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Prohibition, which was also known as The Noble Experiment, lasted in America from 1920 until 1933. There are quite a few results of this experiment: innocent people suffered; organized crime grew into an empire; the police, courts, and politicians became increasingly corrupt; disrespect for the law grew; and the per capita consumption of the prohibited substance—alcohol—increased dramatically, year by year. These results increased each of the thirteen years of this Noble Experiment, and they never returned to the levels that existed before 1920. Prohibition did not happen instantly, it settled on the country gradually, community by community, town by town, and eventually state by state for almost a century. The onset of National Prohibition in 1920 was merely the final blow. The first of the laws, such as the one in Virginia in 1619, through New Hampshire's law of 1719 were against drunkenness, not against drinking. The first law that limited liquor sales was implemented because of the religious beliefs of citizens. This particular law was passed in New York in 1697; it ordered that all public drinking establishments be closed on Sunday because, on the Lord's day, people should be worshiping the Bible not the bottle. In 1735, the religious had a prohibition law enacted for the entire state of Georgia. The law was a complete failure and was abandoned in 1742. For the most part, however, during the 1700s and early 1800s, those opposing liquor on religious grounds used sermons and persuasion rather than politics and laws to make their point. These persuasive efforts were known as the Temperance Movement, and its goal was to get everyone to voluntarily temper use of spirits. Maine went completely dry in 1851 and, by 1855, so had New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York Alabama passed a Prohibition law in 1907 which became effective on January 1, 1909. Also in Alabama, the publishing of liquor advertisements and the circulation of other materials containing alcohol and liquor advertisements were prohibited in 1915. By 1920, thirty-three states encompassing 63% of the country had already voted themselves dry (Cherrington 344).

The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the necessary number of states on January 29, 1919 ...


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... 166-169)

There were also many people who were harmed financially by Prohibition. The people that were involved in the production and the sale of alcohol. These people either had to completely lose their jobs or literally become criminals. There were also the thousands of people that worked in the various bars, hotels, restaurants and the like that their livelihood depended on the sale of alcohol. “No beer, no work,” was a slogan that was adopted by the Essex county New Jersey Building Trades Council (Pegram 91-95).

Also, from an economic standpoint Prohibition was very expensive. To be able to figure out the exact financial cost to America during this thirteen year period would be almost impossible. The costs to the law enforcement offices, the courts, the operation of the jails and many other factors has been estimated at over a billion dollars. (Fisher 102)

Prohibition also had a few good effects on America. Women took an important though small step toward personal freedom, and for a while lawmakers were slightly less likely to prohibit things (Rose 131). Though the effects of this time period were mostly negative Prohibition’s effects on America are still seen today.






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