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

Do these two sources prove that Prohibition was successful?

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework - (d) Koral Jackson 10R Study Sources G and H. Do these two sources prove that Prohibition was successful? Sources G and H are both tables of statistics from the 1920's. There are two different ways of interpreting Source G, and it all depends on assumption. Source G shows that over the period of 1921 to 1929 the number of illegal stills seized and gallons of spirits seized increased considerably. Therefore, this could mean that the police were improving their efficiency and catching more criminals. This would seem to prove that Prohibition was successful - but only if we are assuming that the number of illegal stills and gallons of spirit were either staying relatively the same or decreasing. However, the major problem with these statistics is that the number of illegal stills and gallons of spirit that there were altogether is unknown. In other words, it is possible that the number of criminals were rapidly increasing over the years, and in fact the police were not catching anywhere near as many of them as they should have been to be successful. ...read more.


Ignoring this exception, and assuming that the number of drunks at any one time was staying approximately the same, Source H is proving that the police were doing a successful job in enforcing Prohibition. We can see this because over time the police were arresting more and more drunks. However, if we were to assume that the number of drunks were increasing over time, then it is impossible to say how well the police were doing, because we do not know how many people were drunk every year in comparison to how many people were getting caught. Therefore, the success rate is impossible to judge. Focussing on the exceptional figure previously mentioned, it could be argued that the drunks were learning their lesson and therefore there were less drunks to be caught altogether, in which case Prohibition had been a success in that area. But it could also be argued that the police were slacking, and they were simply not taking as much notice of the drunks as they had done before. ...read more.


I have been assuming that they are not, meaning the figures show totally new amounts for each year, but if they are cumulative, then that could entirely change the extent of the success of Prohibition. A final consideration to make for these sources is that they were produced by the police. The purpose of these statistics was therefore very likely to be to prove to the public what a good job the police were doing in enforcing Prohibition. This would suggest that, although statistics are one of the most reliable sources of evidence, in this case it is possible that they were altered for impressionable reasons (i.e. they wanted to make the public believe that the enforcement of Prohibition was succeeding whether it was or not). In conclusion, Sources G and H cannot be "proving" the success of Prohibition. There are different arguments for both sources and we simply cannot judge the rate or extent of success without knowing the total amounts, or knowing for certain that the police didn't alter any of the figures. ...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. Prohibition Sources Coursework.

    sentence is finished with, "And our shoes and stockings and food are in the saloon too, and they'll never come out." They do not mean this literally. The caption means that the money this family needs to buy clothes, shoes and food is being spent inside the saloon, so they will have to go without.

  2. History depth study coursework-USA 1919-1945.

    We also have to take into consideration the periods of time these sources were written in. the sources that do not show that the failure was inevitable were written before or show the start of Prohibition. Source G and H both are the statistics which may be slightly unreliable as

  1. Prohibition Sources Coursework

    However, Source E offers precise statistics from which we can infer that after the introduction of prohibition in January 1920 alcohol related offences dramatically increased which neither Source C or D suggest. 3. Source B talks of an idealistic America were there will be no saloons, no more poverty caused

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

    Source F was written when John F. Kramer, the first prohibition commissioner was speaking in publish in 1920; just after it started. His job was to enforce the law. This immediately suggests the source will be biased as his job is to enforce prohibition so he will express thing in the favour of prohibition.

  1. Prohibition Sources Questions

    the source is only useful because of the exaggeration that persaudes public to see how alcahol affected the American lifestyle, by the Anti-Saloon League. 2. Sources C and D offers a photographic insight to the problems which faced law enforcement agents once prohibition was in full flight.

  2. Study sources G and H - Do these sources prove that Prohibition was successful?

    increased to 12,023 in 1925, and then later increased to 15,794 in 1929. This shows that the police were doing their job as more people were being caught. These are actual figures produced by the Federal Government. This shows a success as Prohibition is being enforced with effect.

  1. Free essay

    Do these two sources prove that Prohibition was successful?

    I can support this because if you look at source I it says "The national gesture", which meant that everyone was taking bribes, including the federal agents.

  2. America In 1920’s Sources Coursework

    "An Extract from Modern World History, by Ben Walsh, published in 1996" is a very useful secondary source which agrees with this statement. He uses the benefits of hindsight to report on the situation seventy years previous, but it has brevity of facts.

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