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 of wealth and crime of the 1920’s in the United States was brought about by the illegal production of alcohol, or bootlegging. History shows that alcohol production became such an important aspect of American life that the population depended on it. The origins of alcohol production can be traced back to 6000 B.C., where it was produced in the forms of wine and beer to substitute clean water (“History…”). Due to the difficulty of hauling grain to markets, farmers were able to profit more from turning their crops into alcohol, rather than selling the grain at markets. The colonists’ main concern when coming to the new world was water sources (Lieurance). Therefore, alcoholic beverages were brought in mass quantities in order to substitute water if needed (“Rumrunning…”). The alcohol of the early America could be used as currency, at special events or for medical remedies. “In the colonial days, doctors felt that alcoholic beverages were needed to help people stay healthy.” In the late eighteenth century, in America, there was a heavy tax on alcohol, so a rebellion broke out which was known as the Whiskey Rebellion (Lieurance). Illegal alcohol was given the name moonshine because it was often made at night by the...