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Prohibition 1920 Sources Question

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Introduction

Prohibition 1920 Sources Question Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution took away licences to do business from the brewers. Prohibition was introduced to help reduce alcohol abuse, to lower the amount of crime, to help marriages, and for religious and social reasons, and, because at this time, there was hatred towards Germany, and Germany was also a country renowned for producing large amounts of alcohol. Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve. 1.Source A is useful for studying the spread of prohibition in the United Sates. This source was written by Martin Gilbert to show the spread of prohibition throughout America. This source was included in an American History Atlas, which makes it useful. This source was written in 1968, which makes it 35 years after prohibition was officially abolished. The source shows the spread of prohibition from 1845 - 1933. It shows in 1845 the states that had local prohibition, the territories, in which, the sale of alcohol was forbidden in 1845, and the sates, which were entirely, dry by 1915. ...read more.

Middle

Michael Duffy drew source E in 1964, for use in a British textbook 'The twentieth Century'. This drawing shows how the alcohol was not arranged in a display, but disposed of. The scene in the picture is again, outside a speakeasy. I think that this particular source came to be made especially for the textbook it is written in. This is not a primary source, unlike source D, as it was drawn after the period of prohibition. I am not sure whether the artist did experience the prohibition, or is just basing this source from another source. 4. Sources D and E are both picture sources, one an illustration, and one a photograph, both illustrating agents employed by the government raiding a speakeasy. Both of these sources are useful for learning about events during prohibition, although they don't tell us everything. Source D is the primary source, a photograph taken in 1920, during prohibition. It was taken to show the agents after a raid on a speakeasy. This source would have been used as propaganda, to show the public how well prohibition was doing, and to warn off any illegal dealers. Source D doesn't show us anything abut the 'Bootleggers'. Bootleggers were people who brought alcohol into the country illegally; these people were the main problem. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source E is a drawing of a speakeasy by Michael Duffy. It is a secondary source, and therefore again, I can't be sure of the reliability of it. It was published in 'The Twentieth Century.' In both sources, we are shown that speakeasies were present. These were illegal drinking clubs. The speakeasy's increased, to over 200,000, but before there were only 1500 saloons. The people providing the large amounts of alcohol were known as 'Bootleggers', and they imported the alcohol illegally. This also created gangsters, which were another huge problem which prohibition caused. One of the most dangerous was Al Capone. On February 14th 1929, Capone's men machine-gunned several members of the Bugs Moran gang in the St Valentines Day Massacre. There was not enough security to protect the American coastlines, and the police were easily bribed so, all this played a huge part in the failure of prohibition. The police also found it very hard to charge people, which is what source F shows. It says that out of 6902 cases only 400 were ever taken to court. Hugh Brogan, a historian, wrote it in 1985. It was included in a book called 'History of the United States.' Although many people were willing to give prohibition a chance, there were too many who still wanted to drink, and this proved to be fatal. The scheme has never been re-introduced; it is unlikely that it will ever be re-introduced again. ...read more.

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