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The rise of Gin

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a description of the spread and use of imported liquors in West Africa during the centuries before the spread of gin. The amount of Dutch and German gin that was imported into West Africa as a whole, increased rapidly, and overtook that of rum, in the second half of the nineteenth century. The chapter offers a discussion of the changes in the production of gin in Holland and Germany during the nineteenth-century that made the drink affordable to West African consumers. It analyses the transformations that occurred in the West African economy following the abolition of the slave trade, which resulted in changing consumer demand for imported liquor. The chapter finally addresses the question of how imported gin reached nineteenth-century African consumers in a brief section on the marketing of gin.

Keywords: Dutch gin; rum; slave trade; West African consumers; West African economy



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