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Stop the Gin Mills! Drink More Beer!

The temperance movement is just getting started and its followers have two strategies: encouraging self-control and prohibiting alcohol by law. The Beer Act of 1830 is a way to put off the prohibitionists. The "Gin Palaces" are inviting places, to be sure, but they sell hard liquor and the licensing board does not encourage alternatives. (Read as, the gin joints don't want competition from the beer joints, so they manipulate the licensing boards so that only hard liquor is licensed for production. Got it? OK.) The temperance movement is putting on the pressure, so the British Parliament allows the easy licensing of public beer and ale houses and they pass the Beer Act allowing for the personal production and sale of beer and ale. The hope is that with a cheap alternative to the devil's rum the people will moderate their drinking. Remember that in London, nothing will kill you quicker than drinking untreated water from the Thames. So, for now... all things in moderation. In five short years the proliferation of beer joints will be seen as "the highway to drunkenness." (A gateway drug, so to speak.) Then the temperance movement will shift into high gear. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day there is still a distinction made between licensing for the sale of beer and wine and the licensing for the sale of distilled alcohol. Every town has its reasons. Some of them are moral. Others are practical, such as keeping bars out of sight of kids. As a teenager I was cutting through the parking lot of a local bar when I noticed a car that looked suspiciously like our family sedan. After I mentioned it to my mother, I never saw it there again. (Hmmmmm. I wonder.) There is also the lingering fear of organized crime. One of my old friends was a rum runner during Prohibition. A lot of his buddies ended up under the car rather than driving it. After he got out of prison, he mended his ways and finally received a pardon from the governor. You never saw a prouder man. I miss him. But the rule is that if you are going to produce distilled alcohol you must give Uncle Sam his cut or he will be very angry. I do not pretend to know all the federal rules and there are local rules as well. Use your head. Do the right thing and remember... the "revenuers" have no sense of humor whatsoever. [6]

The Thresher Riots Are in Full Swing

It is summertime near East Kent. It is "the last straw", for the workers. The mobile-powered threshing machine is putting the Swing-threshers out of work. Threshing was once a manual skill. One must remove the head of the grain stalk without destroying it. Threshing machines have been used here-and-there, but with the steam engine powering them, a threshing machine can go anywhere. The Swing-threshers see their doom, so they break the machines. Thousands of riots break out across England. England is used to a certain amount of violence and intimidation between the workers and the landowners. It is an old dance, but the tune has changed. Threats, fire and terror continue into the next year. After the Swing Trials, nineteen men will "swing" from the gallows, but this marks a turning point. The Poor Laws will be changed. The Dole will be increased. Workhouses for the poor will increase but the number of poor will not decrease. It's a trap. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the USA, Poor Farms were eventually replaced by Social Security benefits. Migrant workers received unemployment pay. Initially, these programs worked, but the 13 million poor in 1960 that we tried to lift out of poverty by spending trillions of dollars, still numbered 13 million by 1980. We hadn't helped. Not even a little. [10] [11]
The most compelling explanation for the marked shift in the fortunes of the poor is that they continued to respond, as they always had, to the world as they found it, but that we--meaning the not-poor and un-disadvantaged--had changed the rules of their world. Not of our world, just of theirs. The first effect of the new rules was to make it profitable for the poor to behave in the short term in ways that were destructive in the long term. Their second effect was to mask these long-term losses--to subsidize irretrievable mistakes. We tried to provide more for the poor and produced more poor instead. We tried to remove the barriers to escape from poverty, and inadvertently built a trap.
-- Charles Murray, Losing Ground, p. 9. [12]

