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Why did prohibition fail?

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Introduction

Why did prohibition fail? - Gangsters, Widespread illegal drinking, lack of support, impossibility of enforcement, corruption.. * The gangsters turned Prohibition into a multi-million dollar industry. The 1920's saw a rapid increase in the crime rate this was mainly due to the illegal liquor trade that had been developed to overcome Prohibition. * This was led by the gangsters, especially in large cities such as Chicago. There were the bootleggers, smugglers, moonshiners and gangsters; all fighting to supply the public with what they wanted - to make as much money as possible. * The most famous gangster was without a doubt, Alphonse 'Scarface' Capone. It has been estimated that in 1929, Al Capone's income from selling illegal alcohol was $60,000,000, Al Capone employed a team of heavily armed men and was under constant protection from his bodyguard. ...read more.

Middle

Prior to Prohibition the government made much money out of tax from alcohol and in 1929 the government needed money to deal with the horrific situation in the USA and to get the economy going again. They knew that alcohol was being consumed anyway, so abolished the law, so that they would receive much needed money in tax. Nobody could argue that Prohibition had made the USA prosperous. Capone was sentenced to 11 years in jail on 24th October 1931 and in 1933 Prohibition was finally abolished. The Wall Street Crash and the Depression was a short-term reason for Prohibition failing and this is a key reason for it ending when it did, but I think that Prohibition had failed before 1929 By the mid 1920's the failure was quite conclusive and it was obvious that the majority of the country still drank and were breaking the law. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that if it weren't for the gangsters then the problem would never have been as severe, as many members of the public would have had to go without alcohol and the Prohibition Agents' time could have been used more effectively and devoted to 'ordinary' US citizens, as opposed to gangsters, who were in the business for the money. Overall, I think that the gangsters were the main reason why Prohibition failed, followed closely by (and linked closely to) the lack of public support. The reason behind my opinion is that the demand by the public for alcohol could not have been met without the powerful gangsters and once they had started to meet this demand they could not be stopped as the gangsters controlled and influenced many people who should have had influence over the gangsters and stopped them providing alcohol to the public. ...read more.

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