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Why, and with what success, was the policy of Prohibition introduced in the USA?

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Introduction

Why, and with what success, was the policy of Prohibition introduced in the USA? In January 1920 prohibition was introduced to the USA by the Volstead Act, which became the 18th amendment to the US constitution. This meant that that the production, transporting and sale of alcoholic liquor were banned. This led the creation of speakeasies and led to many normal citizens turning to gangster life styles. When Prohibition was first introduced it was very popular. It was introduced mostly to do with the moral issues associated with drinking. There were many campaigns to get alcohol banned most of which were successful. They blamed alcohol for breaking up families, causing unemployment and ill health and suffering for women and children. The campaign against alcohol had its origins in small town America. In the 19th century two major anti-alcohol campaign groups were becoming very effective. These were the Women's Christian Temperance Movement which was formed in 1872 and the Anti-Saloon League which was formed in 1893. These were very strong in the South and Midwest. ...read more.

Middle

In an Anti-Saloon League pamphlet it even went as far as to say "The American's patriotic duty is to abolish the un-American, pro German, crime producing, food wasting, youth corrupting, home wrecking, treasonable liquor traffic." I believe that this wasn't a very important cause as it was fairly ridiculous. The only people the campaigners had to persuade after that were the politicians but this proved to be easy. The politicians needed votes so they agreed with campaigners and if they didn't then they were accused of being supporters of crime and immorality. This meant that by 1919 thirteen states were 'dry' of alcohol. At first prohibition seemed to be a success but this soon changed. There were many reasons why it was a failure. Firstly, prohibition failed because it was not supported by the public. The public were the people who liked to drink and were prepared to break the law to do so. This led to the formation of secret bars which were known as speakeasies. These were extremely popular bars which were formed in secret all over America. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gangsters fought to control the business and it encouraged a very bad atmosphere around the cities. This led to around about 200 gang murders between 1929 and 1931. Because there was so much competition it also the gangsters started to get involved in other businesses such as prostitution, drugs, Protection Rackets and Gambling which led to a huge increase in crime. Prohibition made ordinary people into criminals and because of the bribes the police were reluctant to enforce the law. Along with the prohibition officers and the police the gangsters also bribed people such as judges, chief of police and even mayors. Because of all of the above reasons prohibition was repealed in 1933. It was clearly not working and the depression meant that there was very little money to be spent on enforcing the law and when Roosevelt became president in 1933 he personally didn't approve of prohibition. I conclude that prohibition was introduced in 1920 for many very good reasons but it was also a very good decision that it was to be repealed in 1933. It proved too impossible to get rid of what proved to be a way of life for some people. ?? ?? ?? ?? History Course Work William Stephenson 1 ...read more.

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