Friday, July 4, 2014

The American spirit (Rebels & Criminals).

This months cover by Aleksandar Ares,
with layout by K.K.W
Started by rebels (& criminals) - America. By K.K.W.

In a way, the glory of America lay in remembrance of its patriotic defiance of British rule [or tyranny, depending on what your reading]. "No taxation without representation".  Sometimes I wonder if the same spirit can be compared to various rebellious acts in out society today, and previous era's?
Image  courtesy of  Wikipedia
Black-market activities, counterfeit "brand-named" goods, DVD piracy, respectable drug trafficking, selling "knock-off" vendor licenses, Prostitution, etc, etc. "The aspiring ethnic, blocked from legitimate access to wealth and power, is permitted to produce and provide those illicit goods and services that society publicly condemns but privately demands" (Ianni 1975, p. 89).

America had been attracting many of a radical persuasion; both religious and political who sought freedom from British establishment. Aside from those who bought land, sought it [were indentured servants], and of course the fortune hunters who saw a land of opportunity open for exploitation. Not to mention the criminals - because prior to Australia being a depository many had been sent to America since 1718. 

With The British empires Mercantile system in place, colonists involved in trade & shipping chose to ignore laws that restricted or made it hard to earn a serious profit, acquire non-British goods, or purchase them at a better price. It was a smugglers life indeed - especially in New England and Rhode Island. It cost four times as much to use the British navy to collect duties as the value of the duties themselves. Customs officials earned a modest salary, and bribes were all the norm.

The seven years war [French and Indian War, 1754-1763] had left much of former French North American colonies in British control. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 [placing a limit on Westward expansion] would be highly unpopular with a vocal majority. Later taxation, in the form of the Navigation act, Currency Act, Sugar Act, The Stamp Act, Declaratory Act and Townshend Acts of 1767 only seemed to spur on the minority colonists against these taxes [without representation]. The war for independence would soon follow and no matter how you look at those involved, they were breaking the laws of their day [in pursuit of something they considered right].

Recent new hundred dollar bill.
Photo by K.K.W (Nokia 1021 smartphone). 

Not-so-famous & famous "patriots" (or respectable-criminals)

1. Thomas Hancok - Smuggler & merchant of colonial Boston

2. John Rowe - Merchant, smuggler, slave-trader 18th century Boston Massachusetts.

3. Daniel Shays & Job Shattuck - Rebels & protest organizers of "The-Shays Rebellion"  against unfair debts during the economic recession of late 1780's.

4. William M Tweed - Political-gangster & do-gooder [depending on how you look at him].

5. Pearl "Polly" Adler - Madam [Pimp] active from 1920 in NYC

6.William S McCoy - With the start of Prohibition Captain McCoy began bringing rum from Bimini and the rest of the Bahamas into south Florida through Government Cut. The Coast Guard soon caught up with him, so he began to bring the illegal goods to just outside U.S. territorial waters and let smaller boats and other captains such as Habana Joe take the risk of bringing it into shore.

7. Habana Joe -  Businessman, rum-runner [New Jersey].

8. Stephanie St. Clair ["Queenie"] opened up a numbers bank in Harlem In 1922, ran the famous New York extortion gang known as "The Forty Thieves". It did not take long for her to spin off from the gang and strike out on her own.

9. Joseph P. Kennedy Sr - Businessman, entrepreneur, politician [shady figure?]. After being appointed head of the SEC [securities & exchange commission] he promptly made illegal the methods he used to make in the stock-market.

10. Sidney Biddle Barrows - The "Mayflower Madam"  [Pimp 1979 - 1984]

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