D H
Jul 17 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Did caffeine cause the Industrial Revolution?

Many authors and journalists have written about the connection between the movement of coffee into Europe and the Industrial Revolution and if there may be more than just a coincidence between the movement of this beverage and the extraordinary level of change and innovation seen in this period. Prior to the 16th century Europeans mainly drank alcoholic drinks, such as beer, which were the safest form of water consumption with fermentation making the water safe even in polluted cities. Coffee first moved to Europe in the mid 16th century, and coffee and tea quickly replaced beer in Europe as a most common beverage to keep people hydrated. But these drinks also proved a conduit for caffeine, which, as a milder drug than alcohol, had sobering and concentrating boosting effects, and arguably focussed the skills and cognition needed for the new tasks and way of thinking of the first industrial period. The operation of looms for example, would have been much easier after a coffee than a beer. What do you think of this theory, could coffee have caused the Industrial Revolution?
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Probably and equally the Islamic Golden Age
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Yes
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Probably and equally the Islamic Golden Age

Coffee was probably a massively influential factor in both the Industrial Revolution and the Islamic Golden Age earlier in history. The origins of coffee as a beverage are unclear, with the first written accounts dating back to just 1671. However the drinking of coffee is likely to have gone back much further, with numerous conflicting origin myths for the drink, it probably originated in Yemen or Ethiopia in the 9th century. Most accounts attribute the cultivation of coffee to Kaldi in 850 AD legendary Ethiopian goatherd who discovered the coffee plant after observing his goats becoming excited after grazing on the plant. Whenever the actual date was, the Arab world had coffee first and this coincided with an incredible gold age of mathematics and reason, if the Industrial Revolution owes its existence in part to coffee or caffeine then so does the Islamic Golden Age.

wordblossom.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/the-golden-age-of-islam-coffee world-history-education-resources.com/islamic-golden-age/islamic-coffee-golden-age.html mvslim.com/europe-went-dark-ages-muslims-enlightment-now thespruceeats.com/the-origin-of-coffee-765180

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D H
Jul 20
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No

There is no way to prove that coffee had an effect on the Industrial Revolution. It may have benefitted the age of reason, but it is probably not responsible for it, and there is definitely no way of proving the connection, and because of this it will forever remain a theory as there is no way to prove this hypothesis. You could equally argue that drinking less alcohol on average, as coffee provided an alternative, was an equally valid reason for the Industrial Revolution, correlation is not causation after all. Furthermore a study carried out at the University of British Columbia, Canada found that caffeine can actually reduce productivity and cause poor concentration once the effects wear off, making coffee's benefits seem a lot less revolutionary.

radicalfire.com/quitting-caffeine-awesome-benefits en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

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D H
Jul 20
Created

Yes

If beer drinking was the precedent for consuming liquids in Europe prior to coffee and drunkenness was quickly replaced with the jitteriness of drinking excess coffee, and especially the more mellow drink of tea that became popular in Britain, its more than likely that this is more than mere coincidence. Caffeine is a drug that, much unlike alcohol, boosts concentration and causes a more linear, rational, and focused way of thinking, this was probably instrumental to the enlightenment thinking that inspired the innovation of the Industrial Revolution and the new society it fostered. Coffee was indeed written about at the time as “a civil and sober drink” that for the first time in history enabled increased productivity, health benefits and probably even had a formative effect on laying the foundation of capitalism.

econlife.com/2016/04/coffee-history-stock-markets-and-innovation huffpost.com/entry/from-beer-to-caffeine_b_5538535 news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/08/author-michael-pollan-discusses-how-caffeine-changed-the-world scribd.com/document/241058293/The-Social-Life-of-Coffee-The-Emergence-of-the-British-Coffehouse redflag.org.au/article/global-grind-capitalism-through-coffee

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D H
Jul 20
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DH edited this paragraph
If beer drinking was the precedent for consuming liquids in Europe prior to coffee and drunkenness was quickly replaced with the jitteriness of drinking excess coffee, and especially the more mellow drink of tea that became popular in Britain, its more than likely that this is more than mere coincidence. Caffeine is a drug that, much unlike alcohol, boosts concentration and causes a more linear, rational, and focused way of thinking, this was probably instrumental to the enlightenment thinking that inspired the innovation of the Industrial Revolution and the new society it fostered. Coffee was indeed written about at the time as “a civil and sober drink” that for the first time in history enabled increased productivity, health benefits and probably even had a formative effect on laying the foundation of capitalism.
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