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Consider the interpretation that prohibition was only repealed because it had failed as legislation and was proving too much to enforce.

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Introduction

Consider the interpretation that prohibition was only repealed because it had failed as legislation and was proving too much to enforce. Prohibition was introduced in 1919 in response to the growing support of its legislation. The Women's Christian Temperance Society (WCTS) firstly a local campaigning force had grown considerably to a national level. The society argued that for moral issues and for the bettering of society the consumption of alcohol should be made illegal. WWI and the level of patriotism brought about also helped in the passing of prohibition. This was because most of the major brewers were German. Women, Protestants, Southerners, businessmen and factory owners supported prohibition. They believed that to create a more effective and efficient society alcohol had to be removed. It was also argued that a large amount of the family income was spent on alcohol instead of the family. With an influx of immigrants came a new culture to America. Alcohol and drinking played a big part in the lives Immigrants especially those from Eastern and Southern Europe. ...read more.

Middle

They often turned a blind eye to their activities, as did most Americans. Gangsters like Al Capone who had superstar status claimed that if there was no demand one would be foolish to provide the alcohol. This would seem to be quite true of American society. The number of bars doubled during prohibition then before it. This would suggest that the Americans quite liked to drink, unlike what the WCTS hoped would happen. They believed that by making alcohol illegal consumption would fall dramatically and that society would benefit morally. Prohibition did enjoy some successes, the banning of all consumption of alcohol led to a dramatic rise in the price of drinks due to the short fall in supply of alcohol. This made acquiring it harder and at first drinking of alcohol declined. However this was short lived and alcohol was smuggled in from Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. Bootleggers smuggled in alcohol under the protection of gangsters. Improvements in the quality of health and an increase in medical awareness also helped bring down consumption of alcohol. ...read more.

Conclusion

One could not however put down the repealing of prohibition to its failure as legislation as one could argue its demise was fixed more by events out of its control rather then its own weaknesses. The repeal of Prohibition finally came about in 1934. This was due to the governments inability to effectively enforce the laws resulting in growing opposition to it. The catalyst which spurred the on the repeal movement was the depression that followed the Wall Street crash. The return of the brewing industry was needed to help regenerate the economy and provide more jobs. A further factor was the reduction in government revenue from sale of alcohol. Many industrialists believed that an increase in taxes would reduce their own tax burdens. Prohibition was not a complete failure it managed to reduce the consumption of alcohol, which it did. Many historians argue that the potential for a rise in organised crime was inevitable and would have occurred without prohibition. It is likely that without the great depression prohibition would have remained on the statue books for a much longer time and may have contributed to a longer-term reduction in the consumption of alcohol. Hashim chaudri ...read more.

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