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Why did Prohibition Fail?

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Introduction

Coursework Assignment- Why did Prohibition Fail? The act of Prohibition was introduced within the American culture during the twentieth century, within the subject of alcoholic abuse and increasing establishments of saloon bars within rural and urban states. The act of Prohibition was introduced due to the strong temperance movements within the rural states present in the nineteenth century; which included Devout Christians and the Anti- Saloon League presenting their ideas and opinions on the effects of alcoholic abuse within the family environment. The members involved within the groups which created the stigma of alcohol, in the act of Prohibition, presented their case on a political view within their local state. The states were persuaded to prohibit the sale of alcohol, which lead into a wide spread National law on the purchase of alcohol. The Prohibition act came into effect on January 16th 1920, as Prohibition became a law under the Volstead act. Prohibition was set to improve the social, health and crime effects of alcohol within the country. The use of patriotic pride was used to decline the alcoholic abuse present within the country; as many German breweries were exporting alcohol which was being purchased by American citizens. The First World War boosted the amount of dries (non-alcohol consumers), due to the un-patriotic movement of drinking German products. The Bolshevism community within the Russian revolution thrived on the use of alcohol, which created lawlessness in society. ...read more.

Middle

The moonshine contained a high concentration of alcohol, due to the un-professional production of alcohol within stills. Bootleggers became rich people within society, with known fortunes from the Prohibition era, as in the case of Al Capone who earned a vast fortune of $60 million. The production of moonshine saw the increase in illegal stills, with many people making their own whiskey for sale in the speakeasies. Agents seized 280,000 distilleries, but this is only a proportion of stills in use within the period. The Prohibition act is thought to have created more interest in the act of alcohol drinking, as there were more speakeasies than saloons in many cities, due to the vast profit margins involved with selling moonshine. This is one stable reason to conclude the failure of Prohibition, but the factor of crime and gangs- which were supposed to be prevented through Prohibition- contributed to the failure of Prohibition, due to large scale violence within the St. Valentine's massacre. The most common image of Prohibition is the era of the powerful gangsters who made their fortunes from the selling of illegal liquor, within local speakeasies of their city. Sources suggest that organised crime gangs made fortunes of about $2 billion out of the trade and sale of alcohol. The gangsters were present all over the USA, but the city of Chicago was closely associated with the presence of gangs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Large breweries were bribing many local government officials for their businesses to stay in production. Briberies included money and in some cases alcohol, which was creating a large corrupt police force within larger cities of the USA. The conviction of guilty bootleggers was seen to die out, as many judges accepted the bribe of payment from suspected criminals. A national cartoon from the Prohibition era named- "The National Gesture", illustrated the large corruption involved in this time period, due to the illustrated hand behind the back picture incorporated into bribery. Many businesses thrived on the corruption of Law enforcement, but most importantly the law enforcers were making a profit out of the law they were supposed to be protecting, creating a mockery of Prohibition. In conclusion, I believe the most probable reason for the failure of the Prohibition era is the factor of the widespread corruption involved, as law enforcers were making a profit out of a law set by the national government. If the law is not being enforced by the enforcers, then the law is non valid, which was supposed to improve social benefits; but this proved incorrect, as large scale bribery increased the production of alcohol. The prohibition era caused national tax problems, which was successfully reversed in the re-introduction of legal drinking. This factor of tax could be a possible reason for ending the Prohibition on a political view, but I believe the corruption of law enforcement was the most important reason, as there is no law without law enforcement present. ...read more.

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