules for dividing Africa were set down o By 1890s, Africa was divided among the French, British, Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, somewhat to the Belgians o Italians had a bit, some smaller bits had some as well o **ALCOHOL POLICIES**  Alcohol had been important commodity employed by Europeans I th colonies/territorial expansions from 15 century  Was used to pay for slaves (either directly or paying native authorities so they would make slaves available for Europeans to purchase)  Alcohol had become important medium of exchange in slave trade  Alchol used to pay for skins (pelts) in North America, for sex  Europeans became more involved in Africa—alcohol became more widely diffused among indigenous peoples  **Important medium of exchange  Used to buy palm oil (industrial economy), rubber, diamond, gold, etc.  1895: British trade commissioner sent to Nigeria said that trade was impossible without spirits—liquor was preferred form of currency  King of a small state in Ivory Coast gave up sovereignty of territory to King Louis Philippe for gun, cloths, tobacco, hats, mirror, organ, beads, SIX 200L BARRELS OF BRANDY, 4 CASES OF SPIRITS  1894: British trading company wanted to extend riverside frontage by 20 feet, agreed to pay 20 cases of gin each year  Cameroon (west): chiefs agreed to treaty placing them under protection of Gemany because authorities promised to supply hem with liquor  **LIQUOR (in form of distilled spirits) important trading commodity  Why liquor and not beer/wine? • SHELF LIFE • Spirits don’t go bad—we’re talking high alcoholic content  Even though Europeans attempted to introduce money in from of bills and coins ito Africa in 19 century, native eoples preferred alcohol  It has no intrinsic value except insofar as a bank is willing to back it with value. Trying to get cultueres with no currency to accept currency doesn’t work.  But alcohol had intrinsic value. It was used as currency. But it had to be kept as currency—you don’t drink it. You KEEP the bottle to trade for other things  Alcohol was used not only as means of exchange between Europeans and native peoples but also within native economy  This alcohol began to circulate  When British managed to impose their currency on colonies, they were ready for it…by trading 12 bottles in a case, people were already ready for duodecimal system.  You had to assume that the alcohol was intact. Possible to drink some bottles of gin, top it off with water…there were risks with counterfeit  But alcohol was the key  Progressively, alcohol became far more common among African communities as 19 century went on  Same alarm bells sounding in Europe over use of alcohol began sounding in imperial territories  Accounts published temperance advocates to amplify descriptions of the harm alcohol was going—because they were hearing about alcohol abuse in African colonies  They assumed villages were full of drunk people, that they were worse than London, Manchester, and Glasgow  This led to organizations dedicated to eradicating alcohol from the imeprail territories – United Committee for the Prevention fo the Demorazliation fo the Native Races by Lquor Traffic  Many organizations fonded to protect native peoples from the addiction/harms that European alchol was believed to be doing to them— they lacked will power and self-discipline—almost the same as language used to describe poor/working class—uneducated, unsophisticated, no will power, will just abus the alcohl and suffer  There was some harm done by eurppean alcohol—throwninto native cultures  Europeans had thousands of years to develop patterns of alcohol consumption…whereas it was dropped into many indigenous cutures  Some complaints by native leaders about effects of alcohol—emir (prince) of Nigeria writing to bishop—alcohol has made the people mad…write to the English queen to stop sending rum to the country..outlawed sale of spirits in his territory  Growing concern abou the ituation of alcohl in the African territories  The issue was taken up in conference at Brussels in 1889=1890—dealing with slave trad,e commerce in arms and alcohol • Pairing of arms and alcohol quite common • US bureau that regulates alcohol is the same th tregulates firearms  It banned extension of alcohol trafficking—if there are areas where trade of alcohol hasn’t reached, it won’t be extended there  Central part of Africa  Much of northern Africa was Muslim, the trade didn’t reach extensively there. Although it was used as bartering tool.  Africans were asked to use only their indigenous forms of alcohol  Tended to be mae of sap of palm trees, beer made from various grains  But these are low in alcohol—probably arund -4-5%, much lower than European spirits  Importance of Euorpean alcohl as currency—by end of 19 century, about 1/3-2/5 of Southern Nigeria’s exports were exchange with alcohol. 35- 40% of exports were paid for directly by alcohol  Exchange rats were fixed…but also changed as commodity prices fluctuated  1890s: barrel of palm oil could be exchanged for 60-75 cases of gin. By 1925, needed only 20 caes—price of gin increased over time.  Bu there were fixd ratios of palm oilt o gin—highly formalized, regulated system.  Flow of alcohol to British colonies begant o decline with outbreak of WWI in 1914. • French didn’t have enogh wine to convert into brandy— recoverignf from phylloxera epidemic, French government had seized all the wine which they used to fuel the army • Belgains and dutch ran out of bottles, which were coming fromg ermany • Germans had a lot of extra alcohol—germans moving away from potatoes, german diet changing—possible tot urn the potatoes into alcohol. But they had difficulty getting it to Africa during the war  But before wwi, amount of alcohl coming into colonies tended to increase —fuelled so much of africa’s economy that it was indispensable  Also because the taxes on alcohol (paid on imports of alcohol) made difference between colony that made money and one that lost money  It was really important  Anglican bishop of western alcohol—strong supporter of alcohol control— said in 1901: “how is the railway being built? By gin. How is the town lit? by gin. How is the townto be drained, how are we to supply fresh water? By gin.”  Fundamental means of exchange  Many colonial administrations relied on revenues from alcohol (made them resistant to temperance and prohibition policies)—counted for nearly half o fimport duties in ivory coast in 1911, 38% of total government revenue in Gold Coast in 1912.  