America in a Bottle: Alcohol Drives Social Change

  What makes America America? We can have many answers, but if you are willing to take a bottle of bourbon and look through the liquor, you may find something different. If you don’t add a little wine to the history of the United States, there will be absolutely no America today.
  In recent years, American politicians have mentioned the reconstruction and return of the “American spirit” in public, and if you choose a wine to represent the American spirit, there is no more suitable than bourbon whiskey. Bourbon whiskey was born in the United States even before baseball. Because of its amazing sales, it generates the largest tax revenue among non-petroleum domestic commodities that contribute to the construction of American infrastructure. Bourbon has become an important symbol of America. You can find it in the speeches of the President of the United States, movies and TV shows, hot searches on social media, and even cross-border joint bourbon burger advertisements. American politician Henry Clay once said that he would use bourbon whiskey to ” Grease the wheels of justice”.
gifts for scottish refugees

  A North American resident in the 18th century might not realize that his first sip of bourbon had anything to do with Scotland’s Highland Cleansing, but it was a European movement that gave Americans their own whiskey. The Butterfly Effect.
  In 1750, Scotland began to promote the privatization of pastures. A large number of farmers in the Scottish Highlands were forced to give up their original land because they could not afford the high rents comparable to herdsmen, and were driven to more barren small pieces of land. These farmers who grow crops for a living can’t support their families by farming alone, so they distill whiskey privately to supplement their income. This private whiskey is a colorless and transparent liquor that has not been aged in oak barrels, a bit like Whiskey new wine, because it avoids being discovered by the authorities, is always brewed and distilled at night. This kind of bootleg wine is also known as “moonshine wine”. Whiskey brought them a little income and maintained their fragile spirits. As the “Book of Proverbs” says: “Let him drink wine and forget his poverty and remember his pain no more.” Immigrants, exempted from rent, poverty and forced expulsion forced these farmers to eventually leave Scotland.
  Rather than saying that they chose North America, it is better to say that only the colonies of the British Empire welcomed them. The newly arrived Scots worked the land taken from the local residents and used the surplus grain to distill whiskey. At first, they found that Scottish barley did not grow well in the soils of eastern North America, so they substituted rye. Their first choice was not the corn used to brew bourbon, because early distillers believed that corn could not make the same quality wine as rye. But with the massive planting of corn in the colonies, it eventually replaced some barley and rye and became one of the main raw materials of American whiskey, which is also the prototype of bourbon whiskey. Corn has a sacred meaning in the American Aztec civilization, and it also gave whiskey an American style, which was finally confirmed by law. Today’s bourbon whiskey must contain more than 51% corn, and in actual production, the proportion will be higher, making bourbon look more like a corn wine. Newcomers to Scotland used whiskey as a means of communicating with the Aboriginal tribes, and it didn’t take long for this gift from settlers from the Scottish Highlands to become the most popular spirit in America. Paranoid Americans will tell you that whiskey is whiskey and bourbon is bourbon, and they are proud of bourbon.
Taxes spark whiskey uprising

  In the United States, immigrants from various countries have brought different drinking cultures. For example, Irish and German immigrants are very different from Anglo-Saxon immigrants. They are used to having a drink in a pub after work, gambling, chatting about politics or Fight. The tavern became the most frequent gathering place for different immigrant groups. When people from different backgrounds drink here, there are also cultural conflicts and conceptual collisions, and gradually form an understanding of each other—or prejudice. On the one hand, the tavern gradually became the characteristic landscape of the United States, especially the Wild West tavern, which has become a symbolic element of American architecture and culture. On the other hand, in people’s imagination, it is also associated with fighting, prostitution, and gambling , has become synonymous with evil. This is directly related to the later era of Prohibition, when all sins were attributed to alcohol.
  Although each group has its own drinking habits and customs, the obsession with alcohol is the same. Throughout the 18th century, cheap, unregulated spirits flooded the market, leading more and more people to binge drinking. During this period, the average American drank alcohol at an all-time high, partly because ordinary people believed that distilled spirits had health benefits and because alcohol was promoted as a medicinal liquid. Whether someone genuinely believed the claim or was just looking for an excuse to drink, the result was a spike in alcohol consumption. By 1830, the absolute alcohol content per adult had reached 7.5 gallons, almost three times the average American consumption today. This figure doubles if the female population, which rarely drinks alcohol, is taken into account. Taxes from alcohol consumption even became an important source of funding for the American War of Independence against Britain, with consumption of whiskey being particularly large.
  After the Revolutionary War, the state needed revenue to rebuild cities and repair war wounds. Then-Treasurer Alexander Hamilton suggested to President George Washington that a whiskey tax would help create a solid postwar federal government. President Washington accepted his suggestion, and Congress passed the “National Liquor Tax Act” in March 1791, because only whiskey was taxed. This bill is also called the “Whiskey Act”. taxation laws. Supporters of the bill hope to use the so-called “sin tax” to raise public awareness of the dangers of alcohol. It is worth mentioning, however, that Washington himself was a wine merchant, distilling as many as 300,000 barrels of rye whiskey a year on his Mount Vernon plantation.

