The 18th Amendment

The 18th Amendment

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To drink or no? Ever since the first people stumbled across alcohol (and then each other) this has been a question commonly asked. Statistics show that a majority of domestic violence, automobile accidents, and rape, all involve (many times) alcohol. Whether one thinks consumption is "right" or not has been asked by people for people from time to time. This would be the case of the 18th Amendment of 1919.

The Act passed by those concerned with the above-mentioned problems, prohibited the vending, transportation of, and consumption of alcohol. The law was intended to be enforced nation-wide. Police raided and trashed many vendors to stop their trade. Sometimes however, the police took their share of the whiskey they were supposed to break, and paid reporters to look the other way. On the whole, prohibition was effective in smaller town/cities, but worked a bit less in the larger cities.

It is said that for every market that is destroyed, a new underground market is created. This was exactly the case with prohibition. Though domestic violence did decrease, much crime increased. Bootlegers (people who made/sold their own whiskey) popped up everywhere. Speakeasies, which were underground bars, were frequented by virtually everyone. Seceret drinking was considered a glamorous thing-even in Washington parties. Bootlegging gangs began to increase, thus an increase in street crime occured. One of the most famous of these gangsters was Al Capone. Capone's bootlegging ring earned him approximately 60,000,000 dollars a year. One example of gang related crime was the St. Valentines Day Massacre, in which Capones's gang gunned down and killed seven members of "Bugs" Morgans' gang.

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