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Why did Prohibition laws prove so difficult to enforce?

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Why did Prohibition laws prove so difficult to enforce? Name: Laura F Green Candidate number: Centre: Nonsuch High school Centre Number: 14723 Syllabus: SEG Syllabus Examination Session: 2001 The roaring twenties made everyone forget about the nightmares of WW1, people wanted to have fun and spent vast amounts of money on enjoying themselves. Ever since the 19th century, there had been a campaign to persuade the government to ban the making, transportation and sale of alcoholic drinks. People argued that drink was a waste of grain, which could be used as food. It was after WW1 when prohibitionists lobbied the government, arguing that there was unacceptable number of people having days off due to access alcohol drinking. The USA could not afford to lose valuable working time. It was the people in the small towns and rural areas who began to form the protest groups against the "demon drink". In particular women's groups such as Women's Christian Temperance Union led campaigns encouraging Christians and women to actively discourage alcohol sales. ...read more.


The profit motive caused over four hundred gang related murders a year in Chicago alone. The main organisation set up to find criminals such as bootleggers was the Prohibition Bureau. This did not stop the ever-growing alcohol market as many agents were to be known to be on the payroll of big gang members such as Al Capone. He was the world's famous criminal who ran a vast empire of speakeasies, distilleries and gambling houses. By the late 1920's he was earning over $100 million a year, he was never caught for selling alcohol and only went to prison for tax evasion. He didn't even serve time for the St Valentines Massacre where Capone's gangsters murdered seven leading members of Bugs Moran's gang. Gangsters escaped any legal action because of the large briberies they gave to the agents. Many agents were open to these briberies as they were poorly paid and over worked. The agency was not successful as these big time gangsters used their profits to pay off the agents in their area and to maintain the illegal alcohol business, making a mockery of the prohibition laws. ...read more.


A law pushed through by so few supporters was bound to fail right from the start. The results of the prohibition are clear: organized crime grew into an empire and disrespect for the law grew. Also the consumption of alcohol increased during the prohibition era as drinkers became more daring because of the thrill of it. Reasonable measures were not taken to enforce the laws and so they were practically ignored. People openly broke the law and more alcohol was consumed every day, the problems prohibition intended to solve, such as crime, grew worse and they never returned to their pre-prohibition levels. Not only was prohibition ineffective, it was also damaging to the people and society it was meant to help. I feel the main factor that caused the prohibition laws to be so difficult to enforce was the fact that the majority of the USA population didn't agree with it. Only the people in the rural and small towns really wanted this law to be enforced, so many people openly broke the law, as they did not agree with it. I feel this is why the prohibition laws failed and that this law should have never been enforced. Words 1,141 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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