Alcohol and Prohibition in America

Alcohol and Prohibition in America

Length: 1008 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Alcohol and Prohibition

Although National Prohibition did not take effect in the 1920's, there were a series of laws that attempted to restrict alcohol consumption. Such as the 18th amendment and the Volstead Act.
In 1697, the first American alcohol law was passed in New York. The law stated that all saloons must be closed on Sunday, because Sunday was a day of worship.
In 1735, the first statewide prohibition began in the state of Georgia. This was a complete failure and was quickly banned seven years later, in 1742.
In 1851, Maine was the second state in the history of America to attempt statewide prohibition, and it turned out to be a major success. By 1855, 12 more had joined Maine in becoming dry. These were the most successful alcohol prohibition laws passed in the United States.
In 1880, after the Civil War, women joined the dries and and soon the temperance movement was back in full force. Many prohibitions were proposed afterwards, such as, drugs, tobacco, and the closing of theaters, but the only one to ever catch on was alcohol.
By 1900, more than half the United States had become dry. The prohibitionists thought there was no possible way for any person to get liquor in a dry state. Unfortunately, for the dry states, there was a loophole, the postal service. Because the postal service was run by the federal government, and not the state government, liquor could be mail ordered from a wet state. This infuriated the dries, and in 1913 the Interstate Liquor Act was passed. This act made it impossible for liquor to be sold to any dry state. This was actually a loss for the dry states because this made methods of getting liquor illegal and the liquor industry soon went hand in hand with crime. Also the government got taxes.
In 1917, the 18th amendment was proposed to ban the manufacture of liquor. Many states did not agree on this causing this proposal to be in debate for almost 2 years.
By 1920, 33 states had voted themselves dry. Then the movement for national prohibition was passed. The Prohibition Party had finally won its biggest victory yet.
January 29, 1919 the 18th amendment was ratified and and only liquor with 40% alcohol content, (80 proof) were banned. Officially it banned the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors… for beverage purposes." Many people supported this act, thinking that is was only banning hard liquors, and thinking that a glass of wine with dinner or a beer after work would be fine.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Alcohol and Prohibition in America." 20 Mar 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The New Prohibition Essay

- Prohibition was a time when gangsters ran the United States and the government could do little to stop it. The Prohibition period in the United States occurred from 1920 to 1933 in the United States, and was a period where it was illegal for any United States citizen could consume alcohol. Instead of simply following the law, many United States citizens went to illegal saloons called “speakeasy” (Thornton) to consume alcohol. Gangs and mobsters who made the booze in dangerous ways, which resulted in the endangerment of the American people, ran these places....   [tags: Alcohol Problems in America]

Research Papers
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Modern-Day Prohibition- The Criminalization of Marijuana

- In January of 1919, the 18th amendment, the prohibition of alcohol, was ratified due to progressive movements. It was soon repealed in 1933, when crime increased and issues spread throughout the country. The concept of “gangsters” was established and unsafe alcohol became apart of America’s diet. This problem is now evident in this country today. Marijuana, an all natural plant that is known to get someone “high,” or to alter the state of mind, has been illegal since 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was put into action....   [tags: marijuana, weed, cannabis, prohibition]

Research Papers
547 words (1.6 pages)

Prohibition And The Prohibition Era Essay

- The 18th amendment was ratified on January 16, 1920. It was a very drastic measure taken by the United States government to reduce drinking and crime by outlawing the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages (“Why Prohibition?”). Its passage was the result of a “widespread temperance movement” during the first ten years of the 20th century that sought to end all vices and turn the United States into a land of morality (“Prohibition”). The amendment led to the period in American history known as Prohibition, an era that lasted almost fourteen years and was characterized by “speakeasies, glamor, gangsters, and a period of time in which even the average citizen...   [tags: Prohibition in the United States]

Research Papers
1373 words (3.9 pages)

Essay Prohibition: A Call For Reformation

- During the late eighteenth century, reformers and politics debated the sale of alcohol for many reasons. Issues such as prohibition caused many individuals to engage in politics and propaganda sometimes took the focus off the real problems. President Cleveland won the election in 1884 for the Republican Party, it was said to have been because of a quote by a Republican clergyman. Directed primarily toward Democrats, it labeled them the party of “rum, Romanism, and rebellion.” In 1850 annual consumption of beer had reached up to 2.7 gallons per capita but had risen dramatically to 17.9 gallons per capita in 1880....   [tags: Prohibition, alcohol, history,]

Research Papers
935 words (2.7 pages)

The Backlash of Prohibition Essay

- Although the temperance movement was concerned with the habitual drunk, its primary goal was total abstinence and the elimination of liquor. With the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the well-organized and powerful political organizations, utilizing no holds barred political tactics, successfully accomplished their goal. Prohibition became the law of the land on January 16, 1920; the manufacturing, importation, and sale of alcohol was no longer legal in the United States. Through prohibition, America embarked on what became labeled “the Nobel Experiment.” However, instead of having social redeeming values as ordained, prohibition had the opposite effect of its intended...   [tags: 18th Amendment, Alcohol]

Research Papers
807 words (2.3 pages)

