Fish into Wine: The Historical Anthropology of Demand for Alcohol in Seventeenth-Century Newfoundland

  • Peter Pope


A strong demand for alcohol and tobacco in seventeenth-century Newfoundland and throughout the North American fishing periphery is an example of the distinct role maritime communities played in the emergence of a consumer society. Exchange of these little luxuries served social and cultural as well as economic needs. Demand for red wines and brandy in particular reflected contemporary humoral theories about the human metabolism. In this period, distribution, no less than restriction, of alcohol can be seen as a form of social control.