History of Drugs in America Terms
Bootlegger, Bootlegging, BootlegA smuggler of illegal liquor. During Prohibition, alcohol continued to be legal in Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and most other nations, and bootleggers did a huge business in illegally importing prohibited booze into the United States.
Speakeasy, SpeakeasiesAn illegal saloon of the Prohibition era. During Prohibition, an estimated half million speakeasies opened around the United States to provide lawbreaking drinkers with a place to purchase and consume alcohol. Speakeasies often operated as fronts for organized crime.
CouvertureA legal doctrine of marriage that held that upon their wedding a husband and wife legally merged into one person—the man. The woman, legally speaking, ceased to exist as an independent entity, losing all control over her property and many other legal rights. The law thus made women completely dependent upon their husbands.
New WorldA European term for the Western Hemisphere, which seemed brand new following Columbus's "discovery," in contrast to the Old World of Europe, Africa, and Asia—all of which had been known to Europeans for centuries. Of course, nothing about the New World was new to the Indians who had been living there for centuries.
A European term for the Western Hemisphere, which seemed brand new following Columbus's "discovery," in contrast to the Old World of Europe, Africa, and Asia—all of which had been known to Europeans for centuries. Of course, nothing about the New World was new to the Indians who had long been living there.
Mass ConsumptionA macroeconomic model based upon large demand for consumer goods of all kinds from people at all ranks of society.
Mass ProductionThe industrial production of large quantities of standardized manufactured items using modern machinery and assembly-line techniques.
Gateway DrugA drug that tends to lead its users to move on to use even more addictive and dangerous drugs.
AddictionA physically or psychologically compulsive need for a habit-forming drug.
CatarrhRunny nose. In the late nineteenth century, cocaine was marketed as a cure. Whoa.
White Slave Traffic, White Slave TradeA term used in the early twentieth century to refer to child prostitution or sexual slavery. A series of sensationalistic newspaper accounts convinced many people that the kidnapping of young girls for the purpose of forcing them into prostitution was a widespread phenomenon and a moral crisis on par with slavery before the Civil War.
Cartel, CartelsA syndicate of businesses organized to self-regulate production in a particular market in order to manipulate prices. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Colombian cocaine industry came to be dominated by a handful of powerful cartels, most notoriously Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel.
DependenceA physical or psychological need for an addictive drug.
Cash Crop, Cash CropsA crop grown for sale in the export market rather than for use as food for the farmer or as animal feed. Tobacco was a vital cash crop in the early stages of American history; marijuana is the most valuable cash crop in the United States today.
Natural ReproductionPopulation growth achieved through the birth of children rather than through the immigration of new adults to a community or nation.
Aristocracy, Aristocrat, AristocratsThe ruling class, especially the hereditary nobility within a feudal system.
Corporate CapitalismA modern stage of capitalist development characterized by the economic prevalence of large, hierarchical and bureaucratic profit-seeking organizations known as corporations.
Distilled, Distillation, Distillery, DistilleriesConcentrated or purified through a process of vaporization and condensation. Distillation is the process that allows the manufacture of liquor.
Green Coffee BeansUnroasted coffee beans. Coffee must be roasted before it can be made into a drink.
Patent Medicines, Patent MedicineOver-the-counter drugs popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many patent medicines were completely fraudulent; others promised to treat minor ailments like nasal congestion with hardcore narcotics like heroin.
AdulteratedMade impure through the addition of inferior and inappropirate ingredients.
American DreamThe ideal of freedom and opportunity that allows all Americans to aspire to a higher standard of living than that achieved by their parents.
Sin Taxes, Sin TaxExtra taxes imposed upon the consumption of alcohol, tobacco. or other socially undesirable substances in order to deter use.
Over-the-counterDrugs sold without a need for a doctor's prescription.
Black Market, Black-marketThe illegal buying and selling of goods prohibited by law from legal trade. Prohibition against certain drugs leads to the creation of a black market in those drugs; the profitability of the black market can sustain organized crime.
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