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The Twelve-Mile Straight


An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the...
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Discuss The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson:
What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

Created: 07/11/18

Replies: 6

Posted Jul. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

There was no money during the Depression and moonshine provided a larger income for George Wilson. Managing the moonshine operation for George gave Juke status and a home to live in and land to farm. It helped put food on the table.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

The era provided a realistic background to the time and place. Prohibition provided a source of income during the Depression, at least in this part of the South. Another item that played a large role was the place of women, especially Black women, being used as chattel. I think the author was using this small part of the country as a sample of the South at the time, at least this rural South.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

Prohibition caused many problems for poor families. Running stills put money in their hands and food on their tables during the depression. They couldn't sell their "cash" crops for enough money to survive so they felt forced into crime. Since they were already criminals according to the law, they were more easily able to justify other "crimes" to support their families. A vicious circle.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

The Depression and Prohibition compounded the struggles of many poor families like the Jessup family. Juke made choices intended to provide for basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) and to ensure his survival. Juke was less concerned with the morality of his decisions and more concerned with profiting from them.


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

Juke would probably not have been kept on the old Wilson farm if Prohibition hadn't created a demand for Wilson's still operation. Wilson needed someone to run it and a sharecropper like Juke without much social standing was the perfect cover. The Depression deprived families in the Jesups' position with alternatives to sharecropping -- especially black families. It's clear only white workers, mostly women, got jobs at the mill, and those didn't pay much either. The Depression kept people stuck in poverty and in the ignorance that comes with being stuck in such a rigid, isolated society. It perpetuated the desperation that kept people "in their place" with no power to challenge George Wilson's local monopoly.


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

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RE: What is the historical impact of Prohibition and the Great Depression on the Jesup family and the farm?

Historically many farmers ran moonshine during the depression and prohibition. They had the means to hide their stills, which may have been the gift that kept many farmers from losing their land. The Jesup land actually belonged to George, who needed the illegal hooch, so therefore allowed Juke to stay on the farm and supply the moonshine.


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