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There are many contributing factors to why prohibition was introduced on 16 January 1920. The two factors that I have chosen to answer the question, how did they contribute to prohibition being passed as a law,

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History Coursework Prohibition 1. There are many contributing factors to why prohibition was introduced on 16 January 1920. The two factors that I have chosen to answer the question, how did they contribute to prohibition being passed as a law, are the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) and the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). These both campaigned to try and get prohibition passed as a lawThe Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed in 1875 and was led by Frances Willard, but the movement of women to try and get prohibition passed as a law had started before this. It was Elizabeth Thompson who sat with friends outside the saloons of Kansas praying for the saloons to be closed down. This was the first ever women's movement and at the time was not taken seriously. Within two years after this the WCTU was founded and was led by Frances Willard. It was Frances Willard that first put pressure on politicians to try and get prohibition passed and saloons outlawed. She wrote thousands of letters to rally together woman that believed that prohibition should go ahead in the hope that this would increase her power, and give her the chance to get prohibition passed. The women who joined her were only volunteers, but they increased the overall power of the WCTU. Now that the WCTU had more power it put further pressure on the politicians, which made the politicians take notice of them. Frances Willard's view was that the saloons were damaging to family life. She also said that the saloon was a place for men to go and discuss politics without the women having a chance to intervene. They saw this as discrimination and another reason for them to want to close down the saloons. They used this as one of their arguments to try and get the saloons to close down. They also said that women were the victims of drunken behaviour. ...read more.


Prohibition made ordinary people unhappy and many of them couldn't help but come across some kind of criminal. Many ordinary people lost faith in the law and politicians because of the failure of prohibition. Many also lost jobs because of the closure of breweries and saloons. Prohibition had very bad effects on ordinary people and how they lived. Many ordinary people started turning to crime because of the large sums of money that could be earned. Nobody could now live by the law or support the law. A decrease in crime was suppose to happen as soon as prohibition was passed as a law, but this was not the case and crime started to rise dramatically. Prohibition was the opportunity for many people to make large sums of money, and many took this up. George Remus was one example of this happening. Remus was once a highly ranked lawyer, but after turning to crime for he amassed $40 million in assets. Remus was paying off the local officials for them to keep quite, and although Remus was put to trial he never went to jail because he could easily afford to buy corrupt officials running the judicial system. As prohibition went on the level of crime rose and the smuggling operations by large gangs increased. An example of these smuggling operations is the trips made by a man called Bill McCoy. He to was an ordinary boat builder by trade, but turned to liquor running because of the large sums of money involved. McCoy stored his liquor on the small French Island of San Pierre. San Pierre soon grew very rich and alcohol was not illegal here. McCoy would load up his boats with mainly Rum and some European liquors and then lay in wait just out of the reach of the coastguard. Small boats would then come out to take the liquor to the shore. This was known as the Rum Row and could sometimes earn Bill McCoy up to $300,000 per trip. ...read more.


The government liked this idea and decided that they weren't getting enough money from taxes, as they would like. They found this out from the campaigning of the NAAPA and large business. The government itself then realised that they liked the idea of having prohibition outlawed. The government also found out that they weren't getting the support they needed to keep prohibition as a law. This lack of support was because of the changing public opinion, and this was because of the high levels of crime and violence that was brought about because of gangsters. The depression was another reason where prohibition failed. The factor that started the depression was the Wall Street Crash. The resulting depression meant that people could no longer state that prohibition helped the prosperity of the nation. Many people began to see prohibition as the reason for the depression. This was because prohibition resulted in low employment in brewing and other related industries such as bottle factories. The depression helped to outlaw prohibition because it could lead an economic benefit, as it would create jobs, and lower taxes as money could be raised through alcohol. Public opinion and anti prohibition groups made the government realise this and so the government outlawed prohibition. The repeal of prohibition started when Al Capone was jailed, which was a massive blow to the underworld of gangster crime. A political solution was needed and F.D Roosevelt the democrat nomination for the presidency made repeal an election issue. He saw it as an answer to reduce the effects of prohibition, as he could tax the alcohol and start to make money for the government that badly needed it because of the depression. F.D Roosevelt was elected and 73% of Americans that voted chose repeal. The law was then repealed and 8 states went wet, but it took although 36 years for the whole of America to become wet. From the original statement I agree with the two factors being reasons why prohibition failed but I also believe that there are many other contributing factors that helped prohibition become outlawed. ...read more.

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