Essay about Prohibition in 20th Century America

Essay about Prohibition in 20th Century America

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Prohibition in 20th Century America

In the early part of the 20th century some people had had enough of liquor and its deleterious effects on people and their behavior. Some believed that alcohol, and drunkenness were the most worrying afflictions that our nation faced. At least on the surface this was what prohibition was about. On the flip side, it seemed that prohibition was about "a still dominant, overwhelmingly rural, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant establishment, aware that its privileges and natural right to rule were being increasingly threatened by the massive arrival of largely despised (and feared) beer-swilling, wine-drinking new American immigrants" (Behr, 1996). Many of the "Americans" had descended from Protestant, British roots and felt they had they right and obligation to uphold the moral piety of those around them to ensure the survival of their Religion centered society.

There are other takes though as well, some felt that focusing on Prohibition gave the government an opportunity to avoid more pressing issues concerning the well being of the lower and underprivileged classes, while other also viewed it simply as the nation's ludicrous attempt to control and regulate a well-established social behavior and convention (Behr, 1996). The time of Prohibition followed, or really began in the middle of what was one big whiskey party for a great majority of Americans. During the mid and late 19th century, whiskey by the gallon was used as a common way to barter for other goods. Alcohol was considered good for the body and was used to treat any number of ailments. The consumption of liquor was profuse.

As a natural reaction to growing familiarity that Americans were gaining with alcohol and drunkenn...

... middle of paper ...

... Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America, Arcade Publishing, New York: 1996.

This site includes an in depth history of prohibition as well as the years and attitudes proceeding its enactment. This site includes some pictures and information on related issues.
This site is an interesting, in depth argument and explanation as to why prohibition was an utter failure. It includes graphs and a substantial amount of supporting evidence.
This is a set of lecture notes from a university professor on the politics surrounding prohibition in the 20th century.
This is just a good photo of a lot of beer being destroyed.

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