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Prohibition: Which of these two sources is more reliable as evidence against prohibition?

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Introduction

Study Sources E & F: Which of these two sources is more reliable as evidence against prohibition? The reliability of a source is important to historians and so in order to make a valid point using sources the reliability must be tested. For this reason, I will be looking at the reliability of both sources and by analyzing both I will determine which source is more reliable. Source E is in the form of a letter written in 1932 by John D Rockerfeller Jr. who was from a very recognizable and highly respected wealthy family in America at the time. They had one of the most powerful influences on the United States and had a personal wealth exceeding a cool $1 billion and the person who had the greatest share of this was John D Rockerfeller Jr. and thus making him a very influential business man in America. Due to the high standards and the highly respected status of John D Rockerfeller, source E can be said to be very reliable. ...read more.

Middle

'The day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol...'He also believed that alcohol was a vile thing and caused corruption like the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. There are some aspects of the source which make it a lot less reliable. The fact that it is one persons account makes us question its reliability. Rockerfeller may be exaggerating the failure little especially since he was a huge supporter of Prohibition. This source could in fact be the view of a very narrow group of American Philanthropists where as on the other hand the general public may have had a very different view. Also, the source shows no references to actual facts and shows no figures which weakens Rockerfellers argument because it then shows that his points are more of his opinion and he doesn't specify and go into detail. He only generalises each point. Other sources like source G & H use facts and figures and so there reliability is valued more. ...read more.

Conclusion

Secondly, this source can also be seen to be highly bias, thus making it unreliable. It was a speech, meant to be heard and so bias views would be expected in order to convince people to support it prohibition. It is designed to persuade people and make the do what you want and so the source is can be said to not be very reliable at all. In conclusion, I find that source E is more reliable then F. It was written towards the end of the prohibition era and was not designed to persuade anyone unlike source F. The writer was given the advantage of seeing what was happening during the era and so his argument to me is more reliable and valuable. Source F can only be used to explain how and why prohibition came about and what affected the public's attitude. Source F can show that prohibition was started and the law makers had innocent intentions however source F shows haw badly it failed because it discusses everything that happened during the era and not what was believed to happen. ...read more.

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