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How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition?

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Introduction

Prohibition How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition? The two accounts agree that there are campaigns (mainly by women) to ban alcohol. Source A says "influence of the Anti-saloon league at a time when large numbers of men were absent in the armed forces". Source B says, " The Women's Christian Temperance Union had joined in a crusade against one of the great evils of the times-alcoholism". They also agree that there should be a ban on grains for alcoholic purposes. Source A says " the wartime concern for preserving grain for food" and source B says, "ban the use of grain for either distilling or brewing". They both agree that alcoholism was morally wrong. Source A says "the moral fervour inspired by the " War to make the world safe for democracy" and Source B says " a great evil of the time" (referring to alcoholism). The last thing they agree on is that it caused criminal activity. "It created the greatest criminal boom in American history, and perhaps in all modern history". Source B says, "By 1928 there were more than 30,000 speakeasies in New York". Although both sources agree with each other they also disagree in many ways. An example of this is that although both of them want a ban on grain use for alcoholic purposes; Source A wants grain to be used for food while Source B does not specify any ideas. ...read more.

Middle

How far does Source I prove that the policeman in Source J is telling the truth? Source I shows a clerk, a petty official (an official with no real power), a magistrate, a police officer and a Prohibition agent, all standing in line with a hand held out behind them. This is suggesting that they all take bribes. Organised crime was the biggest effect of Prohibition. Many gangs used bribery to control government officials. The deal was that these officials would stay away from illegally run areas and turn a blind eye to the crimes. In return they would get money from the gangs. The name of the cartoon is 'The National Gesture' a gesture is a hand signal (which is the hand taking the bribe) and the national part suggests that the bribes spread deep into society and that it is nationally spread. Source J was from a policeman in Chicago in the 1920s. He says that if an officer tried to enforce the law then "you were put in a post where there was nothing but weeds". Suggesting that his superior officers were involved in the illegal activities. He then says that while he was walking down a road a man ran up to him gave him $75 bribe and then ran off. Source I reinforces Source J in saying that many officials with power were corrupt and was indeed taking bribes from gangsters. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another source that supports the idea that the police were strong is Source G, which shows statistics of illegal stills seized and gallons of spirits seized. Overall there is a general increase in stills and gallons seized and so would suggest that the police were successful in enforcing Prohibition. This source is also unreliable because Federal government agents published it and so numbers could have been fixed. This source would also be biased because for the same reason that Prohibition agents published it. Sources C and D neither support nor undermine the idea that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. Both sources were published before Prohibition began. They are both propaganda posters against alcoholism. Although they were made before the period of Prohibition. They can give us a reason why Prohibitions chances were weak. The Anti-saloon League, which was a group of people against alcoholism, made both posters. Source B says " In 1917 a nation-wide campaign, led by the Anti-saloon League, bought pressure to bear on Congress to ban the use of grain for distilling or brewing" This shows that the people had too much influence on law officials even before Prohibition. I conclude that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable because the reasons given for this, such as public opinion would never accept it, the extent of criminal activity was uncontrollable, and that the government had too few resources to deal with the problems outweigh the reasons that disagree with the conclusion. Also the sources given in agreement of the conclusion were more reliable than the sources used that disagree with the conclusion. ...read more.

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