Located in Savannah, Georgia, USA, the Prohibition Museum is the first and only museum on the history of Prohibition in the United States. The museum reproduces the real scene of anti-alcohol rallies sweeping the country in the early 20th century.

During the nearly 14 years of Prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933, it was illegal to manufacture, sell and transport alcohol.

  The “Whiskey Act” had the greatest negative impact on farmers in the western United States. They felt that the government was going to “grab money”. Before the bill was enacted, they were used to solving transportation and storage problems by turning grain into whiskey. Liquor was an important household income, and combined with the lack of cash in the West, whiskey was often treated like a token. Therefore, this bill caused great dissatisfaction among western farmers and wineries. The protests began with petitions in western Pennsylvania. After the petition failed, the protesters organized several more radical rallies in Pittsburgh. At the August 1792 rally, a military organization called the Mingo Creek Society even took control of the local militia and formed its own “court.” hinder litigation. In 1793, tax resistance continued for another full year in western Pennsylvania, when protesters clashed with the local federal tax inspector, General John Neville, and burned his effigy. In 1974, at the height of the tax resistance movement, Hamilton sent marshals to western Pennsylvania to serve subpoenas to court for brewers who refused to pay taxes, a move that led to a massive armed militia raid on the home of General John Neville.
  President Washington believed that this riot was the touchstone of the new constitution. The laws of the country cannot be compromised as soon as they are challenged, and the authority of the constitution and laws must be maintained. From another perspective, the establishment of a social paradigm through the successful implementation of tax laws is more important than the act of taxation itself. So he decided to lead the federal army to Pennsylvania to suppress the rebellion, and the president personally went to the battlefield to command the battle, which is really rare in American history. The revolt was quickly suppressed, and many protesters moved to Kentucky for refuge. These whiskey farmers later had a substantial impact on Kentucky’s distilling industry, and many distilleries claimed that their distillery was founded in the Whiskey Rebellion, as if to find a legitimate textual research for Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
  Although the protests were quelled, the whiskey tax was still difficult to collect, which became a key factor in the election of Thomas Jefferson as president. He worked with Congress to quickly repeal the tax after he became president in 1801.
  The Whiskey Rebellion was the biggest political crisis of Washington’s presidency and became an important test of the authority of the US federal government and the new Constitution. The Whiskey Revolt raises a serious question: What kind of protest is constitutionally permissible? Suppressing protesters argues that the federal government was created by and in the name of the people, making radical protest illegal. But proponents of the Whiskey Rebellion argue that the revolution brought about collective rights, so that the people have the collective right to change or challenge the government in ways that are not constitutional. But in any case, the suppression of the uprising proved the ability of the federal government to quell violent resistance to its laws, and promoted the gradual acceptance of the Constitution by Westerners, who became accustomed to realizing their demands through voting rather than protest. On the other hand, the Federalist Party also accepted the important role that the people can play in national governance through this incident, and never challenged citizens’ right to assembly and petition.
Prohibition: A Massive Human Experiment

