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Was Prohibition Bound to Fail? Sources Questions

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Was Prohibition Bound to Fail a) Study Sources A and B. How far do these two accounts agree about Prohibition? Both A and B state that prohibition encouraged gangs and organised crime. In Source A, it states that prohibition created a 'criminal boom' and in Source B, it states that prohibition had given 'Gangsters, big, violent business'. In this way the sources agree that prohibition did increase the amount of crime. Another agreement in the sources is that the 'Anti-Saloon League' put pressure on congress to put the ban of alcohol into place. In both sources, it talks about how the Anti-Saloon league wanted to ban alcohol as it used too much grain, which could be used for more important things such as feeding the hungry and troops during wartime. although the sources don't mention it the anti saloon league also wanted prohibition because of the social effects of alcohol and alcoholism they also felt that it caused people to behave immorally and was there for immoral itself. This is another major way in which the sources agree. One way difference between the sources is that Source A talks of alcohol related to crime where as Source B talks of alcohol related to business. This could be because source B was written in a international book on American history so the industrial effect of prohibition would be more important than the social effects i.e crime. ...read more.


The only thing that makes Source E slightly unreliable is that the mans own opinion is coming through slightly in the language he uses. For example, 'the evil effects of alcohol' and he uses the word 'reluctantly' when saying how he had to come to terms with the fact that prohibition had failed. But I think that Source E is the most reliable source because from my own knowledge all the things stated in this source are true because prohibition did increase drinking, lawbreaking was more frequent and crime increased. Source E is also correct because it fits in with Source G and Source H. Source G and H show that more alcohol was produced, more drunk people were arrested and there were more drunk drivers. This shows that Sources G and H back up most of the things that were stated in Source E. Where as source F is not supported by any figures if anything it is disproved by the increase in alcohol related incidents post 1920 this shows that prohibition failed because alcohol was still available and if anything drunk in greater quantities during the prohibition years. (d) Study sources G and H. Do these two sources prove that prohibition was successful? Both these sources, when looking at the figures, show that prohibition was a failure but when looking at source G writer, it was written by a government agency connected with enforcing prohibition, this means that obviously the agency would be wanting to portray a ...read more.


In Sources F, G and H it is hard to tell whether they show that prohibition was bound to fail. In sources G and H it maybe suggests that it was bound to fail because the amounts of alcohol being seized were increasing greatly and there were more drunks and drunk drivers being arrested. In Source F though it is not clear and does not really say anything about it failing, this would be because the commissionaire would need to encourage people to be positive about the law. Source I and J definitely support the view that prohibition was bound to fail because it shows clearly the corruption that was going on. Source J says that it was all a 'conspiracy' and that his 'superior officers were involved in it'. This shows that prohibition was bound to fail because if the pillars of society weren't enforcing it properly then no one was going to obey the law. From my own knowledge I know that it is rumoured that even the president had the occasional alcoholic drink. Generally, over all, the sources support the view that the failure of Prohibition was inevitable. The reason for this failure was that the majority of Americans did not want prohibition which meant that you had people trying to enforce a law which they themselves broke or disagreed with add to this copious amounts of corruption bribery and violent crime it was blatantly going to fail as source A says "..no earlier law had gone against the customs, habits and desires of so many Americans." ?? ?? ?? ?? Simon Bartley 11C ...read more.

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