In Other News

  • The first sewing machine is patented in France. The factory burns to the ground as workers fear that their jobs are going bye-bye. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]
  • A German industrialist discovers paraffin. He was experimenting with coal distillates. An efficient means to extract paraffin wax won't be developed until the 1850s. [18] [19] [20]
  • The Book of Mormon is published. This is also the year that the first Latterday Saints church is established although the movement will not officially receive that name until 1838. [18] [21] [22]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1830, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. The Beer Act, Chapter 1: An Eventful Century. bandonthewall.org (2016). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “Further competition for the drinks custom from the Smithfield Market came as a result of the Beer Act of 1830. This was 'designed to move the populace away from spirits such as gin’ and 'entitled nearly anyone to manufacture, sell, and consume large amounts of beer and ale’”
  2. The History of Public Houses in Britain. PublicHouses.org.uk (2011). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “In the Eighteenth century the Dutch came to visit, and with them innocently brought a veritable goldmine of drunkenness - gin. This took off big-time – by 1740 gin was knocked back six more times often than common ales. Attempts by the law to curb the dreadful working class debauchery by heavily taxing gin resulted in widespread riots, and eventually had to be repealed. The magistrates had a big problem on their hands.”
  3. Beerhouse Act 1830 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “The precursor to the Beerhouse Act was the Alehouse Act 1828 (9 Geo.4 c.61), which established a General Annual Licensing Meeting to be held in every city, town, division, county and riding, for the purposes of granting licences to inns, alehouses and victualling houses to sell exciseable liquors to be drunk on the premises.”
  4. Yeomans, Henry (February 2011). "What Did the British Temperance Movement Accomplish? Attitudes to Alcohol, the Law and Moral Regulation". Sociology (Sage Publications, Ltd.) 45 (1): 38-53. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42857517. Retrieved 19 July 2016. "By the mid 1830s, however, the popularity of Edgar's stance was undermined as the idea of a one-way 'highway to drunkenness' came to dominate the social movement. The total avoidance of all alcoholic drinks thus became necessary...". 
  5. Alex Shrugged notes: My comment on the drinking water problem in London stems from background reading I've done on the subject. The London sewer system was not planned, but grew out of necessity. Despite all efforts, human sewage got into the drinking water and spread disease. Certainly any poor person (including children) who were not drinking alcohol in some form were not breathing soon thereafter.
  6. Revenuer - definition of revenuer (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “an agent of the U.S. Treasury Department, esp. one responsible for enforcing laws against illegal distilling or bootlegging of alcohol.”
  7. Swing Riots - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 10 May 2016. “The final straw was the introduction of horse-powered threshing machines, which could do the work of many men. They spread swiftly among the farming community, threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmworkers. Following the terrible harvests of 1828 and 1829, farm labourers faced the approaching winter of 1830 with dread.”
  8. Griffin, Carl J. (November 2010). "Violent Captain Swing, The?". Past & Present (Oxford University Press on behalf of The Past and Present Society) (209): 149-180. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40960936. Retrieved 19 July 2016. "Whether in the state-sanctioned use of violence as a weapon of the law or by the military, in ritualized forms of group violence, in popular protests, in organized crime, or in interpersonal violence, most individuals experienced it at some point in their lives. Indeed, in public spaces, not least in the alcohol-fuelled environment of the public house, there was even a 'toleration' of high levels of violent behaviour.". 
  9. Luddite - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Although the origin of the name Luddite is uncertain, a popular belief is that the movement was named after Ned Ludd, a youth who allegedly smashed two stocking frames in 1779, and whose name had become emblematic of machine destroyers. The name evolved into the imaginary General Ludd or King Ludd, a figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.”
  10. Poorhouse - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Often the poorhouse was situated on the grounds of a poor farm on which able-bodied residents were required to work; such farms were common in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A poorhouse could even be part of the same economic complex as a prison farm and other penal or charitable public institutions. Poor farms were county- or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. The farms declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935, with most disappearing completely by about 1950.”
  11. Luddite - definition of Luddite (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “any opponent of new technologies or of technological change.”
  12. Murray, Charles A.. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Basic Books. ISBN 0465042317. 
  13. Barthélemy Thimonnier - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 February 2015. “In 1829, he invented the sewing machine and in 1830 he signed a contract with Auguste Ferrand, a mining engineer, who made the requisite drawings and submitted a patent application. The patent for his machine was issued on 17 July 1830 in the names of both men, supported by the French government. The same year, he opened (with partners) the first machine-based clothing manufacturing company in the world. It was supposed to create army uniforms. However, the factory was burned down, reportedly by workers fearful of losing work following the issuing of the patent.”
  14. Elias Howe - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 February 2015.
  15. Isaac Singer - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 February 2015.
  16. Sewing machine: History - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 February 2015. “The first machine to combine all the disparate elements of the previous half-century of innovation into the modern sewing machine, was the device built by English inventor John Fisher in 1844, built by Isaac Merritt Singer and Elias Howe in the following years. However, due to the botched filing of Fisher's patent at the Patent Office, he did not receive due recognition for the modern sewing machine in the legal disputations of priority between the two Americans.”
  17. "The Sewing Circle", The Grantville Gazette (NOVEL), Eric Flint (editor), Baen. ISBN 9780743488600. “They had been worrying about Barthélemy Thimmonier from the beginning, afraid of ending up the victims of an ignorant mob. But Thimmonier wasn't the victim of an ignorant mob, he was the victim of an informed mob. A mob he had made himself because of the way he chose to make his money. If he had sold sewing machines he would have gotten rich; instead he was burned out, nearly killed, and finally died a pauper.” 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 392-393. 
  19. Carl Reichenbach - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Under the name of eupione, Reichenbach included the mixture of hydrocarbon oils now known as waxy paraffin or coal oils. In his paper describing the substance, first published in the Neues Jahrbuch der Chemie und Physik, B, ii, he dwelt upon the economical importance of this and of its associate paraffins, whenever the methods of separating them cheaply from natural bituminous compounds would be established.”
  20. Paraffin wax - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Paraffin wax was first created in the 1850s when chemists first developed the means to efficiently separate and refine the waxy substances naturally occurring in petroleum.”
  21. Book of Mormon - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.”
  22. Latter Day Saint movement - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “The first Latter Day Saint church was formed on April 6, 1830, consisting of a community of believers in the western New York towns of Fayette, Manchester, and Colesville. The church was formally organized under the name of the 'Church of Christ.'”

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