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Rock Street, San Francisco

Paige Hellert 08/17/18

AP World Reading Questions

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The discovery of beer was linked to many aspects of early civilization. During the Neolithic period people lived a nomadic lifestyle. Instead of staying in permanent settlements, groups of people moved in the direction of food by hunting and gathering. Standage describes this as ” They hunted game, caught fish and shellfish, and gathered edible plants, moving from one temporary camp to another to exploit seasonal food supplies”.(9) When beer, made of wheat and barley, was first created it sparked a civilized way of life different from the previous nomadic lifestyle. Beer fermentation and storage technology allowed for permanent settlement to form around this new agriculture. These settlements sprouted up in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. This new way of life became a foundation for modern cities today.

Beer in the ancient world gives us insight into the world’s earliest civilizations. Beer became a very important part of early civilizations as it was used in religious ceremonies, social gatherings and as payment for labor. The first civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia acquired religion as a major part of their culture. Beer was used in many religious ceremonies for offering and for special Occasions. Beer was believed to be a magical gift given by the gods such as Osiris. The book remarks ” One Egyption tale even credits beer with saving humankind”.(Standage 28) Beer was also a basis for social gatherings people drank from a large pot with several long straws. In Egypt even though beer was deemed magical because of its ability to intoxicate people it was socially unacceptable to become drunk. Beer even became an important part of the economy in Mesopotamia and Egypt where it was used as payment to workers and as a contribution to religious temples which controlled the economy. Beer gives us a look into the life of earliest civilizations.

The author used many informational sources to learn about beer in early culture. Some of the sources he used include artwork, written records and literature of the ancient world. Many artifacts from original civilizations include beer. One famous image included in many early pieces of artwork depicts a group of people drinking beer from a large pot with long straws. This indicated to the author that beer held a significance as a social drink. The writing system Cuneiform was organized by Sumerians to take note of payment transactions and record beer storage in the earliest civilizations. This system was created by “. . . wedge shaped, or “cuneiform,” indentations made in clay tablets using reeds. (Standage 34) These new written records became a reliable source for the use and trade of beer. Beer was even included in ancient literature such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the story it shows how beer was seen as a civilized drink and a great part of ancient culture. The author of The History of the World in 6 Glasses used many solid sources that past civilizations had left behind.

Beer laid down the foundation for many great myths of ancient religion. Many traditions are still present today. One of the earliest myths depicted the Gods creating beer and either teaching or presenting mankind how to make it. This gave an explanation to many of its magical/intoxicating components. Beer was also a safe source of hydration compared to unsanitary water since it was made using boiled water. Beer was a part of many ceremonies in early religions.For example ” The Incas offered their beer, called chicha, to the rising sun in a golden cup, and poured it on the ground or spat out their first mouthful as an offering to the gods . . .”.(Standage 19) Beer was also offered to the gods in hope of a good harvest since agriculture was very important to early civilization. Raising a glass to one another for congratulatory reasons is an example of a tradition that links to past civilizations. Beers original uses shows the many lost components of ancient history.

According to the author ,Tom Standage, beer civilized man because it was the reason man settled down and started developing agriculture. He demonstrated that drinking beer was a very important part of being accepted by society. In the ancient story of the Epic of Gilgamesh it describes a man who is seen as a savage because of his lack of knowledge in bread and beer. Once he is shown bread and beer by a young civilized lady he becomes fully human. Even though this may be an exaggerated portrayal of beer, it made complete sense to early civilizations. Compared to neolithic/nomadic culture, which was considered barbaric, the settlement of new civilizations due to agriculture made way for a more civilized life. Mesopotamians believed ” . . . consumption of bread and beer as one of the things that distinguished them from savages and made them fully human”.(Standage 27) Beer also symbolizes hospitality as well as happiness. Standage was correct in stating that beer civilized man because of its roots in settlement for its farming and storage needs. It made way for a non-nomadic lifestyle.

