Violence bloomed, illegal acts flourished, america was in a time of huge unrest: The Prohibition Act. The Prohibition Act which occurred in the 1920’s, started a time in America of immense struggles and obstacles. The government decided to outlaw and ban Alcoholic beverages. This did not reduce crime as intended, but rather it increased it at an unforeseen pace. Bootleg alcohol became very prevalent on the black market as well as mobs started appearing across the country.
In December of 1917 the Eighteenth Amendment or Prohibition Act was passed, outlawing alcohol for American citizens. Thais was a major movement within U.S. history. Drinking increased substantially in the years after the Civil War, causing the desire for change within America. Overall drinking caused a major upset for men and women living within the 20’s. Research has shown that the Prohibition was caused by major social and financial issues, which resulted in negative economic effects and organized crime.
Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took away license to do business from the brewers, distillers, vintners, and the wholesale and retail sellers of alcoholic beverages. The leaders of the prohibition movement were alarmed at the drinking behavior of Americans, and they were concerned that there was a culture of drink among some sectors of the population that, with continuing immigration from Europe, was spreading (“Why Prohibition” 2). Between 1860 and 1880 America's urban population grew from 6 million to more than 14 million people. The mass of this huge increase found itself toiling in factories and sweatshops and living in horrible social conditions; getting drunk was there only highlight in life.
Prohibition was the main goal for many groups like the anti-saloon league and the women temperance union. Those for prohibition believed that alcohol was harmful for many reasons like impacting labor productivity and abuse. They also believed prohibition would erase corruption/crime and to Americanize immigrants, But it was obvious this law would fail . “Congress saw hope in a tax – this time, the return of a federal tax on alcohol. By the time Franklin Roosevelt came out for repeal during the 1932 campaign, it was clear that the 18th Amendment was doomed.” This struggling issue of the 20's was known as “the noble experiment” one that split opinion of the us citizens, prohibition had many reasons to be a controversy but this experiment failed as it should have because the crime rose and it limited peoples freedom and rights.
After a many decades the movements didn’t want to push moderation anymore and started to work for the total prohibition of alcohol. Temperance, the act of removing all alcohol, movements came to blame alcohol for a lot of society’s problems such as murder, muggings, and fights. Saloons, a place to enjoy alcoholic beverages normally quiet and cigar filled, were seen by many and especially women as a bad place to be and to some, evil. (Rosenberg) (Blumenthal) In 1919 the 18th amendment came to be a part of the American Constitution, this prohibited selling and/or making alcohol. The amendment was to take action in 1920, so people began buying tons of hard liquor with which they would use during the up and coming prohibition.
Fisher, Irving. Prohibition at its worst. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1926 4. Kyvig, David E. Repealing National Prohibition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979.
used by everybody, repudiated by nobody” (Cashman 68). Paragraph 2: The Enforcement Before the turn of the century, alcohol abuse was getting out of control. Employees were forced to pay the many liquor-related accidents that occurred at work. Saloons, outnumbering schools, libraries, hospitals, theaters, parks or churches (ns.headroyce 1), were everywhere and competing for the drinker’s money. These saloons had prostitutes, permitted gambling, sold alcohol to minors, encouraged violence and public drunkenness, and were believed to corrupt the local government into passing laws in favor of them.
The staggering amount of alcohol abuse, mainly by men, wrecked havoc on the home lives many; either by lacking income as it was being spent on alcohol, or by domestic abuse. Temperance groups such as Women’s Christian Temperance Union; which fought for women’s rights as well as their dreams of a dry country, and the later Anti-Saloon League strived to get congress to pass an amendment that would abolish the manufacture, distribution, and sale of all liquor. The ASL grew in strength and became a particularly powerful social and political influence, and soon the amendment was ratified. The idea was noble, and for a just cause, however prohibition had the opposite effect than was anticipated. Rather than being the “The great social and economic experiment”(The New Day; Campaign Speeches of Herbert Hoover) that it was supposed to be, it increased crime rates and allowed for the formation of crime syndicates who would make millions in illegal liquor sales through, bootlegging; the illegal production of alcohol, and rum-running; the smuggling of liquor into the United States that was legally produced elsewhere.
The temperance and reform movements of the late Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century were partitioned into many small groups. The two most influential groups; however, were the Anti-Saloon League and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Women at this time were unhappy because men were drinking extremely too much, and women could legally do nothing about it. Since women at this time could not file for divorce, they had no other choice but to try get rid of alcohol altogether (Blocker 10-13). This was not only the first major women’s movement in history (Cayton 2139), but also one of the largest nonviolent movements of the modern world (Behr 35-36).
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.