American Prohibition And Bootlegging

By | December 4, 2018

test article image
Vintage poster of bootlegging map of the United States

The term “bootlegging” imparts images of rough and tumble men making moonshine up in the hills. That is certainly part of it, but there is much more to know. Bootlegging is defined as, “the illegal trafficking of alcohol.” The term, bootlegging, came into general use in the Midwest, during the 1880s, to describe the practice of concealing flasks filled with illicit liquor in boot tops when going to trade with Native Americans. The term became part of our American vocabulary when the United States Constitution enacted the 18th Amendment, which began Prohibition. Prohibition was in force from 1920 until its repeal in 1933.  

test article image
Alcohol being dumped after the 18th Amendment was enacted. (

After Prohibition was enacted, all existing alcohol was disposed of.

After the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution was enacted, all the existing alcohol was required to be disposed of. Authorities went from establishment to establishment to oversee the process to ensure that it was all destroyed.