In the earliest civilizations you can find a link between beer and writing, commerce and health. The connection between these four factors make a stable civilization possible. The creation of beer caused many nomadic tribes to settle in Mesopotamia and Egypt because of their ideal farming and living conditions. Instead of hunting and gathering they could now grow a surplus amount of wheat, barley, grain and other food for later consumption. This surplus increased the economy by providing jobs in farming and other specializations such as art and architecture. Since now people had more free time on their hands they could create new technology, one of the new technologies being a writing system called Cuneiform. The creation of this new writing system allowed the development and study of medicine by writing down the recipes for new medical treatments. According to Standage “. . . a pharmacopoeia, or list of medical recipes, based on beer. It is the oldest surviving record of the use of alcohol in medicine”.(38) This benefited the health of many and gave way to improve medical research. These four very important parts of a civilization link together in a significant way.


Wine differed from beer in ancient Greece and Rome because it introduced social status as a factor. The growing popularity of wine in Rome and Greece left beer in the dust. When wine became available “. . . even beer loving Mesopotamians turned their backs on beer . . .”.(Standage 51) Beer was no longer socially acceptable among these two great cultures and was seen as barbaric. This was the complete opposite for previous civilizations where beer was considered to make one human. Wine first started out as a drink for the wealthy but later became a way of social class differentiation depending on the quality and amount you received. Before wine, beer was drunk by all classes and did not categorize your social status. Drinking wine also became a way of expressing your sophistication which was determined by the water to wine ratio and your behavior at social events or symposions where wine was present. Beer did not uphold many behavioral standards but was deemed as a more casual drink. There were many differences between the cultures where beer and wine were present.

Wine was used by the Greeks in many different aspects of life. The amount of vineyard holdings and wine you held determined your wealth and social class. Wine was used fashionably as a universal symbol which was shown on ancient coins and artwork. The book acknowledges ” Wines economic importance was underlined by the appearance of wine related imagery on Greek coins. . .”.(Standage 54) Wine was served in symposion which was an important part of Greek society. Symposions were only for privileged men to drink wine and converse on various subjects. Symposions usually started with a ceremony to kick off the drinking. They would give three libations one to the gods, one to fallen horses, one to their ancestors and the last to Zeus the Greeks most powerful god. In symposions members would also partake in drinking games such as kottabos which involved flicking drops of wine at a target. Wine was used as a great social beverage which made way for new ideas in the world.

In Greece wine was formed into a status symbol because wine was very expensive and only the wealthy could afford to drink it. People of lower social classes who couldn’t afford wine as an everyday beverage drank date palm instead as a substitute for wine. When wine became more available the amount of acres you had in your vineyard determined your social ranking. The poor owned seven or less acres and then the upper classes had ten, fifteen, twenty and twenty-five acres of land. This was the way Greek society understood your place in the social hierarchy. Even the age of your wine determined your social status. It is observed that ” Old wine is a badge of status, and the older it was, the better”.(Standage 55) The way you drank wine was also a very important indication of you social class. If you drank wine in gold and silver vessels while being dressed in expensive clothing you were considered wealthy. Wine was a big differentiator of your social standing.

How wine was consumed in ancient Greece tells us a lot about its culture. The way they consumed wine in ancient Greece is very different then the way we consume wine today. Instead of drinking it straight up they would add various ratios of water to dilute it. The less water mixed with the wine the more intoxicating it was. According to Standage it is evident that ” Drinking even fine wine without first mixing it with water was considered barbaric by Greeks . . .”.(57) The Greeks believed that drinking unmixed wine contained great risk but not drinking it all all was considered to be as bad as drinking it straight up. Drinking wine in this way reflected sophistication and knowledge about wine. This tells us that Greek culture was very involved in self image and conforming to society because of the standards set for self composure. The way wine was consumed in ancient Greece brings further understanding to their society and culture.

The use of wine in Rome differed greatly from the Greeks. Compared to the Greeks, Rome used wine as a commercial product. Standage states that ” Such was the popularity of wine that subsistence farming could not meet demand, and the ideal of the noble farmer was displaced by a more commercial approach . . .”.(72) Romans use of wine also differed from the Greeks in religion. Instead of offering wine to Greek gods, in Roman Christianity wine represents the blood of Christ and is drunk as a form of communion. Wines purpose in these religions stand for two very different ideas. The Greeks and Romans uses of wine have many differences that make both cultures unique.

