Google Ngrams – Education/Labor & Alcohol/Tobacco in the 19th Century

Chart 1For my first graph, I chose the words “education” and “labor.” Throughout the 19th century, many young people faced the decision of either going to school and receiving an education or heading straight to work. There were pros and cons of both, as is the case today. Some people studied and worked at the same time, and some people used their education to get better jobs. Others were forced to work by their parents because they were poor while some were forced to go to school because they were upper class. Either way, these two concepts were an essential part of people’s lives as they had to choose which life path they most desired. The rise of labor and decline of education from 1840 to 1870 was due to the Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, as demand for labor increased (ushistoryscene.com). Education appeared more then labor during this time.Chart 2For my second graph, I chose the words “alcohol” and “tobacco.” These were common parts of people’s lives in the 19th century, as they are today. The minor increases and decreases of alcohol can be the result of the many different alcohol taxes imposed and then repealed during the 19th century, such as the Whiskey tax being repealed in 1802 (alcohol-facts.net). I believe the spike of tobacco around 1815 was due to the introduction and extreme popularity of the cigar. The sudden drop right after that is most likely due to the first anti-tobacco movements (tobacco.org). Tobacco appeared more than alcohol before they crossed paths around 1870 in which alcohol then overtook tobacco.

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