Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter and broadcast on the premium cable channel HBO. The series is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition era and stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson. Winter, a Primetime Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and producer, created the show, inspired by Nelson Johnson's non-fiction book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, Corruption of Atlantic City, about the historical criminal kingpin Enoch L. Johnson; the pilot episode was produced at a cost of $18 million. On September 1, 2009, HBO picked up the series for an additional 11 episodes; the series premiered on September 19, 2010, its run of 56 episodes over five seasons, ended on October 26, 2014. Boardwalk Empire received widespread critical acclaim for its visual style and basis on historical figures, as well as for Buscemi's lead performance; the series received 57 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series, winning 20.
The series won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama in 2011 and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2011 and 2012. Boardwalk Empire is a period drama focusing on Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, a political figure who rises to prominence and controls Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s. Nucky interacts with historical characters in both his personal and political life, including mobsters, government agents, the common folk who look up to him; the federal government takes an interest in the bootlegging and other illegal activities in the area, sending agents to investigate possible mob connections a well as Nucky's lifestyle—expensive and lavish for a county political figure. The final season jumps ahead seven years, to 1931. Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson – the corrupt treasurer of Atlantic County and its most powerful political figure. Based on the Atlantic City political boss Enoch L. Johnson.
Michael Pitt as James "Jimmy" Darmody – Nucky's onetime protegé, an honor student who left Princeton to serve in World War I. Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Thompson – a young widow and mother who turns to Nucky and becomes his mistress, his wife. Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden / George Mueller – a former Prohibition Agent on the run. Under the alias "George Mueller," he is a bootlegger in the Chicago area working as the muscle for Dean O'Banion's organization, as well as Johnny Torrio's organization. Shea Whigham as Elias "Eli" Thompson – Nucky's younger brother and sheriff of Atlantic County, who works as part of Nucky's organization and Al Capone's organization. Based on Alf Johnson. Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody – Jimmy's wife and the mother of his young son. Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein – a powerful New York gangster who does business with Nucky. Charlie Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin Siegel work for him. Stephen Graham as Al Capone – a violent Chicago gangster, the right-hand man of Chicago crime boss Johnny Torrio's.
Vincent Piazza as Charles "Lucky" Luciano – a New York gangster and associate of Rothstein's. Paz de la Huerta as Lucy Danziger – Nucky's former mistress. Michael Kenneth Williams as Albert "Chalky" White – a powerful African-American gangster in Atlantic City. Anthony Laciura as Edward Anselm "Eddie" Kessler – Nucky's loyal butler. Paul Sparks as Mieczyslaw "Mickey Doyle" Kuzik – an Atlantic City bootlegger. Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner – Nucky's mentor and predecessor in Atlantic City. John Ellison Conlee portrays a young Commodore in the season 5 flashbacks. Jack Huston as Richard Harrow – a former Army marksman who allies with Jimmy. Disfigured in the war, he wears a tin mask over half of his face. Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody – Jimmy's mother and Nucky's longtime friend. Charlie Cox as Owen Sleater – an IRA volunteer who works for Nucky and has an affair with Margaret. Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti – a ruthless gangster who challenges Nucky. Ron Livingston as Roy Phillips – a Pinkerton detective who poses as a wealthy out-of-town businessman who gets involved with Gillian Darmody in order to prosecute her for murder.
Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Valentin Narcisse – a Harlem - based philanthropist, Doctor of Divinity, follower of Marcus Garvey's, who plans to take over the heroin trade in Atlantic City; the character was inspired by Casper Holstein. Ben Rosenfield as Willie Thompson – Eli's son, a Temple University student and a lawyer with the Justice Department. Emmy Award-winner Terence Winter, who served as executive producer and writer on the HBO series The Sopranos, was hired on June 4, 2008 to adapt the non-fiction book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, Corruption of Atlantic City. Winter had been interested in creating a series set in the 1920s, feeling that it had never properly been explored before. For this reason he decided to focus his adaptation of the book on the section about Prohibition. On September 1, 2009, it was announced that Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese would direct the pilot, it would be the first time he had directed an episode of television since an episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazi
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Founded in 1923, it has operations in film and video games and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association of America; the company's name originated from the four founding Warner brothers: Harry, Albert and Jack Warner. Harry and Sam emigrated as young children with their parents to Canada from Krasnosielc, Poland. Jack, the youngest brother, was born in Ontario; the three elder brothers began in the movie theater business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the beginning and Albert Warner invested $150 to present Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery, they opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1903. When the original building was in danger of being demolished, the modern Warner Bros. called the current building owners, arranged to save it.