The relationship of wine was very important for the empire, medicine and religion of Rome. Rome became the superpower of its time containing over one million citizens in 0 CE. Wine fueled the empire at its height bringing many together to discuss ideas and promote the growth of the empire. Wine’s relationship to the roman empire was critical for its success. Wine was also used as medicine and gave way to new medical studies. Wines most common use as medicine was as a disinfectant because of its alcoholic content. This helped stop the spread of infection which made wine very important to the roman citizens health. Christianity became Rome’s dominant religion during the first millennium. Wine became a very essential part of their religion because “. . . the central Christian ritual in which bread and wine symbolize Christ’s body and blood”.(Standage 85) This made wine very important for religious ceremonies and beliefs. Wine’s relationship with the empire, religion and medicine was very meaningful for Roman society.


Spirits are a form of strong alcohol created through the process of distillation. Distillation equipment dates back to the fourth millennium BCE and was used by the Mesopotamians to make perfumes. Cordoba became the origin of a new line of distilled drinks. In simple terms distillation is the process vaporizing and condensing wine to create a higher alcohol content. Originally these new distilled drinks were used as a form of medicine. An ancient French professor believed ” . . . it is really a water of immortality. It prolongs life, clears away ill humors, revives the heart, and maintains youth”.(Standage 99) As ideas of distillation spread it became a recreational drink as opposed to a medicine and even became an ideal way of transporting alcohol in the Age of Exploration. The origin of distillation opened the world’s eyes to a whole new era.

Spirits assumed great importance during colonization as a steady supply of alcohol. During exploration spirits became ideal for travel because of its compact size and high alcohol content. When colonists arrived in America they could not make traditional wine or cheap brandy so they chose a more inexpensive alternative, rum. Rum allowed the colonists to not have to rely on Britain to import expensive of alcohol. Rum became a very popular item among settlers and was produced in New England which helped the colonists economy. Rum became North America’s favorite drink and was served when ” . . . drawing up a contract, selling a farm, signing a deed, buying goods, or settling a suit.”(Standage 115). According to this statement we can say rum was one of the many things that helped colonize America.

Spirits were involved as one of the major parts of the horrible Slave Trade. Slaves were brought from East Africa to the New World for labor in sugar production. Slaves were purchased from Africa in exchange for European goods especially spirits which were in high demand by African slave traders. Standage remarks “It soon became customary for europeans to present large quantities of alcohol, known as dasheee or bizy, as a gift before beginning negotiations with African traders”.(105) Rum, a new type of spirit, strengthened the connection between slaves, sugar and spirits. Since rum relies heavily on the sugar making process its production depended on cheap slave labor. Slaves were given rations or rewarded with rum if they had to perform unruly tasks. They would use the rum either for consumption, to barter for food, or to use as a medicine much like earlier civilizations. This ugly connection of the sugar, spirits and slave trade is what pushed economy forward in the New World.

Spirits were ideal for the use of exploration on the high seas. Since spirits are a version of recondensed alcohol they could be easily transported across the sea, this soon became the favorite alcoholic beverage of sailors. One of the first cocktails, Grog, was created for sea exploration. The drink could control the amount of alcohol the sailors were drinking to keep their composure on sea. The book acknowledges ” The use of grog in place of beer played an unseen role during the eighteenth century in establishing British supremacy at sea”.(Standage 109) Grog played an unseen role as a protection against scurvy. Since grog contains lemon or lime juice guarded against scurvy, lack of vitamin C, became less common to people sailing on ships. Spirits and cocktails held an important role to protection against scurvy and satisfaction to those who were on the sea.

In the 18th century spirits helped Britain have a more superior navy than France. Scurvy is a disease caused by the lack of vitamin C in the diet. The French navy’s ration on normal length trips was three quarter liters of wine and on long trips three-sixteenths of a liter eau-de-vie. Both of these rations contained little to no vitamin C. The British ships previously drank beer for their ration which contained no vitamin C. The british navy switched to a simple mixed drink called Grog that included lime or lemon juice which according to Standage ” . . . reduced the incidence of scurvy dramatically. And since beer contains no vitamin C, switching from beer to grog made british crews far healthier overall”.(110) As Britain’s navy gained strength it helped defeat the French navy. Spirits helped the performance of the British navy against its counterparts.

