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

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Introduction

Do these sources support the view that the failure of prohibition was inevitable? Prohibition was introduced in 1920. It banned the making, selling and transporting of alcohol all across America. The law was repealed in 1933; historians question whether the failure was inevitable. Source A is from an American history book, published in 1973. It tells us about the reasons for introducing prohibition and then the consequences that followed. I feel source A does the support the idea that prohibition was bound to fail as it mentions that "no earlier law had gone against the daily customs, habits and desires of so many Americans" meaning that if so many Americans were against this law then they would join together and oppose it, causing an uproar throughout the country. The fact that it is their daily customs would have angered the people of America as they would see being able to drink alcohol as one of their human rights and if you make a law forbidding that then you would not receive the warmest response. With the law in motion a criminal boom occurred and that was the last thing they needed and was definitely one of the main negative results of prohibition. ...read more.

Middle

This shows us that alcohol became more popular over time as more was about. The jump from 414,000 gallons seized to 11,030,000 four years later would also indicate an increase in production, because of these figures it tells us that people did not see the law as an obstacle and merely went around it. In addition it supports source E's claim that drinking had increased during prohibition. Source H is another table of statistics, this time published by the City of Philadelphia Police Department, showing the number of arrest for drinking-related offences, 1920-25. It becomes clear that the amount of alcohol consumed must have soared to create such an increase in a short space of time, going from 14,313 arrests to 45,226 arrests in three years. Source I is a cartoon from the time of prohibition and is titled "The National Gesture". In the cartoon you see a row of men, facing away with their hands out behind their backs. On the back of the men's jackets are written certain job titles all involved in the enforcement of prohibition. This cartoon is meant to raise awareness of the backhanders taken by the law enforcers and as it is a "national gesture" we know that this corruption was widespread throughout the states. ...read more.

Conclusion

Along side the poster is "and our shoes and stockings and food are in the saloon too, and they'll never come out" it again forwards the message that alcohol leads to poverty and neglect as items which are detrimental to living and supporting a family are unattainable as money is wasted on alcohol in the saloon, following the fathers addiction. Source F is an anecdote again however from John F. Kramer, the first prohibition commissioner from 1920. He believes that prohibition will be strictly obeyed throughout the country and has the greatest intentions to make sure that happens although John F. Kramer was not lying this source was written too early on in prohibition for him to see the true results of prohibition, that being not a lot. This source may be misleading to those who have not heard of the consequences of prohibition as John F. Kramer was dead set on the law being followed and had all hopes of its success. In conclusion I believe these sources weigh more towards the view that prohibition was bound to fail as they bring light to the fact that crime had risen throughout the country. Another reason brought up is the lack of law enforcement and corruption throughout the law, without a firm hand there to control the country then all sense would be lost. ?? ?? ?? ?? Laura Hood ...read more.

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