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Grade 8-9
Subject Social Studies
Resource type Lesson plan/Unit plan
Duration 60 minutes

About This Resource

Europeans had been exposed to tobacco as early as 1560 and used it primarily as medicine. At the time, people believed that tobacco treated or cured many illnesses such as headaches, stomach problems, coughs, epilepsy and cancer. In the following decades, tobacco use among Europeans dramatically increased, not only for medicinal use but also for recreation. For many rulers in Europe, tobacco smoking represented a major social and health problem. English leaders did not make the sale and smoking of tobacco illegal, although many other European countries did. Instead, King James I tried hard to reduce tobacco usage, for example by introducing a massive tax increase in 1604. The price increase, however, did little to reduce English demand for the “noxious weed.” By 1614, the Virginia Colony was shipping tobacco, and production rose sharply in the following years. Ironically, tobacco cultivation would lay the foundation for the success of England's American colonies.
King James Trash Talks and Taxes Tobacco

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