The Failure of the Prohibition Act of 1920 Essay

The Failure of the Prohibition Act of 1920 Essay

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In 1919 the Constitution of the United States issued the 18th amendment, enforced into law as the National Prohibition Act of 1920. Prohibition is the banning of the manufacture, sale, and possession of alcohol, including beer and wine. This amendment was repealed with the passing of the 21st amendment to the constitution, allowing the possession of alcohol in the United States. In the City of Washington on Monday, December 5th, 1932 the 21st amendment document included the reestablished rights of the citizens restricted by the 18th amendment. (Appendix II) The 18th amendment was the first and only amendment repealed by the constitution, allowing people to possess, sell, and buy their own alcohol.
Prohibition not only failed in its promises of providing a solution to poverty, crime, violence, and other ills during the 20th century, but it actually increased and created additional social problems. There are many contributions to the passing of the 21st amendment, although the main reason for repealing prohibition was crime. The most significant causes in the increase in crime because of prohibition were several notorious criminals including George Remus and AL Capone. Prohibition was added to the constitution in hopes to control crime and corruption in the United States, although it had the opposite effect. In the beginning of the 20th century, the two most significant factors leading to the passing of the 21st amendment were the bootlegging industry of George Remus and the organized crime led by Al Capone, not the economic downfall during that time.
The issue of prohibition was a big controversy in the United States during the early 1900s. In 1933, 43 of the 48 states had passed laws in order for action to take place in passing...


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...mes. Prohibition created more senseless violence with Al Capone’s organized crime business and turned many gang members into bootleggers. With the help of George Remus and Al Capone, the U.S. government weakened and the power of the people was exposed. Crime was out of control during this time and all of the “evils” of alcohol which the 18th amendment was supposed to outlaw, were greatly sparked. On December 5th, 1933, the Daily Mirror newspaper announced that Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment and prohibition came to an end. (Appendix I) The two most substantial causes to the passing of the 21st amendment were George Remus’s bootlegging industry and Al Capone’s organized crime business; whereas the idea that the stock market crash and the Great Depression was the main factor to repealing prohibition is false and otherwise not as significant.


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