Spirits were an important staple in Colonial America that helped shape our country today. Since rum was a particularly cheap drink before the Molasses Act it was a popular drink in Colonial America. In fact ” . . . rum was being consumed at a rate of nearly four American gallons per year for every man, women and child in the colonies.”(Standage 118) It even became a part of election campaigns, one of them being George Washington’s campaign for the House of Burgesses, in 1758, he gave away twenty-eight gallons of rum and fifty gallons of rum plus other alcoholic beverages for free. This helped his campaign because rum was in such demand, free rum to voters would probably help him and others secure a political win. Without the use of spirits in the American Colonies we wouldn’t be where our great country is today.

Rum played a huge role in the American Revolution because of its great importance to those who drank it. Rum in America was a staple and cheap beverage that everyone enjoyed. In 1733, London passed a law called the Molasses Act which put a tax on molasses imported to the North Americas. Since Molasses was a major ingredient of rum, rum became expensive and caused a revolt in the American colonies. Following the Molasses Act came more acts from Great Britain imposed taxes on everyday goods. The result was “. . . the Boston Tea Party of 1773, in which three ship-loads of tea were dumped into Boston harbor in protest of new tax rules”.(Standage 120) Eventually the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775 in hope that America would gain their independence from the British. Rum was the drink of choice on the American side. Rum was one of the biggest contributors to the cause of the start of the Revolutionary War.

Even though spirits shaped much of America there were many down sides. The biggest down fall of spirits was its use of slave labor. The horror is described as ” . . .eleven million slaves were transported from Africa to the New World, though this figure understates the full scale of suffering, because as many as half the slaves captured in the Africa interior died on the way to the coast.”(Standage 104) Slavery was an unacceptable way to produce spirits and the conditions slaves faced were devastatingly inhumane. Spirits were also dangerous to drink in high quantities because of its high alcohol content. Rum was known as the “kill-devil” because of its strength and could very easily if drank too much could kill you.The amount of alcohol was even measured in sailors daily grog rations to protect them from being heavily intoxicated. When drinking spirits such as rum caution should be taken for it can have serious health effects. Another negative was the taxes imposed on imports of materials to produce spirits. Spirits became a favored drink of America but soon became out of reach due to taxation acts posed by Great Britain. This started tax feuds and revolts between both countries which eventually lead to war. There are many negative effects of spirits use and production.


Coffee originated in the Arab world and was used in many myths and religious ceremonies. Coffee was also used as a social drink because of the muslim ban on alcohol. Coffee was very popular in the Arab world but Europe was very hesitant to join in on its consumption. Originally the Catholic church objected the idea of coffee because ” They contended that since muslims were unable to drink wine, the holy drink of Christians, the devil had punished them with coffee instead”.(Standage 141) Pope Clement VIII made the final choice of coffees approval by sampling it from a Venetian merchant. The Pope was delighted with the drink and approved it for Christians. Famous Arab coffee houses started to take root in Europe and from there on coffee was born into the western world.

Coffee was important for Europe’s development as the choice of drink instead of alcohol. This was because coffee improved the concentration and clarity of the mind. Coffee houses became a way to focus on education and politics among peers. According to Standage ” . . . keep up with political gossip, find out what other people thought of a new book, or stay abreast of the latest scientific developments, all he had to do was walk into a coffeehouse.”(151) Coffee houses became the hub of information and depending on what you or your business was interested in, coffee houses became associated with specific fields of study and work. The growth of an interest in learning and conversation lead to an Age of Reason among Europe. Drinking coffee compared to alcohol improved the stamina of many social interactions and made way to important European victories. The switch from alcohol to coffee was a smart choice for Europe’s development.

European power grew globally as a result of coffee houses. Europe’s coffee houses became the center of commercial affairs for many businesses and consumers. Coffee houses even specialized to their customers interests so they could converse about similar business decisions. Coffee houses even became a place for people who were looking for employment opportunities. Most importantly they were used as new major trade centers among companies and by businessmen who “. . . used coffee houses as offices, meeting rooms and venues for trade.”(Standage 153). Some coffee houses shared prices and shifting information on walls for the use of those who attended. Coffee houses became the new venue of commercial deals and transactions of Europe which helped it grow its global balance of power.

