No Prohibitions, No Problem?

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After the Revolutionary War, alcohol consumption increased as did the idea to reform America’s growing consumption. The Temperance Movement of the 1800s attempted to regulate the availability of alcohol by forming groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the American Temperance Society. These groups helped the eventual ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment. Section one of the Eighteenth Amendment of the U.S Constitution states, “After one year from ratification of this article the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors, within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States, and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof, for beverage purposes, is hereby prohibited” (Boyer, et al.). This meant it was illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcoholic beverages in the United States. Fourteen years after ratification, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in December of 1933 when the Twenty First Amendment was ratified. In the short time Prohibition was a national law, the United States underwent a profound transformation. Most people in favor of Prohibition believed that passing the Eighteenth Amendment and laws like it would boost several flailing industries. Prohibition caused many industries to decline, showed the deep seeded corruption of government officials and law enforcement, and generated a crime wave that propagated gangsters of the 1920s. The Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act, and other laws like it provided loopholes that were easy for the savvy to take advantage of. Although many of the reasons for the passage of Prohibition were considered noble, most of the effects did more harm than good. Prohibition had a profound effect... ... middle of paper ... ...fits. While some of the statistics of the time are unreliable, it is very clear that in many parts of the United States more people were drinking. Although their intentions were good, Prohibition supporters caused more problems than they solved. Works Cited Andersen, Lisa. Prohibition. n.d. 23 February 2014. Benson, Sonia, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr. and Rebecca Valentine. Student Resources in Context. 2009. 7 February 2014. Blocker, Jr., Jack S. “Did Prohibition Really Work? Alcoholic Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation”. Am J Public Health (2006): 233-234 Boyer, Paul S., et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Seventh Edition, AP* Edition. Boston: Wadsworth, 2008. Lerner, Michael. Prohibition: Unintended Consequences |PBS. N.d. 7 February 2014. .

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