The owners noted people across the country had asked them to protect it for its historical significance. In 1904, the Warners founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, to distribute films. In 1912, Harry Warner hired. By the time of World War I they had begun producing films. In 1918 they opened the first Warner Brothers Studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Sam and Jack produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert, along with their auditor and now controller Chase, handled finance and distribution in New York City. During World War I their first nationally syndicated film, My Four Years in Germany, based on a popular book by former ambassador James W. Gerard, was released. On April 4, 1923, with help from money loaned to Harry by his banker Motley Flint, they formally incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures, Incorporated; the first important deal was the acquisition of the rights to Avery Hopwood's 1919 Broadway play, The Gold Diggers, from theatrical impresario David Belasco.
However, Rin Tin Tin, a dog brought from France after World War I by an American soldier, established their reputation. Rin Tin Tin debuted in the feature; the movie was so successful. Rin Tin Tin became the studio's top star. Jack nicknamed him "The Mortgage Lifter" and the success boosted Darryl F. Zanuck's career. Zanuck became a top producer and between 1928 and 1933 served as Jack's right-hand man and executive producer, with responsibilities including day-to-day film production. More success came. Lubitsch's film The Marriage Circle was the studio's most successful film of 1924, was on The New York Times best list for that year. Despite the success of Rin Tin Tin and Lubitsch, Warner's remained a lesser studio. Sam and Jack decided to offer Broadway actor John Barrymore the lead role in Beau Brummel; the film was so successful. By the end of 1924, Warner Bros. was arguably Hollywood's most successful independent studio, where it competed with "The Big Three" Studios. As a result, Harry Warner—while speaking at a convention of 1,500 independent exhibitors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—was able to convince the filmmakers to spend $500,000 in newspaper advertising, Harry saw this as an opportunity to establish theaters in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
As the studio prospered, it gained backing from Wall Street, in 1924 Goldman Sachs arranged a major loan. With this new money, the Warners bought the pioneer Vitagraph Company which had a nationwide distribution system. In 1925, Warners' experimented in radio, establishing a successful radio station, KFWB, in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. was a pioneer of films with synchronized sound. In 1925, at Sam's urging, Warner's agreed to add this feature to their productions. By February 1926, the studio reported a net loss of $333,413. After a long period denying Sam's request for sound, Harry agreed to change, as long as the studio's use of synchronized sound was for background music purposes only; the Warners signed a contract with the sound engineer company Western Electric and established Vitaphone. In 1926, Vitaphone began making films with music and effects tracks, most notably, in the feature Don Juan starring John Barrymore; the film was silent. To hype Don Juan's release, Harry acquired the large Piccadilly Theater in Manhattan, New York City, renamed it Warners' Theatre.
Don Juan premiered at the Warners' Theatre in New York on August 6, 1926. Throughout the early history of film distribution, theater owners hired orchestras to attend film showings, where they provided soundtracks. Through Vitaphone, Warner Bros. produced eight shorts in 1926. Many film production companies questioned the necessity. Don Juan did not recoup its production cost and Lubitsch left for MGM. By April 1927, the Big Five studios had ruined Warner's, Western Electric renewed Warner's Vit
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. YouTube allows users to upload, rate, add to playlists, comment on videos, subscribe to other users, it offers a wide variety of corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, other content such as video blogging, short original videos, educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and its creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services offering premium and ad-free music streaming, ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities; as of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet. YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, fluctuating policies on the types of content, eligible to be monetized with advertising.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. According to a story, repeated in the media and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos, shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story, digestible". Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site.
Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. Difficulty in finding enough dating videos led to a change of plans, with the site's founders deciding to accept uploads of any type of video. YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California; the domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo; the video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005; the first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.
Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. The site grew and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010. In May 2011, 48 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, which increased to 60 hours every minute in January 2012, 100 hours every minute in May 2013, 300 hours every minute in November 2014, 400 hours every minute in February 2017; as of January 2012, the site had 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. According to third-party web analytics providers and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016.
