One of the major problems during the 18th and 19th centuries was in relation to alcohol consumption in the workplace. The men and women who entered the industrial labour force during this time period brought with them habits and values that were contrary to the demands of the modern industrial workplace. One of their values was that they had a right to consume alcohol while working which inevitably lead to the habit of drinking while working. As James S. Roberts’ article explains, in relation to workplace drinking in 19th century Germany, alcohol was seen as a thirst quencher, dietary supplement, a narcotic and a stimulant. In the beginning stages employers provided their workers with daily rations of alcohol and it was used as a form of payment which was necessary to attract labours to the workforce. Therefore, it was not entirely the fault of the workers for having the habits and values that justified their actions of ...
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...this time. Because of this report, working class alcohol consumption was viewed as threat to England’s economic well-being. Although the growth rate of beer shops began to decline at the start of the 1840s, they still remained a prominent symbol of working-class degeneracy amongst the upper-classes. The Beer Act of 1803 shows that although the policy makers in England wanted to blur the lines between classes in relation to alcohol consumption, their attempt was not successful because of the mindset held by members of the upper-classes. Socially, members of the upper-class would have needed to see those in the classes below them as equal, or almost equal, in order for the Beer Act to be successful. The Beer Act alone could not change the structure and stigmas of the social classes in England and therefore it would was viewed as perpetuating lower-class drunkenness.
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