A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco

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Virginia, Such a move would have a profound impact on the other side of the Atlantic too. Early English settlement of North America had been marked by a series of disasters — the first wave, to Roanoke Island, had disappeared without a trace. Jamestown, the second site to be settled, was barely holding its own against the forces of disease, bad weather, starvation and hostile natives.

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In the absence of any profitable mines or chance of meaningful trade with the natives, it was imperative that Jamestown should find a commodity that it could sell back to the old country. Tobacco would prove to be just such a commodity, and it ensured a financial life-line was in place for the fledgling colony.

A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco by King of England James I

Jamestown would not ultimately prosper, and was abandoned in the 18 th Century. Yet it provided the crucial beachhead for the further English colonisation of North America, with tobacco doing a booming trade. Its cultivation was an intensive agricultural operation requiring a large workforce, and producers found that they could cut costs by importing slaves from Africa.


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James would have to wait over years before his message finally started to come through. It remains a matter of conjecture whether his opposition to tobacco use was motivated by his genuine concerns about the health effects of smoking, or though his personal antipathy with Sir Walter Raleigh. However, before we imagine James to be a scientific genius way ahead of his time, note that in our omnibus edition of The Works of James I , Counterblaste is sandwiched between tracts that demonstrate his fondness for hunting and burning witches. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading In your abuse thereof sinning against God, harming your selves both in persons and goods, and raking also thereby the markes and notes of vanitie upon you: by the custome thereof making your selves to be wondered at by all forraine civil Nations, and by all strangers that come among you, to be scorned and contemned.

Counterblaste Tobacco

A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Your Information.

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