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Prohibition Sources Coursework

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Introduction

Year 11: GCSE Year 1. From source A one can immediately infer that the 'Anti Saloon League' disapproved of individuals consuming alcohol as it was affecting their families and they spent the week's wages on alcoholic beverages. It also suggests that all drinkers are compulsive addicts who don't have the ability to limit their intake of alcohol. The barman is presented as a rather wealthy cunning man who is simply there for a financial profit. The "weeks wages" attached to the bag of money suggests drinkers spend all their money on alcohol and the circular inserted picture suggests drinking destroys family life and does not leave any money for the necessary foods and household items. The insert shows the woman and child as victims of poverty due to the husband belonging to "The Poor Mans Club" The text below the picture suggests many things about drinker's lifestyle and livelihood. It points out that those who drink are "slaves" and therefore have no freedom due to their fixation and dependency on alcohol. Comments such as "There are 1,000,000 such slaves in the United States..." allow us to infer that not only is the problem unexpectedly large but it affects millions more assuming these individuals have families. The audience this poster is aimed at is primarily males as men are likely to be in control of financial affairs and making money for the entire family. The text also suggests that men are victims as their dependency "ruins their own lives." ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand from the source we can clearly infer that speakeasies were extremely common and popular. It also shows the appeal of speakeasies and how many members of the public regarded the consumption of alcohol as "marvellous". "I started drinking in speaks. I didn't even know about open drinking." The ending line clearly illustrates how much of society didn't care about their law breaking activities: "I got used to it being disreputable." This source was however written in the 1950s and so is after the period of prohibition making the interpreter doubt its credibility and reliability. Source G, although mostly about the gangster Al Capone, is extremely helpful in showing us the immense demand and popularity of alcohol during the era of prohibition. The fact that Al Capone made such enormous sums of money through the transportation and sale of alcohol illustrates the large amounts of illegal drinking that went on. Alternatively, although it's from a public source of information, it doesn't suggest public attitudes at all to prohibition. Al Capone himself was seen as a heroic figure across America, especially in Chicago, due to high status as someone who imported alcohol. From his popular status among and across all class boundaries we can infer that the public attitude towards him, and therefore towards prohibition, was somewhat relaxed and the breaking of the eighteenth amendment happened nightly across the nation. Source I further shows the ambiguous nature of the American society. Although Al Capone is evidently doing wrong, the biggest selling magazine has him on the front cover looking perfectly law abiding with the affectionate caption "A pink apron, a pan of spaghetti." ...read more.

Conclusion

Without these many people taking bribes Capone would of never had the extent of power he had so this source contradicts the statement as well as Capone couldn't of been 'Public Enemy Number One' alone. Source H is a quote by Al Capone. He stated that he isn't a criminal but a businessman man as he is just supplying what is in demand. Evidently this source would never support the quote but the logistics of it are simple as Capone states, "my customers are as guilty as I am." In source I Capone sits on the front of the biggest selling weekly magazine in America, 'Time'. This popularity and evident fame suggests that the authorities clearly knew about his law breaking yet are doing nothing to control his actions. Source I shows him as a gentleman and at Capone's height of power to increase his popularity he opened soup kitchens during the depression and paid individuals medical bills. This source doesn't portray him as 'Public Enemy Number One' yet instead shows him as a charming man of the community. Source J does not mention Capone and so is somewhat irrelevant yet it allows us to gain an insight into the 'comic' reputation of alcohol. Even the most influential man in the country, President Roosevelt, is joking about the now old legislation being inappropriate. This source certainly doesn't portray Capone as 'Public Enemy Number One' yet instead seems to shift the blame of the growth in crime on the actual prohibition amendment. We can infer that people such as Roosevelt believed that it was prohibition that was the real 'Public Enemy Number One' as it created such individuals as Capone. Prohibition Coursework Assignment: ...read more.

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