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Was Prohibition Bound to Fail?

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Was Prohibition Bound to Fail? (a) Sources A and B agree with each other on some points of the causes of prohibition and that it was the cause of a crime boom. Source A and B both say that groups such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union spearheaded the way for prohibition, and pushed for congress to enforce the ban. Both sources agree that alcoholism was seen as a great evil of the time and there was a fear that it would be the downfall of democracy. The affects of prohibition are agreed by both sources, it was the cause of widespread and organised crime. This is agreed by both sources to be because no law before had gone against the habit and desire of so many regular American people. The two sources do not directly oppose each other but source A says that other causes of prohibition were preserving grain for food, the German-Americans involved in brewing and the bad influence of saloons. Overall both sources agree with the causes of the ban although source A credits it to more than just pro-prohibition groups. Both sources fully agree on the affect of prohibition and it as a cause of widespread organised crime. (b) Both sources C and D are for prohibition and show the negative affects of alcoholism on family. ...read more.


In 1920 cars were only own by the very wealthy so not many were being driven, but by 1925 many more people owned cars so there were many more people who could drink drive. There is another way that source H shows prohibition failing, this that these are the number of people who were arrested not the number who were prosecuted and there were a lot less who were prosecuted than arrested. This is partially to blame on the fact that much of the legal system was corrupt meaning that a bribe would normally get you out of trouble. This corruption went from this small level to gangsters such as Al Capone paying millions to anyone that would oppose him and making a business empire out of prohibition. So together both sources G and H show us that prohibition was no successful with many people perhaps more continuing to drink illegal alcohol, and the police failing to truly control it. (e) Source I and J are both talking about the amount of corruption and bribery there was during prohibition, source is a cartoon showing all the different people who were being bribed and source J is a diary account of a policeman in Chicago in the 1920's. Source I shows many different types of officials such as policemen and politician lined up with there hand behind their backs, they want an bribe or 'backhander' and this is how they were often handed over. ...read more.


When the number of drunks and illegal stills is increasing it shows how prohibition is not stopping people from drink and therefore failing. So these sources show that the failure of prohibition was always going to happen. Sources I and J tell about the one biggest problems with prohibition, corruption. Source I shows that many of the people who were meant to be enforcing prohibition were taking bribes and not doing their jobs properly. When the people who are meant to be enforcing prohibition are not then regular people aren't going to stop drinking alcohol and prohibition will never work. Source J says how no regular policeman could have enforced prohibition because of they weren't bribed then their superior officers would be and stop them enforcing the law. This continued all the way to the very top of the legal system so no one person could do a lot about prohibition because someone would always stop them. Because of h prohibition would eventually fail. Overall there are reasons why prohibition was going to fail and reasons why it would succeed, but the amount of people who believed that alcohol was evil and caused poverty and suffering was a lot smaller or more importantly a lot less powerful than the people want to drink and carried on drinking alcohol. Because of this lack of respect for the law and the way alcohol was a part of everyday day life for so many people, I think that prohibition was always going to fail. David Stephens 11FN History ...read more.

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