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The Prohibition Era - The Highs and the lows of the Roaring twenties and beyond

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Introduction

Graham Knight May-June 2001 The Prohibition Era The Highs and the lows of the Roaring twenties and beyond Introduction Hard though it may be to believe, there was a time when alcohol was prohibited and to be in possession of it considered a crime in the United States. However, on the sixteenth of January 1920, this became law. The selling, manufacturing and transportation of intoxicating liquids became illegal and a crime. At the time Prohibition was going to be the golden age, it would create a dry world, free of crime and poverty. Instead it created almost the opposite, America sunk to an all time low, eventually falling into a dark age of organised crime and bootlegging. Yet it wasn't all bad, first came the roaring twenties, people were again enjoying themselves and it seemed everyone was happy. The Roaring Twenties During the nineteen twenties the American public were having the time of there lives. Everyone was happy. Despite of the law that banned alcohol, people ignored it; they went on like nothing had happened, if anything the public drank more. Throughout the major cities and towns underground saloons or speakeasies were opening. People would be able to go out, have a drink and enjoy themselves. Often the owners of these speakeasies would provide entertainment and music for their guests. ...read more.

Middle

A child reported that he remembered when he was young that his father got into the business of bootlegging, he remembered the reward that it brought his family at the time. One morning he woke up find money on the table and plenty of it. He knew that his father was probably bootlegging, but at the time he never saw his own father as a criminal. This is what he thinks looking back was the crucial aspect of Prohibition and it failure, the people didn't see them as criminals, it was not considered wrong even though it was, they simply accepted it. The Kings of Bootlegging The King of Bootlegging and probably the most famously known today, is Al Capone (1899-1947) or Scarface, as he was also known. He was born in Brooklyn, New York he moved to Chicago to serve under Johnny Torrio, boss of Chicago crime. By 1925 Capone was boss, and by the end of the decade, Capone controlled all 10,000 speakeasies in Chicago. He also controlled many politicians including the major of Chicago at the time William Thompson. Some claimed he ran all Bootlegging from Canada to Florida. Capone also fought with rival gangs and always came out victorious, with murder always the true victor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion It would be hard to say whether prohibition was a good, or a bad law to bring to America. The intention of the people who's idea it was to bring the law to the country, were undoubtedly good. However, as was said earlier it was not the failure of Prohibition itself, it was the failure of it to be enforced. A lesson as people we learn from this, is one which we are familiar with today. If you tell a person not to do something, they are likely to go and think about doing it or going one step closer and actually going through with it. In America it took one persons idea to change the opinions of many other people. Another saying we hear often today is, "if one person leads the rest follow" this is in a way what happened with prohibition. It took one person to think of Bootlegging for example and the rest of the people to go and do it also. As the enforcement of Prohibition continued to weaken the gangs and the bootleggers became more confident, tried new and more dangerous things. Eventually they went too far and it took a national depression to stop them. In today's society we can see that there is no use for laws, if they are not followed or enforced, Prohibition did neither of these effectively, I my opinion I think this is why Prohibition failed as a national law. ...read more.

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