• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

Extracts from this document...


Lia Camilleri History - Prohibition Coursework 1. Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919? In the mid-19th century Abraham Lincoln said that intoxicating liquor was 'used by everybody, repudiated by nobody' and that it came a form of society. By the 1820s people in the United States were drinking, on average, 27 litres of pure alcohol per person each year, and many religious and political leaders were beginning to see drunkenness as a national curse. By the end of the 19th century, two powerful pressure groups, the 'Anti-Saloon league' and the 'Women's Christian Temperance Union' had been established in America. The anti-saloon league (ASL) was part of the 'Women's War'. Thousands of women marched from church meetings to saloons, where with song and prayer they demanded that saloonkeepers give up their businesses. They believed that alcohol was ungodly, evil and wasteful, and were campaigning for a total legal ban on alcoholic drink. ...read more.


Posters had often used children to win peoples support, which was put up by the ASL. They also showed husbands that had their family to support were spending all their money in the saloons, so families went without food and the essentials. The mother and children often had to cope with the drunken husband being violent to his family. Saloons were also very popular because they would often give free meals depending on how much alcohol the customer bought, but in some areas free meals were enforced because the authorities were worried about the effects of drinking on an empty stomach. Often there was entertainment, such as singers and dancers, because there was a lot of money to be made from a good saloon a lot more people opened their own. By 1909 there was one saloon for every three Americans, and there were more saloons than churches, schools or hospitals. ...read more.


Two US Senators, Reed and Randall, who were against closing the saloons, tried a plan, which was they proposed a law that they thought was ridiculous that everyone in the senate would see how impractical Michigan had been. They proposed that all alcohol should be banned including alcohol in private homes. Unfortunately, the US Senate thought this was a good idea and passed it. Alcohol and drunkenness were seen as the root of many evils including crime, sexual immortality and poverty. So strong was the campaign that even many 'wets' who enjoyed drink were unwilling to publicly oppose the Anti-Saloon League, and politicians were reluctant to oppose prohibition for fear of losing votes. By January, 1919, 75% of the states in America had approved the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution stated that '... the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within ... the United States ... for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited'. A separate law called the Volstead Act defined 'intoxicating liquor containing more than 0.5 per cent alcohol', and this was passed in 1920. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Consider whether the activities of pressure groups help or hinder the operation of a ...

    More often than not, wealthy groups get their own way. They can afford to bid for ex-Congressmen to lobby for them and give them access to the decision makers. The "Revolving Door" is where the most effective lobbyists are drawn from; people who have finished their term in Congress are

  2. The Religious Right

    changed to meet the new restrictions; whereby all references to 'creation' and 'creationism' were changed to 'intelligent design'. Charles Thraxton passed on the phrase a year later to Steven Meyer, a founder of the Discovery Institute. The overall goal of the IDM is to "overthrow materialism" and atheism.

  1. The Political System of the USA

    The first 10 amendments, known as "the Bill of Rights', were added in a group in 1791. These amendments establish the individual rights and freedoms to all people of the states, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship etc.

  2. The 1820 Missouri Compromise.

    This conciliated legislation was named the Thomas Proviso, and is primarily referred to as the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The provisions were as follows: (1) 'Admit Missouri as a slave state in accordance with the initial request for statehood'. (2)

  1. Ethnic minorities in the USA

    Immigrants have brought with them a host of problems - cultural differences and language barriers etc that are not easily resolved and sometimes lead to hostilities. Some states (like California and Texas)

  2. The Separation of Church and State in America.

    equal rights movement.In the past, Arkansas had an anti-sodomy law specifically prohibiting same-sex actions that was upheld and strongly enforced for many years before it was struck down by the supreme court for violating privacy (Waltzer, gay rights on trial).

  1. Power in America. The idea that the rich run America has been encompassed in ...

    Since Mills' time various other organized groups have gained in power as well. The new elites in America include public interest movement, federal bureaucracy, and national media network. Today, these groups must also be included in any definition of power elite in the United States.

  2. How far do you agree the USA remains a global hegemony today?

    into question. The global crisis has also allowed China and India to overtake the U.S in terms of economic growth. The strength of the American economic system lies wholly in its ability to work within all frameworks and not just within a select few.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work