  Due to the growing popularity of distilled spirits such as whiskey and the growing number of binge drinkers, the American public began to push for moderation in drinking. In 1789, the first American Temperance Association was established in Connecticut, and various temperance organizations have sprung up since then. Theoretical support for prohibition came from a Ph.D. named Benjamin Rush, who questioned the medical use of alcohol as a source of crime, violence, and poverty. This theory is well understood today, but it was a very innovative idea at the time.
  Women are better organized in the fight against alcohol, and they’ve shown impressive resilience. Temperance brought American women together for the first time in a common cause. It is not for nothing that women have become the main force in the temperance movement. They are the victims of male alcoholism. Rise up to defeat the “demon at the bottom of the bottle” and start speaking and lobbying. A large number of women who participated in the prohibition movement did not see the promulgation of the prohibition during their lifetime, but their activities at this stage made important preparations and foreshadowing for the promulgation of the prohibition later.
  The saying “there is a devil in the bottle” was widely spread during the promulgation of the Prohibition Act: the devil who would tempt people to open the bottle cap was sealed in the bottle, claiming that it could fulfill any wish, and the tempted person opened the bottle cap, usually with Souls trade with demons, or simply help demons uncap bottles, and are punished for greed. In short, drinking alcohol was considered the root of all evil, and proponents of Prohibition believed that they were fighting for the public morals of the country and the health of the people.
  The struggle of women’s rights and the capitalist’s negative sentiment towards alcoholic and absent workers all accelerated the promulgation of alcohol prohibition, but the more direct reason was that the United States needed sufficient food supplies during the First World War, and winemaking was considered to be harmful to food. waste. After decades of debate, the U.S. Congress finally submitted the 18th Amendment in 1917, and decided to ban alcohol nationwide on January 17, 1920. The text of the amendment is very short, but many people did not think at the time that it was this short amendment that changed American society forever.
  The executors of the Prohibition Law prevented the people of the country from drinking alcohol, and even wanted to establish the World Temperance Alliance, with the ambition to promote the prohibition movement to the world. Little did they know at this point that Prohibition challenged not those who drank, but those who enforced it. The temperance movement hoped to curb violence and crime, but ended up having the opposite result. The determination and desire to drink was unimaginable, and utter ingenuity was used to find ways to get it: if you wanted to drink, you could go to a speakeasy and convince the doorman, you could go to a “malt and hop” shop and buy what was actually alcoholic beverages You can risk buying a truckload of whiskey on the “Thunder Road” that transports moonshine wine, and you can even go to a doctor for a “prescription” for spirits, or simply leave the United States and go to a place where you can drink fair and aboveboard. , such as Cuba. A 1926 advertisement by the Cuban Bacardi company urged Americans: “Leave this dry land behind.” of.
  During Prohibition, a large number of whiskeys were smuggled from Europe to the United States. The quality of the moonshine was uneven. One of the Scotch whiskeys called “cutty sark” quickly became a hot favorite. The wine in the yellow-labeled small green bottle that appeared in the movie “Green Book” is this wine. Later, some people specially launched the “Prohibition” version of commemorative wine to commemorate the story of “Shunfeng”‘s prosperity in the United States.
  After Prohibition, alcoholic beverages could not be legally produced and sold, leaving these businesses in the hands of criminals. Due to the huge amount of money generated in the illegal manufacture, import and sale of alcohol, some large-scale gangs developed in the United States, the most famous It belongs to Al Capone nicknamed Scarface and his Chicago gang. Born in New York to an immigrant family in Naples, Italy, Capone was expelled from school at the age of 14 for slapping a female teacher. He moved to Chicago in his 20s and became horseman for Johnny “Fox” Torrio, the head of a Chicago crime syndicate that illegally sold booze, and he handed over control to Capone upon his retirement. Capone brilliantly coordinated the import of alcohol from across the United States while running the operations of hundreds of wineries. To that end, he built his own distribution system, complete with delivery drivers, salespeople and even armed his own miniature army. Capone deftly evaded justice by bribing politicians, law enforcement officials and even the mayor of Chicago. Known as a mix of cold blood and charisma, he violently took down rivals while opening restaurants to provide jobs to the unemployed and donating to charities. Capone was regarded by many as a modern-day “Robin Hood”, but was dubbed “Public Enemy Number One” by the media due to the Valentine’s Day massacre, and was finally prosecuted by the federal government on charges of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison, and eventually died of illness after being released from prison. Capone’s most famous quote is: “All I do is serve a public need. Somebody has to give the thirsty some drink. Why not me?” Oscar-winning movie “The Untouchables” (The Untouchables) shows his dramatic life. It seems that Capone’s shadow can be seen in the villains of many American film and television works.

