English III Honors P. 1
4 May 2004
“Prohibition: The Noble Experiment”
“Prohibition, sometimes referred to as the noble experiment, did not achieve its goals. It did the exact opposite by adding to the problems that it was intended to solve” (Thorton). It is also considered to be the thirteen years that damaged America. On January 16, 1920 one of the most disobeyed laws was put into effect. The 18th amendment, also known as Prohibition, was ineffective and caused more corruption in America with the rise of organized crime and the increase in alcohol consumption.
Prohibition had many different purposes; one was to reduce the consumption of alcohol by Americans. This was going to fail no matter what because if you are told not to do something only going to want to do it more. That is just human nature. It also focused on reducing crime, corruption, poverty, death rates, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America (Thorton). Not only did it not accomplish this but it did the exact opposite. And lastly it focused to improve the economy and the quality of life.
Theoretically Prohibition was feasible, but in reality it had too many flaws. For one it was unenforceable. This is defiantly the biggest problem. What good is
law if you can not enforce it? Fiorella H. LaGuardia was a prominent New York City politician who served several terms in the House of Representatives. He said, “It is impossible to tell whether Prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has never been enforced in this country.” Even he was a realist that could see that this experiment was going to fail.
Prohibition was not a new concept for Americans in the 1920’s. In fact, it was part of society since the 1600’s. The feminist movement originated early in the 1800's. Until the 1870's, however, feminine involvement in the temperance effort was largely peripheral. The Women's Crusade of 1873 and the organization of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in 1874 marked the formal...
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1. Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1996.
2. Bowen, Ezra, Ed. This Fabulous Century: Vol. 6. New York: Time Life Books, 1969
3. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett.
New York: Bantam, 1981.
4. McGrew, Lang. “History of Alcohol Prohibition.” Online. 13 April 2004. http://www.druglibrary.org./schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/nc/nc2a.htm.
5. McWilliams, Peter. “Prohibition: A Lesson In The Futility (and danger) Of Prohibition.” Online. 13 April 2004. http://www.mcwilliams. com/books/aint/402.htm
6. Thorton, Mark. “Policy Analysis: Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure.” Online. 17 July 1991. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-157.html
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