Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
The 1920's
Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition

The 1920's
The 1920's

Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition
Print Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.54

     challenging words:    defunct, graft, moonshine, scarface, small-time, stills, syphilis, tearooms, suppliers, bootleggers, speakeasy, whisky, drugstores, law-abiding, mastermind, corrupted
     content words:    Volstead Act, On January, Al Capone, Day Massacre

Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     In 1920, Prohibition went into effect in the U.S. The 18th Amendment made the manufacture, importing, and sale of liquor illegal. The Volstead Act put in place a police system for enforcing the ban. The effects of this embargo were dramatic. Brewing had been the fifth largest industry in the country. On January 16th, these large companies were immediately put out of business. Saloons, liquor stores, and all manner of other businesses were defunct as well.
2     The American public gave the policy mixed reviews. There was much support for some kind of regulation of liquor. Twenty-six states had already passed "dry" laws. People who wanted to buy liquor would travel to the nearest "wet" area. Now, with the national ban, there was no place to go where alcohol was legal. People used 50% less alcohol after Prohibition started. But the sale of alcohol didn't stop. It just went underground. Along came the speakeasy. These secret drinking places were often hidden behind drugstores, tearooms, or other legitimate businesses.
3     Making liquor, however, was forbidden. Where did the speakeasies get alcohol? Certain "entrepreneurs" were eager to step into the gap. Organized crime was already a factor in large cities. Local thugs were making money with saloons, brothels, and gambling halls. Prohibition opened whole new vistas for those willing to break the law. The market for illegal liquor was huge. Supplying it became a big business. Neighborhood bosses hired mobs of underlings. The crime underworld grew as it brought alcohol to the cities.
4     America's neighbors were not "dry." Liquor was trucked in from Canada and Mexico. Ships laden with rum from the Caribbean waited just outside U.S. waters. Boats met the rum ships to ferry liquor to U.S. shores. The men who did this job were called "rumrunners." Other alcohol was made in hidden places in the U.S. To escape the law, the liquor was made at night, the operations lit only by the moon. Alcohol made in this way was called "moonshine."

Paragraphs 5 to 11:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition
Leave your feedback on Bootleggers, Rumrunners, and Moonshine - The Business of Prohibition   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

The 1920's
             The 1920's

More Lessons
             High School Reading Comprehensions and High School Reading Lessons

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

Copyright © 2018 edHelper