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Study sources A and B - How far do these sources agree about prohibition?

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Introduction

Prohibition coursework question (a) Study sources A and B How far do these sources agree about prohibition? (7 marks) Both sources, A and B agree on the fact that 1917 was a very significant year when it came to prohibition. Source A says that 'By 1917, twenty-three states had already introduced a ban on alcohol'. Source B also says that 1917 was significant because: 'In 1917 a nation-wide campaign, led by the Anti-Saloon league, brought pressure on the congress to ban the use of grain for either distilling or brewing'. Both sources also stress the importance of the Anti-Saloon league. Source A says '...the influence of the Anti-saloon league at a time when large number of men were absent from the armed forces'. Source B says '...a nation-wide movement, led by the Anti-saloon league'. This was a campaign led by people who were moral protesters to alcohol and believed that it was an evil in society. Both sources actually mention that alcohol and the saloons they were served in were seen as an evil in society. ...read more.

Middle

Both sources mention that each group thought that drink brought ruin and debauchery. Both sources A and B agree that the introduction of prohibition increased the crime rate. Source A says 'No earlier law had produced such widespread crime' and 'It created the greatest criminal boom in American history'. Source B says 'prohibition....big, violent business'. They both also agree on the fact that the general public didn't abstain from alcohol even though it was illegal. Source A says '...desires of so many Americans' and source B quotes Al Capone saying 'All I do is supply a public demand'. This source mainly concentrates on the fact that ordinary American people were led to break the law. However, Source A tries to show that ordinary people had turned to crime. Source A says 'No earlier law had produced such widespread crime. For no law had gone against the daily customs, habits and desires of so many Americans'. Source B refers more to organised crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, nothing of this sort was mentioned in Source A. Both source A and B show that the consequence of prohibition was the increase in the crime rate. However, source A shows that ordinary people had to break the law in order to get alcohol, but source B talks more about organised crime and how that had increased. Source B also shows the fact that 'The first prohibition commissioner had no doubt that he would stamp out the evils of drink.'. Nothing like this was actually written in source A. Both Sources A and B were not actual eye-witness accounts, but rather, they were researched, as the caption under Source A is '...Published in 1973' and the caption under Source B says, '...Published in 1979.' I think that these two sources agree considerably with each other, as they both mention that 1917 was a very important year, and they both mention there was a protest against liquor. Furthermore, they both mention that the consequence was a rise in crime. However, their focal points are different - while Source A locates prohibition in the ambience of the Second World War, Source B emphasises more on the moral campaign. Abbas Tejani ...read more.

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