  A few years after the promulgation of the Prohibition, criminal activities prospered, the flood of bootleg alcohol caused many people to lose their eyesight, domestic violence, which women hated deeply, did not disappear, and more and more people opposed the Prohibition. But none of these were the overriding forces driving the end of Prohibition. According to Daniel Okrent, author of The Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition: In 1929, the United States ushered in the longest and deepest economic recession in the history of the Western world. The national unemployment rate reached 25%, and the average family income fell by 40%. Politicians The realization that the return of booze could help prop up federal finances and help the country save the depressed people by creating thousands of jobs through breweries and taverns ultimately led to the end of the era of Prohibition. It turns out that in 1934, the first year after Prohibition was repealed, 9 percent of all federal revenue came from the restored alcohol tax.

“Tailwind” whiskey is the most popular Scotch whiskey among the many smuggled whiskeys in the United States, and has appeared in the movie “Green Book”.

During Prohibition, people gathered privately to drink beer in Detroit.

On December 5, 1933, New York, just after Prohibition was repealed, people lined up outside the office of the Sanitation Department to apply for a license to sell alcohol.

Al Capone and his Chicago gang rose to prominence by illegally manufacturing, importing, and selling booze.

The “Stone Wall Incident” that occurred in June 1969 triggered the rights protection actions of the gay community in the United States, and quickly expanded to the world.

Bourbon whiskey is named after the town of Bourbon in Kentucky, USA, but the place of production is not limited to it. Today’s bourbon whiskey raw materials must have more than 51% corn.

Bourbon whiskey became an important symbol of America.

  It cannot be said that Prohibition was a complete failure, it did help reduce the number of deaths caused by alcohol, but the deeper reflection that Prohibition triggered may be more valuable, that is, before trying to solve social problems with strong measures, it is necessary to deal with Conduct thorough and in-depth investigations into social issues and carefully analyze the feasibility of the means. Prohibition proved that if people really wanted something, they would do it, whether it was legal or not. Effective regulation is sometimes more practical than outright bans. Of course, this also reflects from another aspect that alcohol has long been a part of life in American culture, and no one can easily take away American wine bottles.

  Just as the coffeehouses during the Enlightenment became incubators for new ideas in Europe at that time, after the abolition of alcohol prohibition in the United States, more and more people from different places, different colors, races and ideas chose to gather in bars, and the characteristics of tolerance made bars become place to drive social change.
  For example, on June 27, 1969, an affirmative movement for sexual minorities against government persecution took place at the Stonewall Bar in Greenwich Village, New York. The “Stone Wall Incident” is a landmark event in the history of gay rights protection. It triggered the actions of gay groups in the United States and quickly expanded to the world. Stonewall Bar is a local gay bar (at that time, sexual minorities were not allowed to show their minority sexual orientation and identity in public places, otherwise they would be arrested), and it usually gathered people of different sexual orientations and so-called marginalized people. That night, when police raided the Stonewall pub for the sixth time in three weeks, people began to gather and demonstrate. In the next six months, gay communities and newspapers were established in New York, and a few years later, sexual minority rights organizations expanded from the United States to Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and other parts of the world. On June 28, 1970, the first pride parades were held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Movement. After that, at the end of June every year, pride parades will be held around the world, and the pride moon. Because of this affirmative action movement, the Stone Wall Bar has also become the birthplace of the minority human rights movement in modern America, and has inspired many other American groups to fight for their own rights.
  It is difficult to describe the bond between alcohol and Americans in a few words, but since the United States stood on this land of North America, alcohol has flowed through the bodies of Americans like blood. Sometimes it’s an angel intoxicating, sometimes it’s a demon in a bottle, sometimes it’s a catalyst for social change, and sometimes it’s the nectar of a victorious struggle. In America, some people love alcohol, some people hate it, but no one can avoid alcohol. A historian known for his book The Alcohol Republic wrote: “Americans drink at home and abroad; by themselves and with others; at work and at play; seriously, And drinking and playing. They drank from one dawn to another. Americans drank before, during and after meals. They drank in the fields, and they drank across half a continent. They drank when they were young, and if they lived Get it long enough, and drink it until you get old.”
  It is not only gasoline and electricity that make the United States, a country on wheels, run forward, but also alcohol.