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Prohibition - source based questions.

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Introduction

Question 1 Source A is useful because it gives us a general idea of the spread of prohibition prior to the passing of the 18th amendment to the constitution in 1917 and the Volstead act. This act defined liquor as drink containing 0.5 % of alcohol and prescribed penalties for breaking the law. This act finally applied to the whole of America at midnight on January 16th 1920. It shows territories, which had prohibition prior to 1845, states which had towns with prohibition by 1845 and those states, which were entirely dry by 1915.However there is a discrepancy between what the map says and the information it actually gives us. It is titled "the spread of prohibition 1845-1933" but does not give us any information past 1915.It is also not very accurate as it does not include the whole of the U.S.A. it misses out large states like Texas and California. Because the map was created for an American history atlas, which would have probably contained many other maps, it was designed to give one a general overview and does not contain specific details. It does not tell one about the spread of prohibition in chronological order. It does not state that Kansas was the first state to go dry or that by 1912; nine states were dry and nineteen by the 1916 election. ...read more.

Middle

This means that the artist would have no need to be biast as unlike source D he was just providing information and not trying to convince anyone of anything. Source E is most reliable for what should have happened and for how the alcohol should have been destroyed. However source D is more accurate to what in reality happened after a raid, in that there was an uncertainty about what would happen to the alcohol and this is a good representation of how corruption played such a big part in the failure of prohibition. Question 3 "Prohibition failed to meet its aims" The aims of prohibition were to prohibit the production, transportation or sale of alcohol beverages containing 0.5 per cent alcohol or more. The volstead act came into effect at midnight on the 16th January 1920.by banning alcohol America aimed to prevent the poverty, misery, depravity and violence that alcohol was perceived to produce. It could also be interpreted that prohibition was a method of the state to have control over people's lives especially in industry where there was a rise of the trade unionists through the teamsters. However there was a loophole in the law as it did not prevent the consumption of alcohol. ...read more.

Conclusion

The amount of cases of alcohol related deaths and blindness all rose during prohibition. To prevent the consumption of alcohol was prohibitions main aim and the fact that it rose meant that the 18th amendment had failed I agree with the statement "prohibition failed to meet its aims". National prohibition in U.S.A from 1920-1932 was an experiment to try and improve America's social reputation by controlling what Americans consumed. Its intention was to promote morality, but it instead had the opposite affect. It gave 'gangsters' power and money to invest in prostitution, racketeering and gambling. It violated the rights and freedom of the individual, which was cherished by the bill of rights and constitution. The government lost $300 million for every year of prohibition just from taxation of beer 3.2% alcohol. This money could have been invested into education about the effects of alcohol or help centres for alcoholics. Overall prohibition did not stop people from drinking alcohol. It only pushed it under ground and made it more fashionable. There were many tragedies most famously the St. Valentines Day massacre (14th February 1929). Such incidents as this inspired the U.S government to finally realise that prohibition was not working so finally in 1933 the 18th amendment was repealed and after signing Roosevelt decided that "I think this would be a good time for a beer". ...read more.

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