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How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition? Both Sources A and B are secondary Sources as they are both extracts from textbooks. They were both published within the same decade of the 1970s. Furthermore, although they faintly differ, both Sources point out causes for the establishment of prohibition and the consequences that it brought about. A strong similarity between both Sources is the consequences that they state the ban of alcohol led to. Source A states "It created the greatest criminal boom in American History, and perhaps in all modern history." This implies that Prohibition caused a vast increase in crimes unlike anything ever seen before. Likewise Source B states "Gangsters like Dutch Schulz and Al Capone had turned the avoidance of Prohibition into big, violent business." This suggests that some gangsters used the ban of alcohol in their own advantage as they began supplying it illegally, also implying a vast increase in crime. However a difference between the two Sources is that Source A proposes a variety of causes for the establishment of prohibition such as "the bad influence of saloons," "the wartime concern for preserving grain for food" and "the influence of the Anti-Salon League." In contrast to these many propositions Source B only suggests one key cause "In 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." This suggests that the only cause for prohibition was the pressure and persuasion bought about by the Women's Christian Temperance and Ant-Saloon League to the congress. Another faint corroboration between the sources is the suggestion that moral fervour was a factor contributing to the establishment of prohibition, this is displayed as Source A states " Most important of all was the moral fervour inspired by the 'War to Make the World Safe for Democracy'." Likewise Source B states, " The victory encouraged the supporters of the League to push for an Amendment." ...read more.

Middle

This is supported through his quote "The law will be obeyed." Therefore Source F is a very biased account making it very unreliable as evidence against prohibition because it was written before the result of Prohibition was known and because it was written by someone who must, in spite of what they think, speak in favour of Prohibition. In conclusion I think that Source E is more reliable than Source F as evidence against Prohibition because of the reasons mentioned before and mainly because Source F is biased therefore it only takes one point of view into consideration whereas Source E takes both into consideration. However I think that both Sources, regardless of which is more reliable, should be used carefully as they are both based on opinions. However the opinions within Source F are weaker then that of Source E as those in Source E can be supported by the result of Prohibition failing. Do these two Sources prove that Prohibition was successful? By looking at the statistics in Source G at face value prohibition appears to be succeeding. This is because the number of illegal stills and gallons of spirits seized appear to be increasing over the years. However when Source G is studied in depth a clear conclusion can be reached, which is if the numbers of illegal stills and gallons of spirits are being seized then the number of illegal stills and gallons of spirits being produced must also be increasing. Therefore Source G proves that prohibition was unsuccessful as some people were obviously ignoring the law, which banned alcohol. Source G might also be an unreliable Source; this is suggested because Federal Government has published it and they might have done so it in an attempt to fool the public that the ban of alcohol is being enforced successfully. Similarly to Source G, Source H states something differently when studied in depth to what it states superficially. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source G quotes that in 1921,9746 illegal stills were seized and 414000 gallons of spirits were seized. Whereas in 1929 the number of illegal stills that were seized increased to 15794 and the number of gallons of spirits that were seized increased to 11860000 in 1929. These cover national and local crimes therefore they show the national willingness to ignore the law. Source H corroborates with the view that prohibition was a bound failure too and this is displayed through the statistics of Philadelphia, an example of an American state. The total number of arrests for alcohol offences in 1920 is 20410. However in 1925 the number of arrests increased to 57703. These two Sources both support the view that the failure prohibition was inevitable and the reason implied for this is that there were mass numbers of people who were willing to continue drinking regardless of the law therefore they ignore the enforcement of Prohibition. This is clearer to see in Source H where instead of the people obeying the law they appear to be entirely opposing it as the number of arrests for drinking offences appear to be increasing during the years of Prohibition. If people were obeying the law then these statistics should have decreased suggesting people obeying the law. Therefore both Sources do support the view that the failure of prohibition was inevitable because they both display the idea that the people were willing to and did infact flout the law by disregarding prohibition. Sources J and I also support the view that the failure of prohibition was inevitable. Source J reports a police officer that accepted the bribes to avoid getting a 'post where there is nothing but weeds'. Therefore out of fear he was almost forced to flout the law himself. This is supported by the wide scale corruption displayed in Source I...... .....Further more Sources C and D do not support the idea that prohibition was bound to fail. This is because they portray alcohol in bad way...encourage people against is..For prohibition ...read more.

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