Alcohol Regulations Essay

- What led to the Three-Tier Alcohol Distribution system was popularized belief that alcohol was the problem for the nation’s poverty, crime, violence and other ills. The temperance movement thought that prohibition would be the solution. Upon ratification of the Eighteenth amendment or prohibition, the famous evangelist Billy Sunday said that “The slums will soon be only a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs.” (www.wikipedia .org/wiki/Alcohol during and after prohibition) Before the prohibition, large breweries had their own saloons....   [tags: Alcohol Distribution, Prohibition]

Research Papers
994 words (2.8 pages)

Prohibition Essay examples

- Prohibition The 18th amendment, known as prohibition, had America in fits when it was ratified in 1919. The government was hoping to achieve a healthier, efficient society with good morals and a break for women from receiving beatings from drunken husbands. Although the motives behind prohibition were reasonable, it was so corrupted from the beginning that it never could have successfully been carried out. America became a lawless period, and many Americans felt that if they could get away with ignoring one law, then they did not have to follow any others (Axelrod 239)....   [tags: Alcohol ]

Research Papers
1487 words (4.2 pages)

Prohibition Essay

- On the 18th of December 1917, Congress sent to the states the 18th Amendment, which one-year after ratification on the 16th of January 1818 banned the manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating liquors. In 1919 the Volstead Act defined as "intoxicating" all beverages containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol, which then became illegal once the 18th Amendment went into effect in 1920. Prohibition of alcohol in America between 1920 and 1933 was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and improve health in America....   [tags: American History]

Free Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

Prohibition Essay

- Prohibition The years leading into the 1920's and the prohibition movement were marked with saloons, drunkenness, and a society of increasing alcohol consumption. America's changing social habits brought on the passage of the Eighteenth amendment in 1919, placing a nation-wide ban on intoxicating liquors. This amendment was to prevent the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. As the new law was established, the problem of enforcing Americans to obey the law was a great task as bootleggers illegally continued to traffic alcohol....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
957 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Prohibition

- Prohibition Prohibition, “The Noble Experiment,” was a great and genius idea on paper, but did not go as planned. With illegal activities still increasing and bootlegging at its all time high, it was no wonder the idea crumbled. Could they have revised the law to make it more effective. If so, would the law be in place today, and how would that have changed our lives today. Although it was brief, Prohibition will remain a huge part of America’s history. Completely illegalizing the production and consumption of alcohol was a great plan that ended up being a great failure....   [tags: History Historical Alcohol Essays]

Research Papers
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Related Searches

The Amendment took effect one year later on January 29, 1920. However, in October of 1919, the Volstead Act was passed. The Volstead Act banned all alcohol that had 1/2 % alcohol content. This effectively banned all forms of alcoholic beverages, with the exception of some non-alcoholic beers.
After the 18th amendment was ratified, the Volstead Act was brought into the light by the prohibition supporters. Many of the original supporters of the 18th amendment were left empty handed and felt betrayed.
Another group that felt betrayed were the World War I Veterans, returning home from France and had seen first hand that alcohol in modest quantities could be mixed with everyday life. Coming home from the war and finding out those evangelists, reformers, and dries had won a total victory added to bitterness of the veterans.
All In all, the dries came out of the woodwork and won the battle for prohibition.
The fatal mistake was to ban all types of alcohol, which lost the Prohibition Party and most of it's' followers.
Because prohibition failed, alcohol is a highly abused substance. And for many people drugs and alcohol go hand in hand. The most abused form of alcohol is beer. While the most abused drug is marijuana. Drugs and alcohol often play a role in the three leading causes of death in adults and young adults: motor vehicle crashes, homicides, and suicides. More than 1/3 (41%) of all pedestrians 16 years of age and older, killed in traffic crashes, in 2002, were intoxicated. The highest intoxication rates in fatal accidents in 2002, were recorded for driver 21-24 years old (33%), followed by ages 25-34 (26%), and 35-44 (26%). In these crashes the intoxication rate for pedestrians was nearly triple that rate for drivers- 34% and 13%. 68% of the 34% (15,019) people killed in such crashes, themselves were drunken .The remaining 32%, and were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants. From 1992 to 2002, intoxication rates decreased for drivers of all age groups involved in fatal crashes, except for drivers 45 to 64 years of age.
Approximately one person is injured every two minutes where police report that alcohol or drugs were present. Also, approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2001 for DUI of drugs and narcotics. Such as codeine, heroin, opium, and morphine. Every 1 in 137 people pulled over are for these reasons.
Even worse about 40% of all teens have tried marijuana, 9% have tried cocaine, and 22% use one or the other on a daily basis. Marijuana and crack/cocaine can hinder memory, problem solving, and learning. They can also cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
The highest rates of illicit drug use are found among youth ages 14-17, with marijuana being the most common used. Approximately, 8% of the nations 8th graders; 24% of 10th graders; and 32% of 12th graders have been drunk or high in the last month.
If prohibition had been taken more seriously, drugs and alcohol probably would not be as bad and common as they are. They would still be illegal. Therefore, only certain people would have access to them and fewer deaths would be caused. People smuggling in alcoholic beverages would put in jail and fined, making more people afraid to go out while drunken.
Concluding, prohibition could have helped us out a lot, without being pushed to far. Maybe with prohibition, the United States would be a much better place to live, with much less to worry about.
Return to