Jacobs Creek (Pennsylvania)
Jacobs Creek is a 33.4-mile-long tributary of the Youghiogheny River beginning in Acme and draining at its mouth in the town of Jacobs Creek into the Youghiogheny River. Jacobs Creek is the southwestern border of Westmoreland County and the northwestern border of Fayette County; the area was a major producer of rye whiskey in the decades before Prohibition. Jacobs Creek, between Chaintown and its mouth, cuts a deep gorge through the Fayette Anticline, exposing many rock outcroppings and exposures of the Freeport Coal seam; the geography of Jacobs Creek allowed early civilization in the Jacobs Creek Valley as early as 1768 when western Pennsylvania was opened to settlement by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. According to Rambling in the Valley of Jacobs Creek: Various industrial enterprises have been associated with the history of this valley. Among the first were the manufacture of salt and iron. By the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 this region was opened for settlement and many people from the eastern part of the state were locating in this "land of promise".
Both salt and iron were in demand, they were expensive and hard to procure, hence men of enterprise sought means to supply these demands. George Dallas Albert in his "History of Westmoreland County", says that, "Foremost of the wants of these early settlers was the want of salt." He states that "in the Youghiogheny region, twenty bushels of wheat was not thought an unfair exchange for a bushel of salt. Other geographic features of the valley include two waterfalls: Creek Falls. Jacobs Creek was named for a Native American; the valley of Jacobs Creek is home to an abundance of colonial and industrial history, including the home of the Alliance Furnace, the oldest standing iron furnace west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Alliance Furnace was built before ownership of the land was obtained by William Turnbul, John Holker, Peter Marmie on July 13, 1789; the furnace was blown in 1802. Starting in the 1790s Jacobs Creek attracted a number of Mennonite farmers. One of those Mennonites was Henry Oberholtzer.
In 1800 Henry and his son Abraham cleared 150 acres near West Overton to start a farm. The farm grew rye for distilling into whiskey; the whiskey became known as Old Overholt. Western Pennsylvania was a major producer of rye whiskey in the decades before Prohibition. Other sources of industry along the valley include salt mills, grist mills, coke ovens, strip mining, iron ore mining. Recreation along Jacobs Creek includes smallmouth bass and trout fishing, seasonal whitewater kayaking, swimming, it has been the inspiration of the guide Ramblings in the Valley of Jacobs Creek. Acme to Laurelville Chaintown to Youghiogheny River Freeman Falls Creek Falls List of rivers of Pennsylvania Jacob's Creek Bridge; the first iron-chain suspension bridge built in the United States
Scott Carl Sigler is a contemporary American author of science fiction and horror as well as an avid podcaster. Scott is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of sixteen novels, six novellas, dozens of short stories, he is the co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his young adult Galactic Football League series. He lives in San Diego. Raised in Cheboygan, Michigan Sigler's father passed his love of classic monster films along to his son, his mother, a school teacher, encouraged his reading offering him any book. Sigler wrote his first monster story, "Tentacles & More Tentacles", at the age of eight. Sigler didn't travel far for college having attended Olivet College and Cleary College where he earned a BA in Journalism and a BS in Marketing. Scott has had a varied career path having worked fast food, picking fruit, shoveling horse manure, a sports reporter, director of marketing for a software company, software startup founder, marketing consultant, guitar salesman, bum in a rock band.
A full-time author, he now resides in San Diego, California with his dog, Reesie. EARTHCORE was published in 2001 by iPublish, an AOL/Time Warner imprint. With the novel doing well as a promotional ebook, Time Warner was planning on publishing the novel. With the economic slump following September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Time Warner did away with the imprint in 2004. Scott decided to start podcasting his novel in March, 2005 as the world's first podcast-only novel to build hype and garner an audience for his work. Sigler considered it a "no brainer" to offer the book as a free audio download. Having searched for podcast novels and finding none, Sigler decided to be the first. Sigler was able to get EARTHCORE offered as a paid download on iTunes in 2006. After EARTHCORE's success, Sigler released Ancestor, The Rookie and Contagious via podcast. Sigler released an Adobe PDF version of Ancestor in March 2007 through Sigler's own podcast as well as others. Ancestor was released on April 1, 2007 to much internet hype and, despite having been released two weeks earlier as a free ebook, reached #7 on Amazon.com's best-seller list and #1 on Sci-Fi, Horror and Genre-Fiction on the day of release.
