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The History of Prohibition in the United States

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“At least 1,000,000 quarts of liquor is consumed each day in the United States”(Johnson). Setting the stage for the prohibition law took a lot of time and effort, but when it was finally put into place it wasn’t exactly effective. The ban of alcohol in the 1920’s, known as prohibition, lead to an up rise of criminal activity. This became a time of total lawlessness, with corrupt officers, bootleggers, and big time crime bosses such as Al Capone.
The American Temperance Society, founded in 1826, supported the growth of the prohibition (Johnson). Two groups formed through the temperance movement were the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WTCU) and the Anti-Saloon League of America (ASL). Women were very supportive of this movement because their husbands would waste their incomes on liquor and were more likely to abuse their family. One woman that took extreme action was a member of WTCU, Carrie Nation. She destroyed Kansas saloons with her hatchet, which gained her a lot of publicity for the temperance movement but also, eventually, got her arrested. The movement was also supported by those who saw the growth of cities as sinful because of the liquor and bars that come with them. Others saw that the making of liquor was a waste of grain that could be put to use feeding the soldiers. Many other reasons were looked at as bad results of alcohol, which just made the temperance movement grow in strength (King). By 1902 almost all states had temperance instruction laws for schools (Johnson).
16,000 agents were hired to enforce this new law: most of these officers were corrupt in one way or another (SV:SV) (King). As pointed out by Greg Johnson of the Philadelphia tribune, “Such an enormous traffic in liquor could not be ca...

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...he enforcement and result of the prohibition. During this time bootlegging became a big time business, but it stayed in effect long after the law was appealed (Johnson). In 1932 the democratic party got a repeal, and by February 1933 congress proposed the 21st amendment (Prohibition).

Works Cited

“Bootlegging.” Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
“Capone, Al.” Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Johnson, Greg. “States Set the Stage for Prohibition.” Philadelphia Tribune: 14. Jan 16 2007. ProQuest. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
King, David C., Al Capone and the roaring twenties.” Woodbridge: Blackbirch Press, Inc., 1999. Print.
“Prohibition.” Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
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