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Was Prohibition bound to fail?

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Introduction

GCSE Course work Assignment 1 : Was Prohibition bound to fail? Luke Sanderson a) One way in which source A and source B agree concerning the consequences of prohibition. When it was introduced it caused a lot of illegal activity. Source A shows how by saying, "It (prohibition) created the greatest criminal boom in American history and perhaps in all modern history." Source B shows this because it says, " by 1928 there were more than 30,000 illegal speakeasies" in New York. Another agreement that the sources A and B have is that the Anti-saloon league was an important factor in the final national ban on alcohol. In source A it says that among other reasons their was the "influence of the anti-saloon league at a time when large numbers of men were absent in the armed forces." In source B it says "a national-wide campaign, led by the anti-saloon league, brought pressure to bear a congress to ban the use of grain for brewery or distillery." However the two sources do disagree on one point. Source a believes that drinking alcohol is a perfectly normal act, it shows this by saying, "no earlier law had gone against the daily customs, habits and desires of so many Americans." Source B has quite a different opinion, it believes that the act of drinking alcohol s evil. " a crusade against one of the great evils of all time-alcohol." ...read more.

Middle

The gesture means, 'if you give me what I want, then I will turn a blind eye on what you are doing.' Source J is a policeman talking about his thoughts on prohibition, he was saying that the whole of the police force was caught up in prohibition. He said, 'if you wanted to enforce the law, they'd put you at a post where there is nothing but weeds.' This is saying that if police officers did their jobs, then their superiors would stick them somewhere there is no crime, because they have been bribed by the gangsters to let them get away with smuggling and selling alcohol. Source I backs this up by showing that the senior law enforcers, e.g. prohibition agents, were open to take bribes. However, source I is not fully reliable because it is a cartoon, this means that it could have been used as an exaggeration. Also, we do no know who source I was produced by, so we don't know whether they were supporters of prohibition or not. In source J the police officer describes how he went to 12th street, a man ran up to him and passed him an envelope with 75$ in it. Source I backs this idea up by its name, ' a national gesture,' because it is known all over that the prohibition officers will take bribes, the gangsters just take it for granted that when a new officers comes, then if they pay them sufficiently then there will be no problems. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that it shows that prohibition was going to fail because it has a picture of lots of prohibition agents lined up, facing one way with there hounds out behind there backs. I think that this shows that all the people who are supposed to be enforcing the law are willing to take bribes, and if they won't enforce prohibition, then it won't be a success. I also think that Source J agrees that prohibition was bound to fail. It is written by a prohibition agent, who when tried to enforce the law was stopped by his officers, and sent to patrol somewhere where there was no crime. He said this was because his officers had all been bribed to let the gangsters get away with selling alcohol. This means that if the people who want to enforce the law can't, then prohibition was not going to work. Overall, I think that the majority of the sources do believe that prohibition had little chance of succeeding, because a lot of people did not like the law, because drinking was part of a daily habit. Also because agents were getting bribed more, to let them get away with breaking the law, than the agents were being paid. This is because the agents were poorly paid, and there were not enough of them to cover the area needed. The few sources that may have believed that prohibition was likely to be a success were not very reliable because they were written before prohibition took place, and by people who wanted prohibition to be a success. ...read more.

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