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Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

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Assignment 1: Objective 2 Question 1: Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919? To understand why the amendment to the constitution was made in 1919 for prohibition in the USA, we need to understand the atmosphere of the United States and the events in the late 18th century and early 19th century. There were many supporters of prohibition with strong arguments for the motion of prohibition to pass as a countrywide law. Additionally, many states were already "dry" in 1855 and the pressure to pass prohibition was greater as more states decided to support prohibition. Firstly, there was the very high consumption of alcohol of 7.1 gallons per capita per year. This was a factor that led to family problems in the USA, during that time. The man of the family would go to the saloons at the evening and "pour" money into the saloonkeeper's hands. ...read more.


There was also the strong support from religious groups such as Protestants. They believed consuming alcohol was "ungodly, evil and wasteful." For example, Protestant idealists who supported prohibition founded the state of Kansas. The state became one of the first states to become "dry." Protestants also set up big campaign movements and organisations such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Temperance movements such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union set up big campaigns and held rallies. These societies used propaganda to persuade the 70% of the population who didn't vote, to vote for prohibition. Having acknowledged this fact, politicians realised that it was to their advantage to campaign for prohibition to win them votes. This political element made it necessary for congressmen to vote "dry." Prohibition supporters also had a low belief in moderation of alcohol consumption and strongly urged the need for a complete ban of alcohol. ...read more.


After defeating Germany in the First World War, there was still the existence of Anti-German feelings. Many German immigrants who came to USA worked in the brewing industry. To drink alcohol was to be seen as a German trait. Therefore the motion of prohibition was an act that expressed USA's hostility to the Germans. Hence we can see that World War 1 was a catalyst to prohibition. In addition, grain was needed for food during the First World War however was being used in German brewing industries. Thus, there was the increasing hatred of the Germans and increasing support for prohibition. It was said at the time that, "if you vote against prohibition, it's going against morality, patriotism and family." In conclusion, after looking at why prohibition was introduced in 1919, it is very clear that there was not only one reason to why the amendment was made but because of several different explanations and reasons that stretch from moral, social, economical, political, religious and even to nationalistic pride issues. ...read more.

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