Coffee allowed for the clarity and concentration of the mind. Many became focused on the importance of learning and innovation. Because of this coffee became the drink of the Scientific Revolution. Coffee houses were the ” . . . the centers of self education, literary and philosophical speculation, commercial innovation, and, in some cases, political fermentation”.(Standage 157) Coffeehouses were sometimes called “penny universities” because the price of tuition to enter an educational discussion was the price of a coffee. Coffee houses even held lectures on different subjects for the public. One famous conversation in a coffee house between Hooke, Halley and Wren lead to one of the worlds biggest scientific discoveries. They discussed the idea of inverse square law to prove the movement of the planets called gravity, in which later they presented the idea to Sir Isaac Newton who devoted his life to their idea and proved it to be a scientific discovery. Coffee was a major part of the Scientific Revolution and the growth of education.

Coffee was what fueled the innovation in the financial revolution. The financial revolution used coffee houses as a place to originally allow ship owners and merchants to discuss auctions and insurance for ships,etc. Coffee houses were also used as stock markets and even competed with the London stock exchange. Standage remarks “The period of rapid innovation in public and private finance . . . . culminated in London’s eventual displacement of Amsterdam as the world’s financial center, is known today as the Financial Revolution”.(165) Stocks and finance companies no longer dealt in professional government buildings but followed the rules of their local coffee shop. With britain facing the roaring colonies in the New World this was the smartest decision for them to make. Coffee gave way to the Financial Revolution in a very powerful way.

Coffee gained an important role in the French Revolution. Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire believed in scientific rationalism. Voltaire became inspired by both Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke, and wrote two books Letteres to Philosphiques and Encyclopedie about Enlightenment and other topics,both books were banned by the French government because of these radical ideas. Coffee houses became a place of people who enjoyed discussing the ideas of Enlightenment. French coffee houses were different from English coffee houses because of their association with specific topics and allowing women to attend but they were also under strict government watch. It is remarked that ” . . .the circulation of information in French coffee houses, in both spoken and written forms was subject to strict government oversight”.(Standage 168) Coffeehouses were watched by government spies that could hold their word against them. This did not stop coffee houses from becoming a place of revolution and setting it in motion. Coffee houses were an impactful part of the French Revolution.


Tea was originated thousands of years ago as a medical remedy by chewing tea leaves and rubbing them on wounds as a way of healing. Tea was believed to be brought to China from Buddhist monks in India as a religious beverage and a way of anti-fatigue. This spread of tea became most popular in China during the Tang dynasty considered to be the Golden Age of China and helped China improve its economy. Tea first spread to Europe in 1610 when it was traded through the dutch and was first regarded as a novelty. Tea became one of China’s major exports to Europe but did not become dominant in Europe till the 17th century. Tea became mainstream in Europe when ” . . .almost nobody drank tea at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and nearly everybody did by the end of it”.(Standage 187-188) Tea became very affordable in Europe and became fashionable by the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza. Tea became even especially popular by the English and was very important to their culture. Teas spread to China and England will forever change their history.

Tea was consumed very differently in Europe then it was consumed in Japan. Tea in Europe was consumed in both private and public, and also by both sexes. Often times in Europe tea was consumed at tea parties. Tea parties were held at tea gardens and became a social means of drinking tea. Tea gardens became most attractive to women because they were not allowed in coffee houses at the time and were able to converse with others. Teas customs of drinking tea were very beloved to their way of living life. In China and Japan preparing and drinking tea was considered honorable among their society. Tea was even used as an offering to the emperor every year as a tradition. Tea drinking became an elaborate art in China and Japan because of the ” . . . Japanese tea ceremony. This ceremony an immensely intricate almost mystical ritual that can take more than an hour”.(Standage 183) The significance of the tea ceremony and consumption is very important to its culture. The consumption of tea between Europe and Japan/China were very different compared to each other.

