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The U.S.A in the 20th Century "Gangsters and Prohibition" - source based

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Coursework No.2 The U.S.A in the 20th Century "Gangsters and Prohibition" (1) Study Source A The poster, issued 1910 by the Anti-Saloon league pictures a man handing over his week wages to a smiling bar tender, while back at home a mother cries as her hungry child bangs his empty bowl on the table. This powerful imagery along with the bold title "The Poor Mans Club, The Most Expensive In The World To Belong To." Shows how the Anti-saloon league felt that alcohol was the reason for a large amount of poverty in America. As instead of running home to a loving family, many men were stopping off at saloons and drinking their money away. While families went hungry back at the home, as shown in the poster. The Anti-saloon league also believed that the saloons turned its customers into slaves ('slaves of the saloon') because in a sense a man addicted to the drink habit is indeed a slave to his addiction. Slavery as a whole had been abolished back in 1865 after a long period of suffering and struggle. Now the bartender was the new slave master keeping his slaves in similar poverty stricken conditions as the black slaves throughout American history. ...read more.

Middle

told to ignore clear evidence that alcohol was being produced or sold, because of superiors worried about there large pay outs from involved gangs. In Chicago Al Capone had a hold over the police force and the important people in city hall and thanks to the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929, he also controlled Chicago's underworld. How on earth could the large amounts of alcohol production and provision that his gang was involved in, going to be stopped? And as Al Capone says "You can't cure thirst by law." If people want, (need) the liquor, and at this time in U.S.A many did then they will find a way to get it, whether they enforce a law against it or not. This will not cure the problem. Although this Source may be slightly biased as it is coming from Al Capone, and he is trying to justify his actions. (4) Study Sources F, G, I and J Source F is the view portrayed by a New York composer, and a previous user of speakeasies. This provides us with a firsthand example of the public's attitude towards speakeasies. But this is not entirely reliable as it is a biased, one-sided view. ...read more.

Conclusion

1? No, because he was the man who funded there new car or paid for their new house. Source B shows a very negative view and obviously a very one-sided opinion towards the saloon and alcohol as a whole. So those members of the anti-saloon league may perceive the actions of Al Capone, especially his part in the production of illegal liquor as a worthy level of criminal offences to make him public enemy no. 1. But did the rest of society feel the same and were they supplied with enough information to decide whether or not Alphonse Capone was indeed public enemy no. 1? Source C shows the devil pouring liquor bottles onto a pile. In this picture the devil is representing the 'evil' (hence the devil) liquor provided, and he is indeed portrayed as a curse on Uncle Sam (America). So this could support the idea that Al Capone, being one of the biggest providers of moonshine, and the production of illegal liquor is to America (Uncle Sam), public enemy no. 1. But this source is not entirely reliable as it is a German journalists impression of the liquor 'problem' in America, and so therefore is not firsthand. ...read more.

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