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Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

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Introduction

Ruby Rumjon 11E Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919? In this essay it will be argued that there were many reasons why prohibition was introduced. The arguments of the various movements will be discussed, as well as the effect of WWI and patriotism. To begin with the law against the selling and making of alcohol in America was passed by congress in 1917, due to the eighteenth amendment; it didn't come into effect until January 16th 1920 at precisely midnight. Shortly after the amendment had been passed, the 'National Prohibition Act' or the 'Volstead Act', as it was called because of its Author J Volstead, was put into effect. This act prohibited the manufacture and selling of 'intoxicating liquors'. Intoxicating liquor was defined as any drink containing more than 0.5% of alcohol. With the exceptions of alcohol made uses such as medicine and industrial uses. Anti- drinking issues went as far back as 1830, when a group of women situated in the West and Midlands known as the rural areas set up a group called the "Christian Women Temperance Union". ...read more.

Middle

Men drinking lead to more aggressive behaviour and a danger for children if alcohol was in the home. The behaviour leads to social problems. For e.g. men fighting in the saloon, which lead to prison as their punishment. In addition drink lead to vice, i.e. Adultery, lies, stealing and crime. As a result for these social problems almshouses were set up to help the poor get help. The Christians believed that the saloon was not a good place. In their eyes it was seen as a temptation that led to evil and it was looked upon as a Christian's duty to take away all temptation. They believed god was against the saloon. Many men got so drunk that they could not turn up for mass on Sundays. This set a bad example for their children. The campaign began to get influential supporters. Big businessman believed that workers would be more reliable and efficient workmen if they didn't drink. ...read more.

Conclusion

I quote "...it was a way of keeping the Negro in place..." Germans were the brewers of most the alcohol drunk in America. A German company called "Pabet and Burch" brewed lot of the beer that was drunk. Much of the grain and barley used in brewing could be used to produce rations for the allies so for these unpatriotic reasons food and fuel control act banned the use of grain for brewing alcohol. They looked at it upon as a patriotic move for the country. In conclusion there is a chain of events which lead up to the cause for prohibition. Each cause is very strong and has a lot of back up to agree with the banning of alcohol. I think the main cause would be the family issues. If it weren't for the organisations serious actions would not have been made. I think the least reason would have to the national Prohibition Party because I feel they made no effect to the publics mind as they were a small right wing party. On the whole there is a variety of reasons and explanations of why prohibition was introduced. ...read more.

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