Even though Tea and Coffee arrived at the same time in Europe they did not have the same effect on society. In comparison tea and coffee are similar in the fact that they both contain caffeine which brings clarity and concentration to the mind. They were also similar in the fact that they were dominantly a social drink but coffee became the drink of business and learning. Coffee houses became universities and offices for businesses which lead the world into revolutions. The difference between coffee and tea was that tea was a commodity and coffee was a lifestyle. According to Standage ” It remained a luxury item until the end of the seventeenth century, overshadowed by coffee which cost much less; a cup of tea cost about five times as much as a cup of coffee”.(192) Coffees success over tea is explained by its price and use in its time . Even though tea was very similar to coffee it did not find the immediate success coffee did.

Tea had transformed English society by its consumers and ceremonies. Tea started becoming fashionable following the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza. Though tea was not just for Royalty, later on in the seventeenth century it became affordable enough that it was the second cheapest drink next to water and drunk by all social classes. Beggars and labourers alike all had their daily dose of tea as it was considered an average beverage of British society. Tea also had an economic standpoint in transforming English society. ” . . .the second factor for the rise of tea was the role of the British East India Company had been granted a monopoly on imports to England from the East Indies”.(Standage 190) This increased teas supply which decreased its overall price. This was very important to English culture. Tea also became a very sociable drink and consumed in a very ceremonial way. Ceremonial consumption of tea became a way of regarding sophistication and class. Tea parties were a popular way of tea consumption and conversation.Tea parties also became a place to mingle with new people of the opposite sex. They were especially meaningful to women because of their exclusions in coffee houses which gave way to a transformation in English society. Overall tea was a chemical reaction in society that made way for change.

Tea became a crucial part of the Industrial Revolution. Industrialization started in England by the invention of the spinning frame by Richard Arkwright. His inventions made way to industrialization in other fields powered by water and steam. Machines could not function alone but needed workers to help them run. Tea helped workers use these new industrial equipment ” Factory workers had to work like parts in a well-oiled machine, and tea was the lubricant that keeps factories running smoothly”.(Standage 200) Tea became popular among the workforce because of its antibacterial properties and helped boost commerce . The industrial revolution also made way for the marketing and endorsements of tea. Logos and advertisements were being used to sell tea such as Twinings which holds the oldest commercial logo. Tea was even being endorsed by royalty in hopes it would be more likely to sell to the public. Tea created the perfect atmosphere for the Industrial Revolution.

Tea carried an exceeding amount of political power in its peak consumption. Teas political power comes from the British East India Company ” At its height the company generated more than the British government revenue and ruled over far more people, while duty on the tea imported accounted for as much as 10 percent of government revenue”.(203) With the power that tea contained along with very powerful partners it allowed for many changes to be made in the British government. One being the Tea Act which gave the tea industry 1.4 million pounds to cover debt and the right to ship tea from China to America. The tea industries power allowed them to make many political actions in their favor. Unfortunately the Tea Act did not prosper because of the new tax imposed on Americans for tea. This lead to American revolts including the Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War which Britain ended up losing. Tea had a strong connection to the political power of Britain which lead to many critical policies being made.

Tea had a pretty large and surprising connection to opium. In China opium (a narcotic made from the unripe juice of poppy seeds) had dominated the country with addiction. China being the current monopoly supply of Britain’s tea was no longer interested in trading goods for European goods. China wanted silver so they could buy more opium but the British Government devised it would be easier to trade large amounts of opium then silver. Through private trading organizations they were able to trade opium for silver which allowed them to continue buying tea from China. Commissioner of the Emperor Lin Tze-Su previously tried to ban the use of opium in China, expelled Britain’s contact with Canton (a major part of Britain’s opium trade) because a Chinese man was killed in fight with two British sailors. This caused the Opium War between Great Britain and China. But this ended quickly because “The Opium War of 1839-42 was short and one-sided,due to the superiority of European weapons, which came as a complete surprise to the Chinese. Because of China’s self isolation it cost them the war and forced them to reopen trade with England for tea. Tea was a major reason for the cause of the Opium War of 1839-1842.

