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

To what extent was the abolition of Prohibition in 1933 due to an increase in crime?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the abolition of Prohibition in 1933 due to an increase in crime? Prohibition was introduced in 1919 in the expectation that all parts of society would prosper. However this was not the case and in many respects 'The Noble Experiment' did quite the opposite. It is clear that crime was a very influential factor in bringing about the abolition of prohibition in 1933. The interdiction of alcohol gave criminals the perfect chance to prosper more than ever before and criminal activity dramatically increased during the prohibition period. However, crime was by no means the only contributory factor to the eventual repeal of the Prohibition. Other economic, social and political problems that America faced at this time also played their part. Before Prohibition, many Americans believed that crime was something that needed to be dealt with, and by illegalizing alcohol they could achieve this. For religious people, especially Protestants who made up a large section of the American population, alcohol was regarded as a 'temptation that led to evil,' and that it was the Christians duty to take away this sin. Many men often got drunk and couldn't turn up for Mass on Sunday. Furthermore it set a bad example to their children. ...read more.


Perhaps the most notorious gangster who took full advantage of this opportunity was Al Capone. Al Capone gained control of organized crime in Chicago and made between 60 and 100 million dollars at the height of his success. Gangs like Al Capone's emerged throughout America all in competition with one another to profit from selling alcohol and various other drugs. Gang wars terrorised America's major cities. Over 400 gang related murders were recorded during one year in Chicago. This huge scale of gang warfare was partly due to people dependence upon gangsters. Many people wanted alcohol and knew that through gangsters they could attain it. Crimes involving gangsters became increasingly violent due to new inventions such as the machine gun and car. During the 1920's crime figures rocketed. Previous law-abiding citizens became criminals for having an alcoholic drink which they had no intention of giving up. Therefore, far from reducing crime rate, Prohibition increased it. Furthermore, resources being used to enforce other laws were deflected to enforcing prohibition so these suffered as well. Black market violence increased and destroyed many law abiding jobs. Police figures for drink related offences increased from 14,313 in Philadelphia 1920 to 51,361 in 1925. Crime was encouraged as people refused to stop drinking and could easily find somewhere to do it. ...read more.


economy. Many of these loans were used to buy shares on the Wall Street Stock Exchange. As more shares were bought, more money was invested into business and industry. New machinery such as power shovels, dial phones and automatic switchboards improved the communications industry. In short, more consumer goods were bought than ever before. Production increased and became much more efficient. In 1925 the Automobile industry employed almost 500,000 people. Employment was reduced from 11.9% to 3.2% in the space of 8 years. By 1928 morale in America was extremely high. New President Herbert Hoover was quoted as saying: 'We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of the land.' American citizens had more money and leisure than they had ever been used to in the past. The Wall Street Crash brought about a sudden, unexpected end to the 'Roaring Twenties.' As a result people's lives were ruined. Many people committed suicide, particularly the old as they felt they weren't able to re-start their live again. Many were affected world wide and plunged into a great depression which did not recover until the end of World War II. People went hungry, houses were lost and children were starved. The exciting, prosperous times of the 1920's seemed like a remote memory to the thousands of men, women and children forced to live in poverty. Overproduction and recklessness in buying shares were at fault. ...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. The Roaring Twenties

    Americans * Non-Christians * Poor and unemployed FARMERs * Europe started to import less food from USA and put high tariffs on US products in reaction to the Fordney-Mcumber Tariff, 1922 due isolationist atmosphere. * Completion from other trading countries who sold food at a cheaper price.

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

    As said by Jennifer D. Keene "Instead of ridding alcohol from society, Americans concluded that they had passed an unenforceable law that generated disrespect for the law and made it socially acceptable, and for some social groups, almost mandatory, to break the law."15 To finish this essay on whether prohibition

  1. To what extent did America

    on so greatly that it was much more expensive to buy there products. But after 1927 American companies couldn't sell abroad because the other companies taxed the American products extensively because they had done it to there's, so in that part of the 1920's it didn't roar for the big companies.

  2. The Boom in the US. There are many reasons why it was called the ...

    Chicago's first radio station, 'KYW', begun in 1921 by Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, was the first specialized radio station, broadcasting exclusively opera six days a week. The radio station experienced immediate popularity and continued to be a favorite in Chicago.

  1. The Roaring Twenties

    They had 4 beliefs in total which helped them to secure a good partnership with the American society. Their first belief was ''Laisses - Faire'', this meant that the Republicans believed that the government shouldn't really interfere with the everyday lives of American people.

  2. History evacuation of children

    Technology was a lot more developed since the last time Britain had faced aerial attacks which would mean that planes were harder, better, faster, stronger and their ability of carrying a larger load of bombs convinced the government that they would be facing aerial attacks from Germany.

  1. prohibition of alcohol in america

    These sources could have been published in order to inform and spread to the public the negatives of alcoholism and thus to persuade them support the ban. Content Source C is a poster of a poor man spending his weekly wages on alcohol in a saloon with a rich man

  2. To what extent can it be argued that the issuing of the Emancipation proclamation ...

    This is a clear indication that Lincoln's emancipation was solely to win the war because if Lincoln wanted to free all the slaves as a moral issue he would have freed slaves in every state not just rebellion states. However this did not cause controversy most were still happy even if only some of the slaves had been freed.

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