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How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition?

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Introduction

History Coursework - (a) Koral Jackson 10R Study Sources A and B. How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition? Sources A and B are both extracts from American history books written in the 1970's. There are both similarities and differences between the two sources. The most obvious similarity between the two is the fact that both are from American history books from around the same time. One area of agreement between the two sources is that they both refer to the Anti-Saloon League as being important. Source A says that "Among possible explanations [of the introduction of Prohibition] we must include... the influence of the Anti-Saloon League at a time when a large number of men were absent in the armed forces", and Source B says "In 1917 a nation-wide campaign, led by the Anti-Saloon League, brought pressure to bear on congress to ban the use of grain for either distilling or brewing". ...read more.

Middle

Gangsters... had turned the avoidance of Prohibition into big, violent business". These two quotes are in agreement about the crime increase, because Source A says that Prohibition created a great "criminal boom" and "widespread crime", and Source B mentions the many 'speakeasies' that appeared, which were illegal places to drink, and it also mentions the violence involved. In other words, the two sources agree that the key consequence was a crime boost. However, there are also differences between the two sources. One of these is that the first paragraph of Source A is a list of reasons why this historian thinks Prohibition started, whereas Source B only mentions one reason: the Anti-Saloon League. Source A says that reasons for the introduction of Prohibition include "bad influence of saloons, the wartime concern for preserving grain for food, feelings against the German-Americans ...read more.

Conclusion

It created the greatest criminal boom in American history", whereas Source B is more indirect and blames gangsters for causing the failure of Prohibition: "Gangsters... had turned the avoidance of Prohibition into big, violent business". A final difference between the sources is that Source A gives out the overall message that Prohibition was bound to fail, whereas Source B generally says that it was working for a while, where it talks about the Anti-Saloon League's "victory" of banning the use of grain, and the fact that the amendment was passed. In conclusion, the two sources only agree about Prohibition to a certain extent, and only in certain areas; there are a fair amount of both similarities and differences between them. The sources tend to agree on the importance of the Anti-Saloon League and the consequences of Prohibition, and disagree on who was to blame for the increase in crime. ...read more.

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