Tobacco Culture Criticism: Tobacco Trade Between The Old World And The New World - Essay

Earl J. Hamilton (essay date 1976)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “What the New World Gave the Economy of the Old,” in First Images of America: The Impact of the New World on the Old, University of California Press, 1976, pp. 861-65.

[In the following excerpt, Hamilton examines the changing medical and social attitudes to tobacco from the sixteenth century through the eighteenth century and claims that tobacco was “the very worst gift of the New World to the Old.”]

There can be no doubt as to the American origin of tobacco, for it was cultivated in almost every place discovered, explored, or settled from Brazil to Canada; and it was shared with the intruders, whom the Indians gladly taught how to smoke it. Europeans...

(The entire section is 2408 words.)

John R. Pagan (essay date 1979)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Growth of the Tobacco Trade between London and Virginia, 1614-40,” in Guildhall Studies in London History, Vol. III, No. 4, April 1979, pp. 248-62.

[In the following essay, Pagan traces the economic ascendancy established by the Virginia tobacco trade and how it translated into significant political power for the tobacco growers and the London-based tobacco importers.]

Disheartened by a staggering mortality rate1 and a series of ruinously expensive agricultural and industrial failures,2 the settlers at Jamestown and their backers in the Virginia Company of London were on the verge of abandoning the colony when John Rolfe began his...

(The entire section is 6473 words.)