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Explain why prohibition became law in the USA in 1919

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Prohibition Coursework 1. Explain why prohibition became law in the USA in 1919 (15 Marks) Prohibition was introduced in 1919 and was due to many different reasons. This was not a new idea to the USA because the movement had already begun in 1830 when women opposed men drinking. Although the law against the sale and the transport action of alcohol in America was passed by congress in 1917, it did not come to effect until midnight of January 16, 1920. Drink was prohibited during 1920-193. It was seen to be associated with violence and lawlessness. Mostly women were against alcohol because they wanted to keep the family together. Alcohol was seen to cause crime, ill health and poverty. In 1851, Maine was the first American state to ban alcohol. 13 other states then banned alcohol. These were mainly the east states. By 1914, half of Americas 48 states were already dry. It was voted by congress in 1917 that level on alcohol of beer should be cut and no longer be sold to army bases. They thought this could damage America's army. America banning alcohol was largely due to their intolerance as a country. ...read more.


His message reached Elizabeth Thompson whose crusade during the 1870s against saloons attracted many townspeople. These occurred in Ohio and as far as California. This whole temperance crusade started the churches involvement in banning alcohol and in the winter of 1874 the National Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was created. The Women's Christian Temperance Union first major triumph was that they succeed in making it compulsory in all public schools to teach a course on the evils of drink. Throughout the years the WCTU went to many different saloons and even joined up with the Anti-Saloon League. The Prohibition Party owed much of its success to the WCTU. Another Prohibition Leader was Carry Nation. She was known as the wildest, most frenzied crusader of all. She led a crusade against liquor, sex and tobacco that reflected the tragic circumstances of her disturbed life. She wrecked saloons all across America. But even though every time she hit a saloon and went to jail, she only stayed nights and was still ready to start another crusade the next day. Prohibition was supported because it was told by doctors and scientists that it led to many ill health problems. ...read more.


He drove everywhere in armour plated limousine and wherever he went, so did his armed bodyguards. Violence was a daily occurrence in Chicago. When the Wall Street crash happened people began to realise that prohibition wasn't solving any of America's problems. Because of it being illegal to sell, distribute or manufacture alcohol people created their own alcohol and they were known as gut rot, moonshine and also alcohol was brought in to America called bootleg. During the 1920s crime figures rocketed. Previously law-abiding citizens became criminals for having an alcoholic drink. Therefore far from reducing the crime rate in the USA prohibition increased it. The police produced crime figures for drink related offences and whereas only 14,313 people were charged with the same for being drunk in 1920 in Philadelphia, in 1925 51,361 people were charged with the same offence. Not only this but attitudes to the law changed. Many people caught drinking would be convicted by the jury, in fact only 20 people were ever convicted in New York between 1921 and 1925. People were now so upset because of the fact that prohibition had ruined America so people built up a group called the Women's organisation for national prohibition reform (WONPR). So in conclusion the consequences of prohibition were actually really bad when drink was legal. And that prohibition increased crime rates in America. ...read more.

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