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Prohibition in the United States - source related study.

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Introduction

Bethany Peck 17th November 2002 Prohibition Coursework 1. Evaluation of source for its utility How useful is Source A as evidence for studying the Spread of Prohibition in the United States? To some extent Source A is very useful when studying the spread of prohibition through America. It does show us the spread of prohibition through the eastern states and manages to put each of them into one of three categories. However the source is not detailed enough to give us all the information we need to study and understand the spread of prohibition through the states. Firstly, the key does not inform us what the white gaps are, they are all different states yet we are not told which ones they are, or the state of prohibition in these places. We can only assume there was no data available for these places, or there was simply no prohibition in these places. This means not only are there many gaps in the eastern side of the country, there is no information from the west. Because it is so unclear we cannot fully examine the spread of prohibition through the United States of America, as we do not have information from all of the states. The key is also unclear. Two of the three categories show the state of the prohibition spread in 1845, while the third category shows the state in 1915. ...read more.

Middle

Because this is a photo taken in 1920 it is more reliable than Source E, a drawing dating from 1964, yet as demonstrated photos can lie and this picture doesn't give us a view on a speakeasy raid. It could quite easily be a propaganda photograph to support the government's position on prohibition. Source E is a drawn interpretation of a speakeasy raid. It was drawn long after the speakeasy bars existed so this does make the picture a less reliable source. Though this picture shows us the violent nature of the raids, it is a drawn picture so it is obvious the artist (who was British) was not actually at any of the raids. The drawing shows barrels and crates of drink that have been upturned and others which are about to be smashed. It also shows bottles being smashed against the wall. The raid is being carried out by men and it looks as if it's night time. However the artist could only have interpreted the raids using someone else's evidence and was drawn for use in schools. Like the photo Source E is also unreliable, even though it shows the nature of the raids much more than Source D does. When investigating the nature of a speakeasy raid, it would be better to look at Source E as it is the only source of the two, which actually shows the nature of a raid. ...read more.

Conclusion

With the gangsters now rich from bootlegging, they began to control the cities. John Torrio and Al Capone for example, took control of Cicero - a wealthy suburb in Chicago. They took control of the local Council by putting their candidates up for election, and bribed officials such as The Mayor of Chicago - Bill Thompson to get their own way. With Gangsters all over America, deaths - caused by gang warfare became common. Between 1927 and 1931 there were 227 gang murders in Chicago yet nobody was ever convicted. Bribery and corruption were common. Source F shows a drawing entitled 'The National Gesture' of many officials - politicians, police officers, magistrates and even prohibition agents with their hands behind their backs. This is to show that bribery was common by bootleggers so they would be able to sell liquor in the speakeasies. The Mayor of Chicago as I said above was one of the politicians being bribed. Prohibition was implemented in 1920 to make America a safer place, with beliefs that it would result in less deaths. People all over the country began to drink more, resulting in more deaths from drinking and more drunkards arrested. Gangsters flourished because of selling drink in speakeasies and there were many gang fights. To get their own way they used bribery a lot. The aim of Prohibition was to make America a safer place but it only became more dangerous. ...read more.

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