The History of Bootlegging in America

Essay by davidwalbrunHigh School, 11th gradeC, September 2010

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Bootlegging: How it Affected Americans

Bootlegging didn't end when the 18th amendment was repealed. Bootlegging has a long history in America and its meaning has evolved over the years. During the prohibition era the consumption of alcohol was illegal and in modern times the illegal obtaining of consumer media is considered bootlegging. Bootlegging in the early times spawned the practice of rum running which was another extension of bootlegging. This bootlegging is mentioned was described in The Great Gatsby in which one of the main characters runs a bootlegging business. America's history is one that includes bootlegging that existed in the 1920s with the illegal consumption of alcohol and still exists today with the obtaining of copyrighted material illegally.

The word bootlegging originated in the Midwest when people put flasks of alcohol in their boots (Bootlegging 2). Bootlegging is defined as something, as a recording, made, reproduced, or sold illegally or without authorization.

This practice took place long before the 18th amendment (prohibiting the consumption of alcohol) was put into place. It was mainly practiced by farmers who thought of it as an easy way to get money, but this later expanded into urban areas. Even before the 18th Amendment was passed many towns and cities started the prohibition making it easier to pass in congress. The 18th Amendment was the culmination of a century of attempts to get rid of alcohol. After the 18th amendment was put into place was when bootlegging became a rampant practice. Prohibition changed the way the nation viewed authority, the court system, wealth, and class.

Bootlegging was a practice that involved violence, gangs, and illegal practices such as rum running. Rum running in the United States was the smuggling alcohol from other countries such as Canada and the Bahamas (Everetts 129). Rum running was...