"During the sixteenth century, the European table was
enriched with a multiplicity of foods introduced from the New World, including corn (maize), potatoes, yams, peanuts, squash, chili peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, chocolate, and manioc (tapioca). Between meals, Europeans could, for the first time, sit down with a pipe of tobacco (also introduced from the New World) or chew gum made from chicle— hence "Chiclets"—likewise a New World import. This was one side of what is called the "Columbian exchange." (In return, the inhabitants of the Americas got cattle, pigs, horses, German measles, and smallpox.)
One commodity, however, made the trip from another direction: Coffee, introduced into Europe about a century after the previously cited items, originated in the Middle East.
The history of coffee is enshrouded in legend. There is, for example, the tale of its origins: The story goes that coffee was first discovered in the ninth century when an Ethiopian goat herder noticed his goats got a bit frisky after they ate the berries of a local shrub. After sampling the berries himself, he, too, experienced the same effect, as did those who undertook coffee cultivation in Arabia when it was brought there three centuries later. There is the story of the first coffeehouse in Vienna: The emperor asked the man who acted as a guide for the Polish cavalry that raised the 1683 siege what he wanted as a reward. Rather than the usual "the hand of your daughter in marriage," he reportedly asked for the bulging sacks he saw in the abandoned Ottoman encampment, thinking they contained gold. In fact, they contained coffee beans. Thus, the first Viennese coffeehouse. (Strudel and Linzertorten would come later.) Then there is the story of the origin of tipping: In early British coffeehouses, coffeewenches placed cups for coins on each table. On the cups was inscribed "to insure prompt service"— abbreviated T.I.P.S. "Regardless of the truth of any or all of these stories, early travelers to the Middle East were amazed by coffee and the coffeehouses they found there. One Portuguese traveler, Pedro Teixeira, stopped off in Baghdad in the mid-1580s on his way to India and reported his first encounter with coffee as follows:" "Amongst other public buildings...is a Casa de Kaodh [Teixeira's kaodh is borrowed from the Arabic word for coffee, qahwah.] Coffee is a vegetable of the size and appearance of little dry beans, brought from Arabia, prepared and sold In public houses built to that end; wherein all men who desire it meet to drink it, be they great or mean. They sit in order, and it is brought to them very hot, in porcelain cups holding four or five ounces each. Every man takes his own in his hand, cooling and sipping it. It is black and rather tasteless; and, although some good qualities are ascribed to it, none are proven. Only their custom induces them to meet here for conversation and use this for entertainment; and in order to attract customers there are here pretty boys richly dressed, who serve the coffee and take the money; with music and other diversions. These places are chiefly frequented at night in summer, and by day in winter....There are others like it in the city, and many more throughout Turkey and Persia."
"Teixeira was not the only European fascinated by coffee. When coffee was first introduced in Europe, it caused a sensation. Little wonder: Unlike the skeptical Teixeira, most Europeans believed coffee to have the power of an aphrodisiac. In 17321734, the composer Johann Sebastian Bach documented the sensation caused by coffee, as well as its purported aphrodisiac powers, in his "Coffee Cantata." In the cantata, a father confronts his daughter as follows:
You wicked child, you disobedient girl,
oh!, when will I get my way;
give up coffee!
To which she replies:
Father, don't be so severe!
If I can't drink
my bowl of coffee three times daily,
then in my torment I will shrivel up
like a piece of roast goat.
After the father promises his daughter to find her a husband if only she would give up coffee, she sings:
If it could only happen soon
that at last, before I go to bed,"
"instead of coffee
I were to get a proper lover!
(In the end, the ungrateful little vixen gets both a husband and her coffee.)"
"The commercial revolution was encouraged further by the rise of new political units in Europe. One such unit was a variation on an old theme: the merchant republic. Merchant republics had emerged in the Mediterranean region centuries before the commercial revolution. City-states like Venice and Genoa were highly efficient because merchants and bankers, not feudal landlords, controlled the institutions of state. Being at the helm of state, merchants and bankers ensured that the republic's foreign policy would coincide with its trade policy. By the seventeenth century, after the discovery of the Americas had shifted the center of gravity of world trade westward and the importance of the newly emergent Atlantic economy had surpassed the importance of the Mediterranean economy, Britain, France, and the Netherlands eclipsed their Mediterranean rivals. These states possessed two attributes that other European states would seek to emulate. First, like the Mediterranean merchant republics, they possessed a strong central government that could maintain domestic order, guarantee commercial credit, and direct a national trade policy. Britain, France, and the Netherlands adopted the doctrine of mercantilism as their trade policy. Mercantilists believed that the more gold a state accumulated, the stronger it would be, and that if[...]"
Excerpt From: James L. Gelvin. "The Modern Middle East. A History.
Answer the following question in a minimum of two paragraphs.
1) In the "Coffee" vignette, explain how James Gelvin connects coffee, imperialism and music?
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