Winning the French & Indian War

6 Sep

I was reading about  Alfred W. McCoy in his Politics of Heroin that in 1777  the British colonial governor in Bengal “established a colonial monopoly on the sale of opium.”  McCoy goes on  “As the East India Company expanded production, opium became India’s main export. [. . . ] Over the next 130 years, Britain actively promoted the export of Indian opium to China, defying Chinese drug laws and fighting two wars to open China’s opium market for its merchants. Using its military and mercantile power, Britain played a central role in making China a vast drug market and in accelerating opium cultivation throughout China. By 1900 China had 13.5 million addicts consuming 39,000 tons of opium.”

My studies in preparation for our Fall 2010 class not far from my mind, I thought about First Nations in America.  Alcohol was  a problem,  and I remembered that rum was a form of currency in the New England triangle slave trade.  Rum was used to buy slaves on the west coast of Africa, who were shipped to the West Indies where they grew sugar cane.  Molasses was shipped to New England to make rum.

Googling ‘rum  Shawnee” I came across AND A BOTTLE OF RUM.  The author remarks that the difference between rum and brandy helped maintain the “GREAT WALL” down the Appalachian mountains.   “Some historians have suggested the general preference for the taste of rum over brandy actually kept some tribes from defecting  to the French.”

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