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In what ways did prohibition change US society in the 1920’s?

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In what ways did prohibition change US society in the 1920's? When Prohibition was passed as a law in 1919 the pressure groups who had backed it hoped for a decrease in America's social problems and criminal activities. Instead prohibition appeared to bring about a totally opposite change to the US society; criminal activity increased, not just within organised crime but also throughout the general public who had developed a general disrespect for the law. Furthermore there was a rise in gangster culture due to the enforcing of prohibition; this also led to disrespect for those who were meant to uphold the law within the general public; as gangsters corrupted policemen so their criminal activities could not be prosecuted in court. To help enforce the prohibition law John. F. Crammer became the prohibition commissioner, with a force of 3000 prohibition agents. However these agents had a very hard job trying to control alcohol smuggling across its borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south, as both countries were still producing alcohol which ...read more.


Also within the year of 1925 the government estimated that the prohibition agents probably only captured 5% of the illegally made a distributed alcohol within the USA. For many evading the police had become a game, they knew that the prohibition officers were busy trying to stop illegal smuggling of alcohol across the borders so whilst they were engaged somewhere else, the prohibition laws was were being flouted: on a typical night, millions of Americans were making a mockery of prohibition by visiting speakeasies, these clubs were seen as a game as they required a password for acceptance on the door. Furthermore speakeasies also showed how the American public were disrespecting the law as not only were they buying illegally imported alcohol which was often drunk in tea cups within the speakeasies, but it also showed a support for the prostitution and drug dealing which was organised alongside the speakeasy clubs. It was thought that an American could buy an illegal alcoholic drink within one minute of leaving their home due to the vast number of speakeasies across the country. ...read more.


This led to the gangsters being protected to run prostitution and drugs rackets if they had the officials in their power therefore meaning that if they were brought to the attention of the law, the cases were quite often thrown out before they ever got to court. The society that the prohibition supporters wished to protect with the passing of the law to restrict the drinking and manufacture of alcohol never really worked, far from keeping preserving the' true American values' of respecting god and the family, the prohibition created a crime wave that spread across the states. Disrespect for the new law steadily increased and worked its way through all levels of society from the average American all the way up to the president. During this time the new law gave way to the illegal dealings of the gangsters who were in control of all aspects of breaking the new legislation. Far from doing what it was intended to do; prohibition changed the American society into one of law breaking and disrespect. ...read more.

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