Bootlegging Essay

1171 Words Oct 9th, 2012 5 Pages
A.J. D’Angelo
Ms. Roach
Classics in American Literature
20 April 2011
“The more taboos and inhibitions there are in the world, the poorer people become… The more articulate the laws and ordinances, the more robbers and thieves arise” (qtd. in “Rumrunning…”). The 1920’s in American History was an extraordinary time period due to the extreme prosperity of the people who lived in it. The lust for bigger and better conveniences was developed and led people to want easy money. After the eighteenth amendment went into effect, the quickest way to make money was through the illegal production and smuggling of alcohol. Smuggling created the infamous gangsters who made their fortunes from the moonshine. The greatest contributor
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The initial surge of prohibition came due to public drunkenness and nativism against the very alcoholic Europe. When national prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920, it did not affect religious or medicinal alcohol. Many people believed that teaching people of the dangers of alcohol was better than full out prohibition. The Temperance groups that helped bring about prohibition include the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union), the MSSI (Massachusetts Society for Suppression of Intemperance), and the Anti-Saloon League. During WWI, alcohol production was considered a waste of fruits and grains while troops were in need of food (Lieurance). Prohibition destroyed many of the breweries in America and took away from government revenue and was finally ended on December 5, 1933. “Critics argue that the Amendment failed to eliminate drinking,…spawned organized crime, and led beer drinkers to hard liquor” (“The Jazz Age”). The illegal production of alcohol, or bootlegging, was created from Prohibition, the very thing that tried to regulate it. Bootlegging is defined as the “…illegal traffic of liquor in violation of legislative restrictions…” The term is derived from the 1880’s when smugglers would carry alcohol in their boots to sell to Indians (“Bootlegging”). Though prohibition outlawed it, bootlegging greatly increased the number of speakeasies and illegal stills (“The Jazz Age”). Bootlegging also increased smuggling,

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