Tobacco and It’s Origins

What is tobacco?
Tobacco comes from the Nicotiana tabacum plant, which is simply known as the tobacco plant. The plant tends to grow between 4 and 6 feet high. Visually, they tend to grow a pink shade of flower.

As the tobacco plant’s leaves mature, they are picked and harvested; soon to be cured, fermented, and aged.

The tobacco plant is considered to be the first domesticated plant; with the Native Americans being the first to cultivate it. Today it is grown throughout the world but many species of the plant are native to South America, Mexico, and the West Indies. As the Spanish conquistadors came to the Americas, the future of the tobacco plant was destined to become the fastest spreading crop throughout history.

After spreading throughout the Americas, the tobacco plant was taken back to Europe. Once Jean Nicot carried the plant across the Atlantic Ocean, it was only a matter of time before the crop was being grown throughout Asia as well.

A Vital Role
Tobacco’s demand quickly grew with its adverse effect of addiction. In North America, the British colonists were able to capitalize on this the most. The crop brought wealth to the soon to be United States. With the wealth came the power and ability to obtain independence. Eventually, it also lead to the Civil War through the use of slavery to capitalize on the farming of the crop.

Today the crop is still grown throughout the States and the world, but it no longer has the hold of number 1 crop, with most East American farms turning focus into becoming vineyards. With growing knowledge of the pros and cons of tobacco, it is difficult to say whether the health effects will outweigh the emotional control it gives to the user. (Tobacco is able to be used to stimulate or sedate as desired by the user.)


Britannica Encyclopedia

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