Tea trade and production was a catalyst that lead to the British rule over India. China had become an unreliable source of Britain’s tea trade because China’s opium addiction and later on the Opium War. India was starting to try to cultivate tea when Britain’s monopoly with China’s tea supply stopped. India became eager to industrialize the production of tea because ” With the production of tea in India, imperialism and industrialism were to go hand in hand”.(Standage 214) Britain invested in India’s tea industry which eventually lead to a decrease of tea prices and dethroned China as the main supplier of Britain’s tea. India’s rising success caused revolts and rebellions in China’s tea farmers. The Bengal army’s uprising against India prompted the British government to take control of India and its tea industry. India is still the leading supplier of tea today. Tea played a major role of the British rule over India.


Coca-cola’s origin began in industrialized America during a time of mass production, assembly lines and mass marketing. America’s economy became the best in the world and became a global superpower by the end of the twentieth century. During the late eighteenth century a scientist, John Priestley, created a method to add carbon dioxide or sodium bicarbonate into water so it would create a “fizzy” affect. Originally this new drink, soda water, was used for medical reasons such as an antiseptic and other illnesses. Soda water became a commercial beverage and was bottled by mass production. Coca-Cola was first invented by John Pemberton as a cure for headaches. Coca-Cola was strictly a medical beverage because of its use of alcohol,caffeine, opium or morphine. Coca-Cola was made from coca plant (which contained cocaine) and kola nuts which were the leading ingredients of the drink. Coca-cola later became non-alcoholic due to the prohibition and was made for consumption as a common beverage rather than medicinal uses. Initially the Coca-Cola syrup was sold apart from the soda water to be mixed later in fountains but bottling of Coca-Cola was way more successful. Coca-Cola became so popular that ” Coca-Cola had taken over the United States and now it was ready to take over the world, going wherever American influence extended”. Coca-Cola’s origin became the start of one of America’s most important symbols.

Coca-Cola’s start began as a pharmaceutical before it became a beverage.The base of Coca-Cola is soda water made by adding Co2 or sodium bicarbonate. Soda water was originally used as an antiseptic and common medicine. Soda water late became a fountain drink meant for everyday consumption. Coca-Cola contained more ingredients that remarked it for medical use. One main ingredient was coca and according to Standage ” . . . known among the South American peoples for their stimulating effect; coca was known as “the divine plant of the incas”.(235) The stimulating effect was caused by the release of cocaine from the plants leaves. Kola was also the second major ingredient in Coca-Cola. Kola nuts came from indigenous West Africa also used as a stimulant because it contains caffeine. Both these ingredients were an important part Coca-Cola’s effectiveness along with large amounts of alcohol, caffeine, opium or morphine. Alcohol had to be excluded during times of prohibition and sugar was added to reduce bitterness. Coca-Cola’s ingredients were an important part of its medical purposes.

Coca-Cola’s relationship with World War II stood as a symbol of America and home for many soldiers overseas. America joined World War II as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Coca-Cola supported America’s armed forces from the start. The book states that ” America sent its armed forces out into the world, more that sixteen million service men in all, and Coca-Cola went along with them.”(Standage 251) Coca-Cola became an important part of the war effort and its syrup was shipped around the world where it was used in military fountains. The men who manned these fountains were referred as equally important to the men who kept American tanks running. Coca-Cola became a very valuable item to service men because of what it stood for and what it meant to them as Americans. Wherever the fight went Coca-Cola followed as a piece of home. Coca-Cola’s relationship during World War II played an very important role in soldiers life and eventually allowed it to be distributed globally.

Coca-Cola was seen as disgraceful to communists during the Cold War because it cosley reflected American culture. Russian communists were so offended by the American marketing of Coca-Cola that they requested it to be undyed and labeled with the soviet star compared to the traditional logo then claimed it as a new drink. It was believed ” Coca-Cola came to be associated not just with America but with the broader Western values of freedom, democracy and free market capitalism. Among communists, conversely, Coca-Cola came to stand for everything wrong with capitalism”.(Standage 257) Since Coca-Cola was associated with American ideals it became communists favorite target. Communist countries made false accusations about Coca-Cola saying it had horrible medical side effects to attempt harming nationalism. Eventually Russian communists gave in and lowered the Iron curtain which reinstated Coca-Cola as a symbol of freedom.

