History, Social Factors and Economic Impac of the Prohibition of Alcohol in the United States

History, Social Factors and Economic Impac of the Prohibition of Alcohol in the United States

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This current paper will examine the history, social factors, and economic impact of the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2011) delve into the topic of alcohol in America in their documentary Prohibition, and this paper will discuss the events before, during, and after the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. This paper will also relate the prohibition of alcohol to the current drug policies of cocaine in the United States. Alcohol and cocaine were both prohibited in the United States in the early 1900’s. Cocaine was used as an anesthesia and medication in the early days of America until the drug was abused, and the legislature of the day deemed cocaine a dangerous drug. Americans would lose interest in cocaine until the 1960’s and then the drug would become even more popular in the 1980’s (Spillane, 1998). Today cocaine is one of the most prominent substances in the war on drugs.
Alcohol today is a staple in American culture. In the 1800’s Americans would find any or every reason to drink at just about any occasion, and after the invention of whiskey, rum, and hard liquor the dangers would be noticeable (Burns & Novick, 2011). Soon some Americans would turn against alcohol and its effects on the morals of society. The early temperance movements would argue that men were spending all their earnings on alcohol, and alcohol would destroy the moral fabric of many families due to domestic abuse and poverty. Lyman Beecher would be one of the first people to speak against alcohol and start the wheels in motion toward the temperance movement. American men would develop several movements against the consumption, sale, and manufacture of alcohol such as, the Sons of Temperance, the...

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...dangers and prohibition was an excellent example of how a drug policy may cause more trouble that it is worth. Cocaine in the U. S. is totally illegal, but some of the medicinal uses of the leaves are of some value to those South Americans that use coca leaves for the beneficial reasons. America might benefit from the legal use of coca leaves, and this could alleviate the many problems with cocaine in South America and in the United States. History has shown us that if a substance is illegal or unattainable that the substance will then become more desirable.
Burns, K., & Novick, L. (Directors). (2011). Prohibition [Television Series]. United States: Public Broadcasting Service.
Spillane, J. (1998). Did drug prohibition work? Reflections on the end of the first cocaine experience in the United States, 1910-45. Journal of Drug Issues, 28(2), 517-538.

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