• 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 After thirteen years of America being 'dry,' and much debate, President Roosevelt repealed Prohibition in 1933 after declaring the 'noble experiment' had been a failure.'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drinking completely, which was its aim, the amount of alcohol consumed had gone down by 1933 when the Volstead act was repealed.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why it failed, but against these arguments there were also reasons why it was originally passed and why although it was repealed it did succeed in it's ...read more.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. To what extent did America roar in the 1920s?

    They believed that they were ruining the country and anything foreign was 'un-American' and a menace. The Klansmen had to swear an oath of loyalty to America and to fight "any government, people, sect or ruler that is foreign to the USA."

  2. The USA

    to be biased, as the police department would prove that they were doing well, the results might be trimmed too. These results only applied to one city out of the whole America, and this does not mean it would apply to other cities.

  1. Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as Public Enemy Number ...

    I can tell from source D that the federal agents were not paid well and maybe if the government paid them more then they would not have accepted the large bribes offered, as they would already have sufficient amount of money.

  2. To What extent was Prohibtion doomed to fail from its inception?

    In the beginning of prohibition, the politicians seemed optimistic and most thought that it would work, they had thought that everyone would obey the law, or be made to. The politicians thoroughly believed that the fear of the law was enough to ensure people would obey the new law; however

  1. There are many contributing factors to why prohibition was introduced on 16 January 1920. ...

    They found many distinguished officials in the club and they where soon arrested. These distinguished official found the frustrations of trying to uphold the law too great and became involved in the corruption; this was often the case. It was clear that prohibition was having a massive effect on the people of America.

  2. The USA in the 1920s and 1930s

    It became a mass production industry with three films being finished each week. Many had a standard formula and talkies arrived too. The stars became idols and encouraged spin offs like magazines etc. Source 1 HENRY FORD AND THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF DETROIT Early developments.

  1. The USA Was Prohibition bound To Fail?

    This source shows a policeman's point of view on the whole matter of prohibition and how officials get bribed, he explains how he just wants to do his job but he can't because the whole of Chicago was corrupt and so were the police, so it made it impossible to do his job.

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

    This links with overproduction, as the factories did not realise this, and continued to produce products that nobody would buy. US Tariff policy-Since the Americans had tariffs on foreign goods, a lot of European countries had put tariffs on American goods, so Europeans were buying European goods.

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