Coca-Cola is called “globalization in a bottle” because of its expansion around the world. Coca-Cola built factories in the developing nations to help secure jobs for many and helped their economies. The development of new business locations around the world especially Coca-Cola is said to be ” . . .that globalization is merely a new form of imperialism”.(Standage 263) Companies fight for global territories became a very important part of its success and the prosperity of other countries. Famously Coca-Cola versus its competitor Pepsi which owns a very similar brand are in a very intense battle over many different parts of the world. Coca-Cola has made a larger impact on the world than Pepsi because of the size of its brand and its broad global spread. Coca-Cola became a very crucial factor in how people live their lives.

Coca-Cola became an American value which greatly helped and hurt its own company and America. Coca-Cola became an American value when it became as an important part of soldiers lives overseas during World War II as a symbol of Patriotism. This helped the Coca-Cola corporation because it helped their globalization in different countries and its success. Coca-Cola’s use in World War II helped America by helping the war effort and supporting the ones who were fighting for our country. Since Coca-Cola became an American symbol of freedom and power it became very unpopular in communist countries and set up an Iron Curtain for America and its corporations until much later when it was reopened. Another downside to Coca-Cola’s values is it’s reach to other countries. Israel’s lack of availability of Coca-Cola caused accusations of Anti-semitism. This became a major downside to its corporation because of the boycott placed on its goods that did not crumple up till 20 years later. But when Coca-Cola was available in developing countries it expanded globalization and American values which helped both Coca-Cola and America. Coca-Cola represented American value which positively and negatively affected its company and America.


New 19th century technology involving water brought the history of beverages full circle. Since hydration is a major necessity of the human body it was important that it was safe and available. Previously water was contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms which made drinks like beer made with boiled water more popular. Standage regards “Where previous generations turned to other drinks as substitutes,it is now possible to address the problem of contamination directly, through water purification and other improvements in sanitation”.(267) This made water more reliable and increased its use compared to its counterparts in the past where a safer option. Waters purification allowed beverages to go full circle because water was the origin of civilizations greatest drinks.

Many would assume that bottled water is more tightly controlled but it is actually tap water. Even though bottled water may appear to be safer than ordinary tap water the difference is absent. Bottled water states they are filtered and have added minerals but this does not add to their nutritional value compare to tap water. In fact ” Another brand claiming to be “spring water” with a label showing lake and mountains, actually came from a well in a factory parking lot, near a hazardous waste pump.”(Standage 268) This statement shows that tap water may be an even safer option than bottled water because of its origin. Tap water is even up to 10,000 times less the cost of a normal bottle of water. Bottled water and tap water in developed countries are both safe and its consumption is a personal preference. Tap water has proved to be more securely controlled compared to bottle water which claims to be a safer option.

One-fifth of the world or 1.2 billion people don’t have safe drinking water available to them. According to Standage ” In contrast, for many people in the developing world, access to water remains a matter of life or death.”(269) Even if water is reachable in developing countries it could be hours away or carrying deadly diseases. These waterborne diseases cause 1.8 million deaths a year most of them being children. This lack of safe water in many parts of the world causes an unsafe environment for humans. These countries struggle with their development because clean water is in such high demand. Additionally disease and lack of education cause developing countries to have many complications. Many charity groups including the United Nations have tried to reach out to these parts of the worlds but many cities are still unable to reach a large enough supply of clean water. An incomprehensible amount of people in our world do not have safe means of drinking water.

Water has become an international problem with many nations becoming a part of fixing it. Political issues have gotten in the way of supplying persons in need with safe drinking water. Water involvement in politics even has lead to war ” Water was, for example, an important unseen factor behind the Six Day War of 1967, when Israel occupied the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza”.(Standage 270) The Six Days War was fought over the Jordan rivers territories which could make an impact on several people’s lives and water sources. Another conflict in Egypt represented the effect of political relations on water supply, when the Nile’s water source was at trial and was only resolved by Egypt signing a peace treaty. Soon more international political issues will rise because water is a finite resource shared by the whole world and its supply might be diminished in the future. International relations poses a great concern to water one of the most important resources on Earth.

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