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Moonshine has a very interesting history all dating back to the late 1700s, soon after the American Revolution. The United States decided they were going to place a national tax on liquors and spirits since fighting in the war became very costly and this move did not appeal to majority of Americans. This regulation by the government over the sale of alcohol upset the Americans given that the main reason of the war was to escape the heavy British taxes. The irony was too thick!
However, this didn't deter many Americans from enjoying their favorite spirit. The Americans decided to continue producing their personal whisky illegally to escape the taxes. This move was not just a hobby or getting back at the government but it was meant for their own survival. Since times were hard, the farmers turned their crops into moonshine to feed their families if they were unable to sell their crops. When the national officials came collecting the taxes, the moonshiners protested and war began since to survive they had to battle.
Out of anger, the moonshiners took over the Pittsburgh city. This was meant to test the national authority that they thought to be very cruel through the whiskey rebellion. The moonshiners persisted on making the alcohol illegally, particularly in the states on the south such as Kentucky and Virginia in spite of their leaders being captured and finally failing at the job.
The government continued to get stricter on the tax collection as the war continued so as to fund it. In their desperation, the moonshiners turned ruthless and started threatening other Americans because of fear and not only were they attacking the officials but also their families. The Ordinary Americans began channeling their hatred to the moonshiners and formed the temperance movement to prohibit moonshine totally. A majority of the states enacted laws to prohibit the sale and consumption of moonshine by the 1900s and in 1920, the ban on moonshine became public.
The ban became the saving grace of the moonshiners although a majority of the citizens disliked the ban. Since the sale of alcohol was illegal, many people went to the moonshiners to drink the illegal alcohol. The moonshiners did all they could to meet the demand which had increased tremendously. The market however fell again when the ban came to an end after 13years. Many moonshiners vanished with the ban although a number of them remained. Since the production of alcohol was now legalized, it made no sense to continue making illegal alcohol.
It is still illegal to make alcohol like moonshine in many countries. While not common, there is a small possibility that one could screw up and create a product that could be toxic, but following simple instructions has virtunally eliminated this risk. Moonshiners still exist as a hobby, and quite honestly, it's how most distilleries are started, illegally. Several movements have started in various countries to legalize hobby distilling, so make sure to check your local and federal laws before taking part in distilling at home.