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

America: Prohibition Sources Question

Extracts from this document...


Name: Sam Koprowski Candidate Number: 7393 School: George Ward Centre Number: 66633 America: Prohibition 1) This poster, published in 1910 by the anti-saloon league, shows what the anti-saloon league has against the making, selling and consumption of alcohol. The most obvious argument is that men waste their money on alcohol in bars. This is put across clearly by the image of a man handing over a bag of money with 'weeks wages' written on it to the Bartender. The next point is the fact that the bartender is smiling with open hands, as he is perfectly happy to accept the man's money. Another part of the poster that shows this factor is the title, "The Poor Man's Club: the most expensive in the world to belong to". This is all linked into the first section of writing; whish says that the alcohol trade is a slave trade and that 'It is natural, of course, that the slaveholder should not care to liberate these slaves'. Another link to the man wasting money is the inset picture of a distraught wife, and a child holding an empty bowl. The caption in the inset is 'the saloon is well named "the poor man's club", it keeps its members and their families always poor'. It is pointing out that married men are not just wasting their own money; it affects their families too. The poster says 'a member of the club in good standing paying his dues'. This is referring to the man who is giving the bartender his money. This implies that the man does this regularly. This also links in with the distraught wife, as she would be upset because her husband would be home late and would be drunk. ...read more.


If I break the law, my customers are as guilty as I am. You can't cure thirst by law". This shows that the main reason that prohibition failed was that there was not enough support by the public. Most of the support came from strict Christians who believed that alcohol was evil, and from the powerful businessmen who wanted their workers to be more efficient. When you take this into account, it is not surprising that there was not much support for prohibition, as the average American would probably look to alcohol as a way to relax or as a means of celebration, and so they would not have taken to the idea of alcohol being illegal. Many ordinary people would not have liked the idea of prohibition, but the key factor is that the people who were likely to support prohibition were also likely to be the people with more political power. This meant that the people who made the decision to enforce prohibition would have been likely to be biased in it's favour, and this would explain why the prohibition laws were not supported by the majority of the general public. Capone's statement also brings out another point: the fact that he, one of the most powerful gangsters around at that time, was willing to supply the public's needs. With alcohol in such high demand, the profits became a very tempting attraction for organised criminals in America. And with the big criminals behind the alcohol trade, it became much easier for it to be produced in large quantities and be supplied in proper establishments, especially when gang leaders such as Capone had influence with the politicians. And due to the fact that they were large organisations they were able to bribe prohibition agents, and if they could not be bribed, then they used force. ...read more.


The rackets may not have actually been directly run by Capone, and would have been a remainder of the previous methods of gaining a living for the gangs before the prohibition. As for the killings, many of them were not actually performed by Capone, and they were only killing other criminals, which could be said to have been doing the public a service. Also, it is on record that Capone paid the medical bills for a woman bystander who was injured during a gang battle. Another good deed that he did for the public was to set up many soup kitchens for the poor and homeless around Christmas time. He did many things in style, such as after one of the members of an opposing gang was murdered; he had thousands of dollars worth of flowers sent to his funeral. Many saw him simply as an aggressive, successful, and intelligent businessman who did what was necessary to ensure the security of himself and his businesses. I see him as more of a businessman than a murderer. He obviously did not intend any casualties or injuries on anyone other than those who offered direct opposition to him and posed a threat to either his businesses or his life. Most of his money was gained by supplying alcohol and venues at which to drink it, mainly in Chicago but also in the other states of America. He displayed an indifference to those who did not directly concern him, but he did also show kindness on occasions in the form of the soup kitchens and shelters, and when he paid the injured woman's medical bills. I agree with both sides of the argument, that the title 'Public Enemy No. 1' was suited to him for his killings, but for his alcohol supplying business, I do not believe this was an appropriate title for him. 7) 8) 9) 10) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 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 GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. History - Prohibition

    The corruption was so high in Chicago that as Al Capone said: "I could count the honest lawmakers in Chicago on one hand". Although there were some law enforcers who were not corrupt, there were far too few agents to enforce the law even if none of them accepted bribes.

  2. There are many contributing factors to why prohibition was introduced on 16 January 1920. ...

    It was people from urban middle classes that enjoyed these times and was a lot different from before prohibition was introduced. Prohibition was designed to make American morally higher, but this didn't work at all. Prohibition made ordinary people support breaking the law and even if they where not breaking the law it was encouraging other people to do so.

  1. prohibition of alcohol in america

    Source B strongly agrees with prohibition. It sees alcohol as a negative "evil" substance with bad affects on the American population. The source mainly describes how and when prohibition came into power with a positive attitude. "In 1917 a nation wide campaign...

  2. Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as Public Enemy Number ...

    Capone used this power to manipulate them into respecting him. The newspapers would always show Al in a good way so to stay on his good side. An example of this is Source I, where Al Capone is on the cover of TIME, a leading US weekly newsmagazine.

  1. Prohibition. Sources A and B are from the same time period, the 1970s. This ...

    He has no reason to be biased.. As he says "I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of "alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result" This shows how he wanted the

  2. To what extent did America

    For those who owned land in Hollywood that previously had little value suddenly made their fortune as the rich of the entertainment industry moved in and built palatious homes. This gave rise to an increase in the number and wages of the building contractors in the area.

  1. Prohibition of Alcohol.

    Source D is from "The American Issue" which is an 'anti-alcohol paper', which is dated 16th January 1920. The idea behind this article was that without alcohol, America would be a better nation, in fact its slogan was, "A Saloonless Nation and a Stainless Flag" This meant, no alcohol, any 'stains' on America.

  2. Prohibition 1920 Sources Question

    It was also meant to solve the problems of society, such as marriages, unwanted pregnancies and violence. All this was blamed on the influence of alcohol. The source doesn't mention any of these problems, how or even why prohibition spread through America.

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