• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Prohibition experiment of the 1920's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Prohibition experiment of the 1920's was originally introduced mainly because of pressure from groups such as the Anti-saloon league. However reasons such as World War I, public safety and the general concern for the state of morality within the USA also contributed to Congress passing the Volstead Act in 1920. After thirteen years of America being 'dry,' and much debate, President Roosevelt repealed Prohibition in 1933 after declaring the 'noble experiment' had been a failure.' Today the period of thirteen years within America where alcohol was illegal is often referred to as an 'experiment.' This word alone implies that it was a futile period within America's history, as the noble act of banning alcohol didn't last. Prohibition is also thought of as a social experiment, these are conducted to see whether change can or cannot be brought about within society. Although the period of Prohibition didn't stop the American people drinking completely, which was its aim, the amount of alcohol consumed had gone down by 1933 when the Volstead act was repealed. Whether or not the Prohibition experiment of the 1920's within the USA, was a failure or not has long since been debated. There were a number of reasons why it failed, but against these arguments there were also reasons why it was originally passed and why although it was repealed it did succeed in it's ...read more.

Middle

There was not enough money within the system to ensure that government officials were properly paid and could put money into crime busting operations. The coast of the USA stretches for eighteen thousand seven hundred miles, an impossible amount of land to patrol successfully. At the most there were only two thousand eight thousand and thirty-six Prohibition agents; most of who were riddled with corruption, to ensure that alcohol was not smuggled across this vast stretch of land. They were only paid $2,500 per year to ensure that an industry worth two billion dollars did not prosper. People involved in organised crime easily bribed these poorly paid prohibition agents with the amount of money that was made in the industry of selling illegal alcohol. Ten percent of Prohibition agents were fined for corruption between 1920-30, the agents were not being paid enough which allowed them to be bribed by gangs and turn a blind eye to all the illegal activity that was going on. In 1924 alone forty million dollars worth of alcohol, only five percent of the amount being sold was intercepted. This proved that the volume of the business was immense and the number of Prohibition agents employed was simply not enough. From 1920 drinking alcohol was prohibited, however the consumption of alcohol for medicinal purposes was still allowed. ...read more.

Conclusion

the number of drink related deaths going down until then and then shooting back up in 1923, when the death rate became 3.2 per 100,000 people. From the very start of Prohibition, the government didn't put as much effort into maintaining the Volstead Act as they should have, the low number of officers employed to ensure that the law was maintained were under paid making them easy target for bribery. This is another key reason as to why Prohibition failed. Although the period of Prohibition failed to keep America completely 'dry,' the amount of alcohol consumed did fall and by more than half by 1933, many historians argue that this is Prohibition succeeded, as although drinking didn't cease completely it did decrease. The Prohibition experiment of the 1920's was a failure, because of lack of effort the government put into maintaining it. There was not enough money in the system and officers were poorly paid and allowed large gangs to spring up. The demand for it by the societies of American also made it fail. Although the experiment succeeded in brining down the drinking rate in the USA, it did not achieve in stopping it completely, which was its aim, therefore it did not succeed in its aim and consequently failed. HOW FAR DO YOU AGREE THAT THE PROHIBITION EXPERIENT OF THE 1920'S WAS A FAILURE? Nadirah Kaba L6DK ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. (Q1) Describe some of the key features of Americn society in the 1920's?

    Some women even started to smoke and drank alcohol in public even those women who came from very respectable homes. Women who did this were called "flappers". Attitudes towards women also soon changed and women had much more freedom than before and were allowed to work and spend.

  2. The USA

    They were stealing their wage, as they were paying for not doing their jobs. They were taking money from the saloons and alcohol producers for not to interfere them. They did not take any responsible of prohibition, but also committing a crime for allowing the saloons and alcohol producers making and selling alcohols.

  1. Why was Prohibition such a controversial issue during the 1920's

    rally in New York City, a parade in Baltimore and a resolution against taking away the working man's beer by the American Federation of Labour. With the passing of the 18th Amendment and the separate Volstead Act, prohibition was adopted by every State in America; however despite the confident predictions

  2. To what extent was America in the 1920's a 'Divided society'?

    The treatment of blacks showed division as it ran through all the whites ending up with the formation of the Ku Klux Klan which further divided society. The distribution of wealth was also a sign of division as there was a prejudice division towards the WASPs who had the majority of America's wealth in their pockets.

  1. To what extent did America roar in the 1920s?

    However, not everyone benefited from the boom in the entertainment industry. Not all families could afford to watch a sports game, go to the cinema or own a radio so they might have felt second-class to everyone else. Jazz did not 'roar' for all black people because only a small

  2. History - Prohibition

    This led to the Temperance Movement being created. The success of these Temperance movements was evident, as by 1916, 21 states had banned saloons. However, in the urban areas of the country, it proved impossible to do the same. The supporters of prohibition were known as 'dries'.

  1. In the 1920's America was the richest and most powerful country in the world ...

    However in return for work and other benefits German citizens surrendered their political freedom. At first many Germans thought it was worth the loss, especially the six million people who were previously unemployed. Hitler set up the National Labour Service.

  2. Revision Notes - the USA in the 1920s and 30s.

    This caused sales to fall, so prices and wages were cut. When this didn't help, the factories had to fire workers. Fewer workers lead to there being even fewer products sold, and this went in a cycle, causing industry to crash, and people to lose their jobs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work