Sigler is leveraging new media to keep in-touch with his fans talking with them using social networking sites, via email, IM. Scott Sigler was featured in a New York Times article on March 1, 2007 by Andrew Adam Newman, covering authors using podcasting innovations to garner a broader audience. In March 2014, Executive Editor Mark Tavani at Ballantine Bantam Dell bought World Rights to a science fiction trilogy by Sigler. In the first book, Alive, a young woman awakes trapped in a confined space with no idea who she is or how she got there, she soon frees other young adults in the room and together they find that they are surrounded by the horrifying remains of a war long past... and matched against an enemy too horrible to imagine. Further adventures will follow in two more books and Alone; the books will be published under the Del Rey imprint. On Wednesday, July 15, 2016, it was announced that Alive made #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the Young Adult E-Book category. Sigler calls Stephen King a "'master craftsman', who writes from the'regular guy' strata from which he hails.
His older stuff had no pretense, no'higher message,' no'I’m important' attitude, just rock-solid storytelling and character development. He would whack any character at any time, that’s what hooked you in – when characters got into trouble, you didn’t know if they’d live, unlike 99% of the books out there that are trying to develop franchise characters." According to Sigler, Jack London's "The Sea Wolf changed my views on life". Sigler saw King Kong, he said it, "Scared the crap out of me. I begged to leave the theatre; as soon as we were out, I asked when we could see it again –, the moment I knew I wanted to tell monster stories. I wanted to have that same impact on other people." Sigler has been a runner up in both 2007 Parsec Awards. In 2006 Sigler was a runner up for his short story Hero in the Best Fiction category and for Infected in the Best Fiction category. In 2007 Sigler was a runner up for The Rookie in the Best Speculative Fiction Story category. In 2008 Sigler's Contagious, the sequel to Infected was listed at 33 on the New York Times best sellers list.
In 2008 Sigler broke through and won the Parsec Award for Red Man in the Best Speculative Fiction Story category. He followed up with another win in 2009 for Eusocial Networking in the Best Speculative Fiction Story category. 2010 saw him continue to win in the Best Speculative Fiction Story category with his podcast, The Tank, in 2011 he again took out the Best Speculative Fiction Story category with Kissyman & the Gentleman. On July 31, 2015, Scott was inducted into the inaugural class of the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. EARTHCORE Ancestor Nocturnal Infected Contagious Pandemic The Rookie The Starter The All-Pro The MVP The Champion The Gangster Alive Alight Alone See the Scott Sigler bibliography page for more detailed information about the above novels and his many other works, including novellas related to the Galactic Football League series, short story collections, other short stories, upcoming projects, etc. In May, 2007 the novel Infected was optioned by Rogue Pictures and Random House Films
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. During the nineteenth century, family violence, saloon-based political corruption prompted prohibitionists, led by pietistic Protestants, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society and weaken the political opposition. One result was that many communities in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries introduced alcohol prohibition, with the subsequent enforcement in law becoming a hotly debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called "drys", presented it as a victory for public morals and health. Promoted by the "dry" crusaders, the movement was led by pietistic Protestants and social Progressives in the Prohibition and Republican parties, it gained a national grass roots base through the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. After 1900, it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. Opposition from the beer industry mobilized "wet" supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities.
They had funding to fight back, but by 1917–18 the German community had been marginalized by the nation's war against Germany, the brewing industry was shut down in state after state by the legislatures and nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act, set down the rules for enforcing the federal ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. For example, religious use of wine was allowed. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states banning possession outright. Criminal gangs were able to gain control of the liquor supply for many cities. By the late-1920s a new opposition mobilized nationwide. Wets attacked prohibition as causing crime, lowering local revenues, imposing "rural" Protestant religious values on "urban" United States. Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933.
Some states continued statewide prohibition. Research shows that prohibition reduced overall alcohol consumption by half during the 1920s, consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits, at least temporarily. Rates of liver cirrhosis "fell by 50% early in Prohibition and recovered promptly after Repeal in 1933." Criticism remains that Prohibition led to unintended consequences such as a century of Prohibition-influenced legislation and the growth of urban crime organizations, though some scholars have argued that violent crime did not increase while others have argued that crime during the Prohibition era was properly attributed to increased urbanization, rather than the criminalization of alcohol use. As an experiment it lost supporters every year, lost tax revenue that governments needed when the Great Depression began in 1929. In the United States, once the battle against slavery was won, social moralists turned to other issues, such as Mormon polygamy and the temperance movement.
