History Of Alcohol Prohibition

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Alcohol Prohibition By: Sam Maggert Alcohol prohibition was called “The Noble Experiment”. (Thornton) Prohibition of alcohol existed from 1920 to 1933. When the government approved the 18th amendment it caused crime rates to increase drastically because citizens thought it was their right to consume. After the American Revolution, drinking was on the rise. To combat this, a number of societies were organized as part of a new Temperance movement which attempted to dissuade people from becoming intoxicated. At first, these organizations pushed moderation, but after several decades, the movement's focus changed to complete prohibition of alcohol consumption. (Brayton) By the turn of the century, temperance societies were a common fixture in communities across the United States. Women played a strong role in the temperance movement, as alcohol was seen as a destructive force in families and marriages. In 1906, a new wave of attacks began on the sale of liquor, led by the Anti-Saloon League (established in 1893) and driven by a reaction to urban growth, as well as the rise of evangelical Protestantism and its view of saloon culture as corrupt and ungodly. In addition, many factory owners supported prohibition in their desire to prevent accidents and increase the efficiency of their workers in an era of increased industrial production and extended working hours. ( Staff) The Temperance movement blamed alcohol for many of society's ills, especially crime and murder. Saloons, a social haven for men who lived in the still untamed West, were viewed by many, especially women, as a place of debauchery and evil. Prohibition, members of the Temperance movement urged, would stop husbands from spending all the family income on a... ... middle of paper ... ...required to sell alcohol, and those that did still had difficulty obtaining alcohol to serve. Some legal establishments were forced to buy directly from speakeasies and bootleggers. Others opened up stock remaining from pre-Prohibition days as well as bottles purchased in the ensuing years under medicinal permits. (Brayton) President Roosevelt helped end prohibition. In 1933, wide spread disillusionment (disappointment) led congress to ratify the 21st amendment, which repealed prohibition. Prohibition didn’t achieve its goals; instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve. They believed that prohibition would reduce the number of deaths, divorces, accidents, and poverty. This is ironic because the prohibitionists’ original plan back fired and did the exact opposite. The results of the experiment clearly indicate failure on all accounts. (Thornton)
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