• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did prohibition fail?

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. Prohibition bound to fail?

    police officer, clerk, magistrate, politician and prohibition agents all lined up together with their right hand held open behind their backs. This cartoon is showing the people who were meant to enforce the law, were secretly willing to accept bribes from people and 'turn to a blind eye'.

  2. Why did prohibition fail? - Gangsters, Widespread illegal drinking, lack of support, impossibility of ...

    Sources A, B and C show who the minority groups were and what their arguments were. These sources are all reliable sources although source A is a piece of propaganda, so is biased, it gives an insight into the ASL, a very successful pressure group and the ways which they tried to represent their argument.

  1. To What extent was Prohibtion doomed to fail from its inception?

    However, with acts of violence increasing their main concern was to stop this, they thought if prohibition was reversed, it may help to do this. If the law was losing its main support i.e. the women it looked very unlikely it could survive for many more years.

  2. The USA: Was prohibition bound to fail?

    If this is the case, then prohibition would have been successful if backed up with a competent law force. On the other hand, the fact that a previously efficient police force, with backing from the new prohibition commission, was unable to enforce the new law is a testament to the fact that Americans were unwilling to obey this law.

  1. Was Prohibition bound to fail? - source related study.

    Despite the fact that these five sources can be singled out, their reliability must be taken into account because this could effect how much they can be relied on to support the view that the failure of Prohibition was successful.

  2. Was Prohibition Bound To Fail?

    Both source c and d both agree on the point made in source c, 'the poor man's club' the man would go in for a drink after work, and end up spending more than he expected to, and then going home to his wife and kids, no money left over to provide for them for that week.

  1. Why did prohibition fail?

    Sources A, B and C show who the minority groups were and what their arguments were. These sources are all reliable sources although source A is a piece of propaganda, so is biased, it gives an insight into the ASL, a very successful pressure group and the ways which they tried to represent their argument.

  2. The USA Was Prohibition bound To Fail?

    In the last paragraphs of sources A and B it goes on to say that prohibition "created the biggest criminal boom in American history" and explains that prohibition went against so many "customs, habits, and desires" and practically forced people to break the law.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work