Based on the reading I noticed that Brooklyn distilleries issue was very important to the merchants of vinegar hill and to the government as well. This caused several wars between them when the government raised their taxes, closed and destroyed their illegal activities. The corruption somehow always finds the way through by bribing revenue officials and infiltrating into the government institutions. Even nowadays this corrupted activities still exist but they are very well hidden from the public, and people find out about this stuff after centuries in history books. This issue became harder to get rid of after the Brooklyn distilleries expanded a lot and became a huge method of income. After the distilleries stopped completely their activity vinegar factories popped up, and maybe that’s why the area got the name Vinegar Hill since it is located in a hill as well.
I was very pleased to encounter Loingsigh’s writing. It was intriguing to follow up with this article having read the Smithsonian’s “Whiskey Wars” prior to this. Loingsigh’s article has put the Whiskey Wars in context of a greater history, while tracing the trajectory of Irish history within Vinegar Hill. His mode of research was based off of several strategies, one of which was the experiences of his grandmother, who was a primary source at hand. The layers he discovered are native to his homeland, which is not a common experience in the melting pot of New York City.
In regards to the RECAP evaluation, This article was relevant for our previous readings, and for our site visits as well. Loingsigh’s expertise is apparent in his writing style, as he is planning to write 3 books based on this historic matter. Loingsigh gives the reader a large window, which tells us that his idea of tracing history was inspired by the early stories of his grandparents (early 20th century) to recent research he as uncovered in the past decade (the articles on the White Hand Gang, and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York). His grandparents serve as primary sources, while his research conducted within Municipal Archives on Chambers Street and New York Times articles which also proves to be primary and secondary sources. The purpose of this article was to inform readers both about the author’s upcoming works, and to offer a new range of information which was undocumented on Irishtown’s history. Loingsigh stresses the loss of information on Irishtown, how it was not charted as a territory, but exists through the experience of others.
After reading this article, another article just pooped up in my head, which i was reading almost two weeks ago. Here is the link Today situation on Taxes, it feels like nothing changed. All that rich people who were not paying taxes in 1870 they are still not paying in 2016. Rich person is getting richer and richer and poor are getting poorer. I think this problem will never end until corruption ends, because as long as there’s a demand for the end product, there will always be a person, group or loose alliance looking to profit legally or illegally off of the wanted items.
The unwillingness for New Yorkers not to pay their taxes doesn’t surprise me. Tax evasion seems to be a never ending problem in this country in the past and even now in the present. And with tax rate being as high as it is, there’s no doubt this problem will continue to rise. I believe the Government should give people and small businesses more tax breaks. This might end all the corruption and illegal activities people use to hide and swindle their income. After reading this article now I know why some parts in Brooklyn looks so run down and ruined. I had no idea the IRS had the power to enforce such a war on tax evaders.
This article helped clarify the relationship between taxation and criminalization. Reminscent of the Boston Tea Party, the idea of tax for businesses such as distilleries induced a criminal like lifestyle. Despite it’s legality, the sudden tax increase of alcohol was quite absurd, from $2 – $30. That amount (equivalent in today’s terms) was enough to send Irishtown, or what was Vinegar Hill “over the hills”, whereby the creation of an underground ring for importing and exporting liquor feasible. Irishtown was conveniently located next to a port, which was perfect for smuggling. Street gangs, sailors and smugglers were born, as corruption rings in the police force were also apparent.
The presence of corruption did not limit itself to Vinegar Hill, but instead showed itself to be a prime example here. Allegations were found as far the White House, which makes the reader understand the breadth and urgency of taxation. I found this article not only to be entertaining and informative, but as a great piece to commemorate Vinegar Hill’s rich history. However, I’m a little disappointed in how the author summarized the deterioration of the Irishtown ring, as I wish Dalzell was more descriptive about it. Also, I wish Dalzell included more forms of documentation within the article (i.e Whiskey labels, distillery images, maps of the raids etc.)
I was fascinated by the assigned reading on the Whiskey Wars of Brooklyn. One of my initial thoughts while reading about the Whiskey Wars was that in some ways it reminded me of the Boston Tea Party from 1773. Both were acts of rebellion in protest of high taxes on specific items. I learned that Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn was heavily involved with creating illegal distilleries. The article mentioned that “legitimate” distilleries would close down and be replaced by “vinegar” factories. This leads me to wonder if these “vinegar” factories somehow influenced the naming of the neighborhood Vinegar Hill. I like that at the end of the article the author concludes with a small paragraph on modern day Vinegar Hill. The arrival of the Kings County Distillery is like a tip of the hat to the rebellious, rich history of late-19th century Vinegar Hill.