the rise of bootleggers

Topics: Crime, Gang, Alcoholic beverage Pages: 4 (1267 words) Published: October 23, 2013
Alcohol hasn’t always been so easy to get. You couldn’t always just walk into a liquor store and buy your favorite brew. People have been making their own alcohol for generations and generations. This all started when prohibition ended the legal sale of alcohol, this meant if you wanted your liquor fix you would have to start making it yourself, or rely on buying it from others illegally. This is where bootlegging came in to play. Bootlegging was goods illegally sold and distributed, without proper taxation, and at a loss to the original manufacturer, which in this case was the sale and distribution of illegal alcohol. “ The earliest bootleggers began smuggling foreign-made commercial liquor into the United States from across the Canadian and Mexican borders and along the seacoasts from ships under foreign registry. Their favorite sources of supply were the Bahamas, Cuba, and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the southern coast of Newfoundland. A favorite rendezvous of the rum-running ships was a point opposite Atlantic City, N.J., just outside the three-mile limit beyond which the U.S. government lacked jurisdiction. The bootleggers anchored in this area and discharged their loads into high-powered craft that were built to outrace U.S. Coast Guard cutters.” This was made more difficult when the U.S Coast Guards started stopping and checking ships farther from the coast than before. Really the only way to get even halfway legal alcohol was to get a prescription for medicinal whiskey through a forged or real prescription. Bootleggers soon after started bottling their own concoctions of harsh and strong liquor, and by the late 1920s stills making liquor from corn had become major suppliers. Faultily distilled batches of this “rotgut” could be dangerously impure and cause blindness, paralysis, and even death. Just think about that the next time you’re out partying with your friends! In the 1920’s bad alcohol could actually kill you or harm you...
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