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Was Prohibition Bound To Fail?

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Introduction

Was Prohibition Bound To Fail? a) The two accounts consider Prohibition from different viewpoints. They offer slightly different reasons as to why Prohibition was introduced although the intentions are the same. They also agree on the outcome of it's implementation. Source A, taken from an American History book published in 1973 discusses the differing reasons why Prohibition was considered to be a good idea, It mentions "the bad influence of saloons." Source B, taken from a different American History book published in 1979, agrees with Source A. It is more detailed in that it mentions a crusade by the "Women's Christian Temperance Union" against "one of the great evils of the times - alcoholism." The two sources also agree when mentioning the conservation of grain. The First World War was in progress and many people felt that food for the population should come before alcohol. Source A mentions this specifically, referring to "the wartime concern for preserving grain for food." Source B makes a more oblique reference to the 1917 "nation-wide campaign, led by the Anti-Saloon League." This campaign was organised to make congress "ban the use of grain for either distilling or brewing." Source A also briefly mentions the Anti-Saloon League influencing this decision. The two sources do not directly agree on the outcome of Prohibition's introduction, although they infer that the result was the same. ...read more.

Middle

Rockerfeller describes supply and demand with a regard to illegal substances saying "a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared." This speech shows that this need has no class boundories in that "many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition." The law was proven to be unpopular across the entire population, Rockerfeller recognised this "respect for the law has been greatly lessened." He was able to see the result of its iintorduction when he mentions that "crime has increased to a level never seen before." Therefore, Source E, depicts a well balanced piece of evidence. Rockerfeller's views may not have been dissimilar to Kramer's but he was able to look at Prohibition and the result of its introduction far more objectively. d) Sources G and H prove that Prohibition was not successful. There are underlying reasons other than alcohol which explain some of the figures shown however it can be seen that generally the offences discussed increased. Arguments against these sources being a reliable way to see if Prohibiton was a success are that the years shown in both charts are not the same. Figures are missiong for the intervening years. Source H, statistics published by the 'City of Philadelphia Police Department' represent "arrests for drinking-related offences." However these figures are for one state only and cannot be considered to be a fair representation of what was happening across America as a whole. ...read more.

Conclusion

John D. Rockerfeller, who was well known in America, described the effect of alcohol to be 'evil' - a very strong word. John F. Kramer expressed an emphatic intention to enforce the law. All of the above have a zealous feel to their views of Prohibition. The support of the law by these groups in the Resources gives the reader the impression that they were "do-gooders" who thought they knew what was best for those considered too ignorant to make an informed decision for themselves. They were unable to see that this would be resented by the general populace and that telling someone what they should not do was going to be rebelled against and inevitably would fail. The statistical resources support the view that Prohibition would fail as they, on the whole, show that despite the amount of alcohol being taken off the market people were still drinking. The people were, therefore, not respecting this law. Cartoons were intended to appeal and be understood by all walks of life and support the view that the law would not work as everyone was involved in breaking it. The first hand account by the Policeman shows the hoplessness of the situation as he makes no real effort to "stick to his guns" and support the law but goes along with the majority, turning a 'blind-eye' to the law. All the resources in their own way support each other to show that from all aspects it was inevitable that Prohibition would fail. Li-An Wright ...read more.

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