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How far do these two accounts agree about prohibition?

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Introduction

History Source Coursework A Study Sources A and B How far do these two accounts agree about prohibition? Sources A and B are both about prohibition. They explain why prohibition was introduced and the consequences it produced and agree on some points to a certain extent but disagree on others. Both sources are from American history books and therefore have an American view on it. Both sources start with the causes of prohibition and then go onto the consequences it brought. Both sources mainly agree on the consequences brought on by prohibition although source B goes into more detail. Source A explains how prohibition brought about the greatest crime boom in US history because no other law before had gone against the will of so many Americans. Source B goes further and talks about how 30,000 speakeasies opened in New York alone by 1928. 1500 prohibition agents could not enforce prohibition, and avoidance of prohibition turned into big, violent business with the involvement of gangsters such as Al-Capone and Dutch Shultz. Each source begins by stating reasons why prohibition was introduced. This is where they begin 2 disagree, source A describes five interlinked reasons why prohibition was introduced, these are: the bad influence of saloons, wartime concern for preserving grain, the feelings against German-Americans, who were important in brewing and distilling, the influence of the anti-saloon league and the association of alcohol with communism. This is different to source B, which focuses on one main reason for prohibition, the pressure that the women's temperance and anti-saloon league put on congress. They believed that alcohol was the great evil of their time and that they were leading a crusade against it. Source B also goes on to explain how transportation, sale and manufacture were banned in 1919. So although the two sources do not agree on everything there are strong similarities between them. They mainly agree on the areas concerning the consequences that prohibition brought around but disagree on the reasons why it was introduced. ...read more.

Middle

Source H is a chart of statistics published by the Philadelphia Police Department showing the number of arrests for drink related offences from 1920 to 1925. The number of arrested drunks rises dramatically over the years from 14,313 to 51,361 people; however, this again does not prove anything because it does not state how many drunks there were overall so it is possible that the only reason that the number of arrested drunks was rising was because there was more of them. The number of drunk drivers arrested also grows over the years, however the number of people arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct arrested falls. It is possible that this number falls because less people are drinking openly because of prohibition, the reason why there is more drunk drivers is probably because people are driving home rather than walking to avoid being spotted so easily. So these sources are not as useful as they first may seem. They have strong limitations as they only show half the data required to judge the success of prohibition in most cases. The sources could be more useful in proving that prohibition was a success if more information was shown, for example the whole number of drunk drivers there were instead of just those who were arrested. E Study Sources I and J How far does source I prove that the policeman in source J is telling the truth? Both sources J and I are about the corruption that prohibition caused among Americans throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Source I is a cartoon from the time of prohibition. The title given to the cartoon is "The National Gesture". The image is of seven people with different occupations, such as a prohibition agent, policeman and a clerk. Each person is standing with the same posture they are all facing forwards with their hands out behind them as if ready to take a bribe. ...read more.

Conclusion

Where it is not obeyed it will be enforced." Kramer is determined to make prohibition a success and he has great confidence in it. Sources G and H are both statistical sources, which show information such as how much illegal alcohol was seized, and how many people were arrested for alcohol related offences. It is not possible to tell whether these sources think that prohibition will fail or succeed because the statistics do not give additional information that is needed. For example the number of gallons of spirits seized rises from 414,000 in 1921 to 11,860,000 in 1929, at first this seems like prohibition is being successful but it does not tell us how much alcohol is being produced in the first place but not being seized. So the figures given cannot be justified and therefore these sources are unsure whether prohibition will fail or succeed. Sources I and J both give the same sort of message about prohibition. Source I is a cartoon that is implying that most of the people of America are corrupt. It shows seven people standing with their hands out ready to take bribes. A policeman wrote source J. He is talking about how he was bribed without even knowing about it straight away and how his senior officers were corrupt and willing to support gangsters in exchange for money. The message behind these sources is that prohibition is just fuelling a huge crime wave, which is not stopped at all because the police force is taking bribes and therefore prohibition is never going to work. The majority of the sources believe that the failure of prohibition was inevitable. This is mainly because of the huge crime wave that the Volstead Act produced in 1920 and how most Americans wanted alcohol and prohibition had taken it away from them. Sources C and D believe that prohibition would work but these were published long before prohibition was introduced and therefore the cartoonist would have had no idea what was going to happen. Tom Wright ...read more.

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