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Empirical FuturesAnthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz$
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George Baca, Aisha Khan, and Stephan Palmie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833452

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895344_baca

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Abstinence and Power

Abstinence and Power

The Place of Prohibition in American History

Chapter:
(p.112) Abstinence and Power
Source:
Empirical Futures
Author(s):

Jane Schneider

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807895344_baca.8

This chapter accepts the premise that formal colonization is a poor yardstick for imperial reach, and that the United States became an industrial-capitalist empire largely—although not exclusively—by other means. It also experiments with an additional idea: that it is instructive to approach the great migrations to the United States from southern and eastern Europe as a variant of colonial conquest whose associated traumas of labor exploitation, cultural repression, and racism touched off struggles of profound historical significance, comparable in a way to the struggles that unfolded in western Europe's formal colonies. The focus here is on an otherwise difficult to comprehend struggle: the enactment of alcohol prohibition and the related empowerment of organized crime.

Keywords:   formal colonization, industrial-capitalist empire, colonial conquest, labor exploitation, cultural repression, racism

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