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How useful is Source A for studying the spread of prohibition in the United States? Explain your answer using Source A and your own knowledge.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT A: PROHIBITION BY SHOAIB KHAN 5 AMR How useful is Source A for studying the spread of prohibition in the United States? Explain your answer using Source A and your own knowledge. Source A is a map of the United States showing the states and when prohibition was ratified there. It is taken from a secondary source, An American History Atlas, thus we can assume that it is an unbiased source, which was published in 1968 after thorough research, using the interpretations of several sources. The key used in the source is precise and distinctive, thus allowing the reader to clearly interpret the information portrayed by the graph. Differentiating between states is made easier by the use of distinct borderlines and coherent labelling. Hence the map is useful as it is precise and clear therefore allowing the reader to interpret the data easily and with precision. However, the map has several factors, which make it less useful to study the spread of prohibition in the USA. Firstly, the western side of America is not shown, depriving us of information from major populated states such as California and Texas. Hence without consulting another source we are unable to ascertain information about prohibition from a large proportion of the USA. Secondly, the names of the states in which prohibition had not been ratified are not written thus it is not possible to deduce the names of the states where it was less popular without referring to another source. Within the unnamed states there are Florida, South Carolina and many more. These states are very important, in particular California as it is the most populous state and is known for being highly multicultural. The map also presents a limited time scale thus we cannot see whether there was any extreme fluctuation in the popularity of prohibition during events in the history of America. We are also unable to see a trend in the spread of prohibition and conclude whether it was gradual or rapid. ...read more.

Middle

As well as supplying alcohol, they charged businesses money for protection. The competition between bootleggers was very violent and volatile and Capone is said to have had 227 rival gangsters slaughtered. . Other sources suggest that the law was openly broken to an extent that during the year 1925 Americans drank 200 million gallons of spirits, 685 million gallons of malt liquor and 118 million gallons of wine. There were 200,000 speakeasies; New York alone had 32,000 compared with 15,000 saloons before prohibition. The photograph shows how the authorities were unable to enforce prohibition thus the law was openly broken. The speakeasy had soon replaced the saloon and people did not feel the effects of dryness. Source f gives very precise information. Does this mean it must be reliable as evidence about the way in which prohibition laws were enforced in the 1920s? Explain your answer using Source F and your own knowledge. Source F is an extract from a book on the history of the United States and is written by Hugh Brogan, a historian. Therefore it can be construed that a thoroughly researched, factual and unbiased passage has been presented. The source is extremely precise in the figures that it presents therefore they are useful in getting an exact interpretation of events. The numbers are very precise therefore we can infer they are reliable and are likely to have been the subject of thorough research. However, the source has limited area coverage, only covering New York. New York is the most populated American city therefore the numbers may be larger than anywhere else. The number of "people arrested for breaking the laws about drink" is given but when they were arrested or how they broke the law is not. Prohibition lasted for thirteen years but we only have information for the number of people "arrested in raids at illegal drinking bars in 1926 and 1927". ...read more.

Conclusion

They were Ford Chrysler and General Motors. In 1913 Henry Ford introduced mass production and as a result the number of cars rose from 9 million in 1920 to 30 million by 1930 therefore making America well known for its high numbers of cars. This in turn led to a drop in the cost of the car, which fell from $1200 in 1909 to $295 in 1929. Today the streets of America are packed with cars. Money on loan was introduced during the boom (HP) and today people purchase housing cars etc. all by loans. Many people purchased land and buildings and this resulted in "The Florida Land Boom". Company 3rd March 1928 (Cents) 3rd Sept 1929 (Cents) Company 3rd March 1928 (Cents) 3rd Sept 1929 (Cents) American Can 77 182 New York Central 160 256 Anaconda Copper 54 162 Radio 94 505 Electric Bond and Share 90 204 United States Steel 138 279 General Electric 129 396 Westinghouse E&M 92 313 General Motors 140 182 Woolworth 181 251 People began to deal in the stock market, buying and selling shares and today Wall Street is known throughout the world for its financial trade. Other than large financial institution and business minded people the general public traded in the stock market, as it was seen as having great potential of profit. So much so, stockbrokers were prepared to take a 10% deposit on all shares purchased thus someone with $10 could buy shares for $100. By 1929 over a million people owned shares, which had now become a "national hobby". The table shows how the boom was causing vast increase in business value and consequently share prices. The erecting of high-rise building blocks began during the boom and was mainly due to the Stock exchange on Wall Street. Today these buildings remain with us and America has certain buildings that are amongst the tallest structures in the world. To conclude both factors are of importance in the history of America. However, prohibition was important at the time of its ratification and the boom is important today. ...read more.

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