History of Legal and Illegal Drugs from 1850 to 1875 A.D.

About the history of legal and illegal drugs from 1850 to 1875 A.D. in particular the temperance movement, Prohibition Party, Second Opium War.

A Synoptic History of the Promotion and Prohibition of Drugs

1852 Susan B. Anthony establishes the Woman's State Temperance Society of New York, the 1st such society formed by and for women. Many of the early feminists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Abby Kelly, are also ardent prohibitionists.

1852 The American Pharmaceutical Association is founded. The association's 1856 constitution lists one of its goals as: "To as much as possible restrict the dispensing and sale of medicines to regularly educated druggists and apothecaries."

1856 The Second Opium War. The British, with help from the French, extend their powers to distribute opium in China.

1862 Internal Revenue Act enacted, imposing a license fee of $20 on retail liquor dealers, and a tax of $1 a barrel on beer and 20 cent a gallon on spirits.

1864 Adolf von Baeyer, a 29-year-old assistant of Friedrich August Kekule (the discoverer of the molecular structure of benzene) in Ghent, synthesizes barbituric acid, the 1st barbiturate.

1868 Dr. George Wood, professor of the theory and practice of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, president of the American Philosophical Society, and the author of a leading American text, Treatise on Therapeutics, describes the pharmacological effect of opium as follows: "A sensation of fullness is felt in the head, soon followed by a universal feeling of delicious ease and comfort, with an elevation and expansion of the whole moral and intellectual nature, which is, I think, the most characteristic of its effects . . . the intellectual and imaginative faculties are raised to the highest point compatible with individual capacity. . . . It seems to make the individual, for the time, a better and greater man. . . . The hallucinations, the delirious imaginations of alcoholic intoxication, are, in general, quite wanting. Along with this emotional and intellectual elevation, there is also increased muscular energy; and the capacity to act, and to bear fatigue, is greatly augmented."

1869 The Prohibition party is formed. Gerrit Smith, twice Abolitionist candidate for President, and associate of John Brown, and a crusading prohibitionist, declares: "Our involuntary slaves are set free, but our millions of voluntary slaves still clang their chains. The lot of the literal slave, of him whom others have enslaved, is indeed a hard one; nevertheless, it is a paradise compared with the lot of him who enslaves himself--especially of him who has enslaved himself to alcohol."

1874 The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is founded in Cleveland. In 1883, Frances Willard, a leader of the WCTU forms the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

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