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Study sources G and H - Do these sources prove that Prohibition was successful?

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Introduction

Study sources G and H. Do these sources prove that Prohibition was successful? (8) Prohibition was introduced in 1919. The aims of Prohibition were very explicit and they were that no alcohol should be consumed or sold in the USA. This essay will set out to show that Prohibition did not accomplish its aims and therefore, was not successful. I hope to prove this during the course of this essay that Prohibition was unsuccessful. Source G shows that the number of illegal stills seized in America increased rapidly between 1921 and 1929. In 1921 the number of illegal stills seized was 9,746, increasing to 12,023 in 1925 and further increasing to 15,749 in 1929. The story and the trend is the same with the gallons of spirits seized. It went from 414,000 in 1921, increasing to 11,030,000 and increasing further to 11,860,00 in 1929. This was produced by the Federal government concerning the nation. At face value this shows that the police and the Federal government were doing their jobs well by seizing illegal alcohol. This shows that they were successful. Source H shows that the number of drunks arrested increased between 1920 and 1925. In 1920, one year after the Volstead Act, there were 14,313 drunks, increasing to 45,226 in 1923 and further to 51,361 in 1925. ...read more.

Middle

However, Source G may not have been as conclusive as that at face value. This could be the case because one needs to know other things in order to make a conclusion as to whether this source is reliable. The additional information that is required is how many illegal stills or gallons of spirits were there in the country at the time. Without this there cannot be a conclusion made because if there were a million illegal stills and only 15,749 were seized in 1929, then the police did not do well, but if there were only 20,000 stills in the country then the police would have done well. However, this information will never be known as nobody kept a record of it as it was an illegal activity, but from my own knowledge, I know that there was a lot of illegal alcohol in the country, far more than the police seized. This is the same case with source H, because no one knows what the total population of Philadelphia was at the time or if Philadelphia was a good or bad state as far as Prohibition goes. Other reasons for inaccuracies in the sources could be the fact that in both sources the figures could have been tampered with in order to make them look good to the people or government officials to show that the Prohibition commissioners and the police were doing their jobs well. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source I shows all the influential officials and officers sticking their hands out behind their backs. This shows that they are asking for bribes. Source J also shows corruption because it shows that there was a conspiracy involving senior officials. It says 'It was a conspiracy and my superior officers were involved in it'. It also shows that officers were receiving bribes. It says 'I opened it and there was $75 in it'. All this means that nobody can tell, solely from looking at these sources, how reliable these sources were, as corruption may have caused the statistics to be changed. In conclusion, I feel that these sources cannot prove that Prohibition was a success. It does show that the police were doing a better job, but without additional information one cannot make a conclusion and therefore, cannot say whether or not the sources prove that Prohibition was successful or not. The other additional information that is needed is the fact of how much alcohol was actually made in the country. Also, other information that is needed is for source H, as no one knows what sort of Prohibition record Philadelphia had. They could have been the worst state for Prohibition or they could have been the best. So, without this additional information, nothing can be proven and therefore, there can be no conclusion reached as to the success of Prohibition in America. Abbas Tejani Prohibition part (d) ...read more.

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