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Prohibition movement in America1920-1932.

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Guy Hollidge year 11 - History Coursework Mr Przybylski November 2002-11-27 Prohibition movement in America 1920-1932 When the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, the supporters of Prohibition believed it would lead to a better America - more moral and successful. In actual fact, Prohibition created many more problems than it was supposed to solve. Illegal alcohol (moonshine and bootleg): moonshine was produced illegally by individuals. This can lead to alcohol that is poisonous. Bootleg alcohol was imported illegally and during the Prohibition, tens of thousands of illegal stills were set up around the country. Bootleg alcohol could be brought across land borders of Canada and Mexico and by sea. Tens of thousands of miles of coastline made this easy. Another problem was that the few thousand Prohibition agents could not keep track of every border crossing or every section of coastline. Since Prohibition agents were paid very little a week, it was easy for criminals to bribe them to turn a 'blind eye'. The demand for alcohol increased by more than threefold (23,000 speakeasies in New York alone) and alcohol consumption per person actually increased during Prohibition. Soon criminals realised that massive profits could be made from supplying the speakeasies around the country and criminals bribed police and politicians to turn a blind eye. Both sources agree that the main pressures to ban alcohol came from the public. Source A says it was the Anti-Saloon League. ...read more.


This is clearly shown by the suffering of the woman shown in Source C and the little girl and her brother saying and in source D, by the little girl saying to her brother "And our shoes and stockings and food are in the saloon too, and they'll never come out". Alcoholism was the main reason for the banning of alcohol. By the spending of the week's wages in the saloons, the family might not be able to eat. The slogan "The poor man's club - the most expensive in the world to belong to" was very true for families in America before the Prohibition. The artist of Source C was for Prohibition because of how he shows the woman weeping and the way the picture is set out to show the man giving the money away. I think source D is also for Prohibition. It catches the ordinary man-in-the-street's eye and because it is Guy Hollidge year 11 - History Coursework Mr Przybylski November 2002-11-27 two children looking poor, hungry and sad it might make him think twice before he spends all his money on alcohol. Source E: I think that the more reliable source is E because when it was written and that person that wrote it, John D Rockerfeller Jr. He was an industrialist and wouldn't have been affected by prohibition. John F Kramer said is the first prohibition commissioner and needs to show strength and to show that it will work. ...read more.


He handed me an envelope, I took it and he was gone. I opened it and there was $75 in it'". This shows that police on the streets were being bribed. Since Prohibition agents were paid very little and it was very for criminals to bribe them to "turn a blind eye". Conclusion Do the sources support the view that the failure of prohibition was inevitable? Source A supports the view that prohibition was going to fail because is states that there was widespread crime. "For no earlier law had gone against the daily customs... of so many Americans". Source B just mentions that "Al Capone had turned the avoidance of prohibition into nig violent business". It doesn't make a judgement. Sources C and D are for prohibition but do not state that it would fail. Source E the speaker didn't think at the time that prohibition would fail so he would not be saying that it would inevitably fail but he did admit that prohibition did fail in the end. The view in source F is optimistic that prohibition was going to work but it was fold that prohibition was a complete failure. Source G and H show that prohibition wasn't working and it was a failure but it doesn't state that prohibition was bound to fail. Source I is saying that prohibition was not going to work because all the people that were in power taking bribes so that they would turn a blind to drinking and the making of alcohol. Source J is just a police officer's witness and can not be used to judge the whole situation. 1 1 ...read more.

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