The Policy Of National Prohibition Essay

The Policy Of National Prohibition Essay

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Assess the view that the policy of National Prohibition (1919-33) created more problems than it solved.

Prohibition was intended to reduce the manufacture and distribution of alcohol, and hence reduce the amount of crime, poverty and death rates, as well as improve the economy and the quality of life. Arguably, prohibition solved some of the problems to do with alcohol consumption of those from a low status background, as they could not afford drinks from new illegal establishments such as speakeasies. However, critics argue that the “noble experiment,” failed well before it was repealed in 1933. For example, although prohibition eradicated saloons, they were replaced by illegal bars known as speakeasies. Prohibition also led to other types of new crimes such as bootlegging, an increase in moonshines and the selling of poisonous alcoholic concoctions such as Soda Pop Moon. It also increased the rate of organised crime and gang warfare. Moreover, the fact that drinking was a traditional custom in America made it even more difficult to enforce. Consequently, the policy of National Prohibition created more problems than it solved by the increase of crime and overall alcohol consumption.

One of the problems that prohibition solved was that it led to the decline in the number of domestic violences. Parrish is right to claim that domestic violence was one of society’s major problems as it was one of the most reported offences. Pickett rightly supports this claim, as “wife beating and lack of family support decreased by 82%.” Alcohol clearly played a major role in this because men who drank it in excessive amounts regularly would have (revise) . Indeed, feminists correctly argue later on that liquor was the “leading source of physical...


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...he fact that it sharply increased by the penultimate years of Prohibition, suggested that the demand of alcohol was so strong, which led to the rise of organised crime, such as bootlegging, speakeasies and criminal gangs. Ultimately, Prohibition was not a healthy move because many people decided to turn to more dangerous substitutes such as heroin, hashish and cannabis. This had serious health consequences, such as addiction and shortened life expectancy. Due to the immense geographical size of America, prohibition was difficult to enforce, which also led to corruption. The limited number of underpaid police officers were usually bribed by illegal establishments to remain silent. Willoughby’s point is agreeable that the failure of prohibition was largely due to the fact that it was over-ambitious, resulting in many problems in America, that led to its repeal in 1933.

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