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

Was prohibition bound to fail?

Extracts from this document...


Was Prohibition bound to fail? It is widely thought that Prohibition was always destined to end in failure. But is this strictly true, and when exactly did the 'Noble Experiment' become a failure? Prohibition did not work for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the task of enforcing the ban on alcohol manufacture and distribution would have been made near impossible by the sheer size of America. It would have been very hard for the police to cover the whole of the mainland, as well as monitor the imports coming in along the extensive coastlines. The fact that America shared borders with two countries where alcohol was legal and easy to come by, Canada and Mexico, made this task even harder. So the very fact that Prohibition was hard to enforce might have doomed the law to failure. Another factor that contributed to the failure of Prohibition is that fact that it generated a lot of profitable illegal business for gangsters, and therefore seemed to encourage crime and criminals like Al Capone- something the Government had not intended when enforcing the law. ...read more.


Many people without jobs began to turn to crime in order to make money. The repeal of Prohibition began to seem very appealing as it would bring alcohol profits into the economy and help American citizens to turn from crime. The impact of the Depression on the American public is shown through the fact that in 1932 Hoover was beaten in the presidential election by a man who vowed to get rid of Prohibition- Franklin Roosevelt. Public opinion had swung heavily in favour of repeal. Roosevelt lifted Prohibition when the 21st Amendment was approved on 5th December 1933. He saw that by doing this he would be restoring jobs to a large number of the American population whilst gaining money for the country's economy and reducing crime. In contrast to the view that Prohibition failed in 1929 through the Depression, many people claim that it was a complete failure from the start, corrupting the police, increasing levels of organised criminal activity, and bringing violence and chaos onto the streets of American cities. ...read more.


In my opinion, the failure of Prohibition was inevitable, mainly due to the fact that it was always going to be impossible to enforce because of the sheer size of America and its coastlines. In my eyes, the Depression was the final blow in the struggle to keep Prohibition working, effectively ending any kind of success the law was having. However, this opinion is formed with hindsight and I can easily see how Prohibition was deemed a good idea at first, as it appeared to provide an answer to almost everyone's problems. But in the end I believe that the factors against the success of Prohibition, such as the problems of corruption, the fact that many rich people were easily able to get hold of alcohol anyway from illegal bars, and that a large amount of people went ahead and manufactured their own alcohol anyway, greatly outweighed the factors for the success of Prohibition. Sources used: DeMarco, N -"The USA: A divided nation" (Longman, 1994) Kelly, N & Lacy, G -"Modern World History" (Heinemann, 2001) http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/rnp/rnptoc.htm ...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. Prohibition bound to fail?

    prohibition this is why his overall end opinion has changed as he states 'I have reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result'. His change in his opinion shows that he is being honest and not biased.

  2. Why did prohibition fail? - Gangsters, Widespread illegal drinking, lack of support, impossibility of ...

    America is the 3rd largest country in the world with large coastlines and borders. Prohibition agents were employed by the government to enforce the law of Prohibition, making sure that alcohol wasn't transported, manufactured or sold, which was obviously a very difficult and dangerous job, especially as there weren't many Prohibition agents in comparison to the law breakers.

  1. The USA: Was prohibition bound to fail?

    Source H further proves that prohibition was unsuccessful. Source J shows that police departments in major cities were completely corrupted, and even an honest police officer wishing to enforce the law would be unable to do their job properly, as they would merely be moved to another post.


    He also says things that have changed for the worse, so this source is against prohibition showing the failures of it. Source F cant really comment on prohibition being a success or failure because it was published at the start of prohibition but the man who said this was quite

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

    However, "Medical experimentation soon revealed that alcohol was a depressant which clouded judgment and impaired physical performance. Habitual and excessive use, researchers discovered, turned alcohol into a poison which destroyed the liver, damaged unborn children and caused insanity." 7 The discovery of this information gave the factory workers and employers

  2. Was Prohibition bound to Fail

    his mind and came to believe this had not been the result. Rockefeller was a very educated well-respected man for his wealth and philanthropy, which meant that when he would say something people would tend to listen. Source F is John F.

  1. History - Prohibition

    testing them for alcohol later and then arresting the bar tenders or owners who had sold them the alcohol. Source F is taken from a speech made by John F. Kramer, who was the First Prohibition Commissioner, speaking in 1920.

  2. Was Prohibition Bound To Fail?

    investigation it can be seen that, in the most part, they agree. b) The Artists for the two posters shown as Source C and Source D are in agreement. Source C depicts a man drinking in what it refers to as "The Poor Mans Club."

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