These revenues made difference between colonies that were self- sustaining and colonies that lost money  In Ivory Coast, it was an exception. One governor launched temperance campaign. Although he recognize that cutting off alcohol supply, ceasing to use it as currency, he was concenre dabout effects of alcohol  Local chiefs met him drunk, seated with their hats on their heads with pipes in their mouths—lost sense of decorum  Problems of drunkenness when French paid workers in alcohl  Simply took what was being said about alcohol abuse in euorpe an applied ti to colonial situation—led to decline in fertility, poor quality offspring, produced dieases, inebriated African work force would be untable/unproductive, africns would be unreliable taxpayers—problems for economic development  This was the governor of a state in ivory coast—he was a standout  Trie dto get neighbouring colonies to come on board—they were reluctant but in the end discussed improting wine instead of spirits—would be safer beverage—like temperance movement  Warned about addictive qualitie of alcohol, advised native populations about self-discipline, wanted fertility/well-being of societies—advised to abstain from drinking European alcohol  Other colonial administrators who thougth of doing this but didn’t—a german colony in Cameroon  Part of concern was a tendency in which European emplyoers would provide workers with alcohol as part of wages—they thougth that if they promised to supply alcohol at end of day, workers would work hard, would be docile (remember socialist argument, keeping them from being politically active…this seems to have been deliberate stragey by employers in Africa in end of 19 century)  Varying accounts of effects of alcohol on native communities  Some reports that tak about widespread drunkenness and violence (like native American drinking—could only drink until drunk, then became violent and destructive), but on the other hand claims tha tdrunenness was ver rare (Methodist missionary says that drunkenness is rare in Cape Coast…out of hundreds of cases tried in court, not one was traceable to use of strong drink)  One other guy says it’s very rare…  These are extraordinary statements when you think about cultural lens through which tehse adminsitrators were looking at populations.  After wwi, another international commission to examine alcohol in Africa – 1919. Designed to sort out oalcohl and other issue sin European colonies in Africa and elsewhere.  Provided for former prohibition in many parts of Africa. Banned importation of trade spirits…in any kind throughout afica except for south Africa and north Africa…but left it to governments of each colony to determine what counts as trade spirits (big loophole).  Agreed to impose prohibition in areas where spirits had not been used, although non-native persons could bring it to these areas for personal consumption  Local distillation not permitted as well as importation of distilling equipment  **1919 prohibition, at same time that americans were impositing it on some states, as Canada, finland, Sweden we reintroducing it  Fits into this timeframe of prohibition  Turned out to be unworkable system—too many loopholes, difficult to enforce  But you can see where thinking was going o SOUtH AFRICA  Distinct alcohol policy  Different because eruopean dominance continued up to 1990s with fall of apartheid in 1994, end of white regime  As far asl alcohol is concerned, one of the main issues in south Africa was the DOP SYSTEM—system of paying African workers in alcohol  Done widely, especially in mining (gold and diamond) communities  Transval—canteens designated for blacks sold distilled psirits made on site, from variety of diferent ingredients  One was pure spirit and water with cayenne pepper, mashed prunes, small amounts of sulfuric and nitric acid  Another: orange, fennel, turpentine…  These were called caffer drinks – caffer brandy, whiskey… (derogatory term)  These turned out millions of gallons of spirits a year  Designed mainly to pay black workers in the mine  White owners profited from sales of alcohol, but realized that it resulted in mortality—hundreds of workers died from these drinks  It burns their insides and they don’t recover…  On average, 15% of workforce was disabled by drink everyday. Some put figures as high as 25%  Contradiction: providing alcohl for workers is cheap way of paying, but resuted in lowered productivity  After south African war, new alcohol polcies put in place including prohibition for blacks  Alcohol was smuggled into mining camps…but alcohl being consumed by blacks was tiny compared to before prohibition  The very mine owners that reported workers out of action because of alcohol now admitted that mrere 1% were disabled each day o Look at Africa as a whole—see that during 1800s, there was a shift towards regulation of alcohol o Mirrored the kidn of trends taking place in Europe itself o Rhetoric used by temperance organizations, even some administrators, smilar to that used in Europe but directed to native populations rather than poorworking classes o When we talk about policies being used in Africa, it’s different political/social context. Not mrerely one class depriving another, it ‘s also racially defined • We see the same in north America – same kinds of concerns being expressed in early 1800s by government, administrators, some native america leaders o Through the 19 century, we see general attempt and more comprehensive attempt on part of government to prevent native americans from having access to alcohol o Alcohol used as trading commodity, but also simply sold tonative americans by white merchants o Same attempts to limit access of native peoples to alcohol o 1815: federal law prohibited operatinof distilleries in “Indian Country”— goegraphical region that was poorly defined at any time, got smaller and smaller as natives were dispossessed o their land o US west of Mississippi, with some exlcusions was Indian Country o That law also tried to cut off access to alcohol in the sense of prohibiting importation of alcohol into Indin Country o Was a policy that didn’t work—demand for alcohol, willingness to sell it—ver yporous o Wasn’t until 1892 that clear prohibiton policy was enacted—clear definition of Indians and a law providing that they couldn’t have access to alcohol o By 1892, maybe around 20 U
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