On November 18, 1918, prior to ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, the U. S. Congress passed the temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages having an alcohol content of greater than 1.28%. The Wartime Prohibition Act took effect June 30, 1919, with July 1, 1919 becoming known as the "Thirsty-First"; the U. S. Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Upon being approved by a 36th state on January 16, 1919, the amendment was ratified as a part of the Constitution. By the terms of the amendment, the country went dry one year on January 17, 1920. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto; the act established the legal definition of intoxicating liquors as well as penalties for producing them. Although the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, the federal government lacked resources to enforce it. Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, cirrhosis death rates, admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis, arrests for public drunkenness, rates of absenteeism.
While some allege that Prohibition stimulated the proliferation of rampant underground and widespread criminal activity, many academics maintain that there was no increase in crime during the Prohibition era and that such claims are "rooted in the impressionistic rather than the factual." By 1925, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs in New York City alone. Wet opposition talked of personal liberty, new tax revenues from legal beer and liquor, the scourge of organized crime. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% and wine of a low alcohol content. On December 5, 1933, ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. However, United States federal law still prohibits the manufacture of distilled spirits without meeting numerous licensing requirements that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal beverage use. Consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a contentious topic in America since the colonial period.
In May 1657, the General Court of Massachusetts made the sale of strong li
The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders; the early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. An early set of Mennonite beliefs was codified in the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632, but the various groups do not hold to a common confession or creed. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism. In contemporary 21st-century society, Mennonites either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination.
There is controversy among Mennonites about this issue, with some insisting that they are a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group. Historians and sociologists have started to treat Mennonites as an ethno-religious group, while others have begun to challenge that perception. There is a discussion about the term "ethnic Mennonite". Conservative Mennonite groups, who speak Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch, or Bernese German fit well into the definition of an ethnic group, while more liberal groups and converts in developing countries do not. There are about 2.1 million Anabaptists worldwide as of 2015. Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. Mennonites can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents; the largest populations of Mennonites are to be found in Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and the United States.
There are Mennonite colonies in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Paraguay Plautdietsch-speaking, who originated in the Netherlands, formed as a distinct ethnic group in Prussia and Ukraine, are called, somewhat inaccurately, Russian Mennonites. Today, fewer than 500 Mennonites remain in Ukraine. A small Mennonite presence, known as the Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit, still continues in the Netherlands, where Simons was born; the early history of the Mennonites starts with the Anabaptists in the German and Dutch-speaking parts of central Europe. The German term is "Täufer" or "Wiedertäufer"; these forerunners of modern Mennonites were part of the Protestant Reformation, a broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Its most distinguishing feature is the rejection of infant baptism, an act that had both religious and political meaning since every infant born in western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Other significant theological views of the Mennonites developed in opposition to Roman Catholic views or to the views of other Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.
Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament example. They believed that the church should be removed from government, that individuals should join only when willing to publicly acknowledge belief in Jesus and the desire to live in accordance with his teachings. At a small meeting in Zurich on January 21, 1525, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, along with twelve others, baptized each other; this meeting marks the beginning of the Anabaptist movement. In the spirit of the times, other groups came to be, preaching about reducing hierarchy, relations with the state and sexual license, running from utter abandon to extreme chastity; these movements are together referred to as the "Radical Reformation". Many government and religious leaders, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, considered voluntary church membership to be dangerous—the concern of some deepened by reports of the Münster Rebellion, led by a violent sect of Anabaptists.
They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, burning, drowning or beheading. Despite strong repressive efforts of the state churches, the movement spread around western Europe along the Rhine. Officials killed many of the earliest Anabaptist leaders in an attempt to purge Europe of the new sect. By 1530, most of the founding leaders had been killed for refusing to renounce their beliefs. Many believed that God did not condone killing or the use of force for any reason and were, unwilling to fight for their lives; the non-resistant branches survived by seeking refuge in neutral cities or nations, such as Strasbourg. Their safety was tenuous, as a shift in alliances or an invasion could mean resumed persecution. Other groups of Anabaptists, such as the Batenburgers, were destroyed by their willingness to fight; this played a large part in the evolution of Anabaptist theology. They believed that Jesus taught that any use of force to get back at anyone was wrong, taught to forgive.
In the early days of the Anabapt