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Do these sources support the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable?

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Introduction

History Coursework - (f) Koral Jackson 10R Study all the sources. Do these sources support the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable? This question is difficult to answer because most of the sources are based around what did happen rather than what was going to happen. Some sources say that the failure of Prohibition was likely, but not inevitable. The last sentence of Source A is "no earlier law had gone against the daily customs, habits and desires of so many Americans." This is pointing out that Prohibition was always bound to fail because "so many Americans" were against it. It is a fact that huge numbers of Americans were disobeying the Prohibition laws - we can see this clearly in sources G and H. The message Source A gives out is that Prohibition was never given a proper chance to work, because the American people who it affected were not prepared to give up their "daily customs, habits, and desires" so easily. It also did not help that the police were often not doing their job properly, and instead of enforcing Prohibition where criminals were found, they would often accept bribes and keep quiet about it. ...read more.

Middle

The artists must have realised that the Prohibition laws were not going to go down well unless the public could see the point of it, and so there is also a slight worry behind these posters that the public were not going to be talked into Prohibition easily. The writer of Source E says that he hoped that Prohibition would be "widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognised." This shows that there was some hope among people that Prohibition would work, and not everyone was against the idea. It could also be showing that propaganda was working, and public opinion (among some people at least) was now in agreement with the law. This would therefore be showing that Prohibition was on it's way to success, as long as more people saw the propaganda that would change their minds about drinking. Source F definitely does not agree with the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. It is the first Prohibition Commissioner talking, and he was confident that Prohibition would work, whether people liked it or not: "The law will be obeyed... ...read more.

Conclusion

It describes how people wouldn't allow the police to enforce the law, and they would give the police money to keep them quiet: "A man dashed up to me and said, 'This is for you'. He handed me an envelope... I opened it and there was $75 in it." This shows that Prohibition was very likely to fail, because the police were not doing their job, and if no one was enforcing Prohibition properly, then success was completely out of reach. In conclusion, these are the overall messages given in each source; Source A suggests that Prohibition was never given a proper chance to work. Source B is saying that Prohibition had a good chance of success. Sources C and D do not agree with the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. Source E shows that there was some hope among people that Prohibition would work. Source F definitely does not agree with the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. Sources G and H do not show that Prohibition was a success, but they were not showing it's failure was inevitable either. Source I is agreeing with the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. Source F shows that Prohibition was very likely to fail. ...read more.

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