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Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

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Year 10 Prohibition Coursework Lucy Sparks 10A Why was Prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919? In the USA in 1919 the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the sale, manufacture and transportation of "intoxicating liquor", was ratified and then became law in1920 under the Volstead Act. It was a decision that had taken many years to reach and had been effected by political and economic issues. Temperance societies date back to 1808 in New York when people became concerned about the quantities of alcohol consumed and its effects on health and behaviour. Other states soon followed in setting up temperance groups such as Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1813. ...read more.


Many early state laws were modified or ignored. To try and regain support more powerful prohibitionist organisations were created. In 1869 the National Prohibition Party, which presented candidates for political office, was founded. In 1874 the Women's Christian Temperance Union was formed by a group of protestant women and in 1893 'drys' established the Anti-Saloon League. These societies believed alcohol to be the root of family neglect and poverty and campaigned for prohibition by promoting their views to the rest of America. They had mottos such as "sin like gin" and "the saloon must go" to gain support and spread their feelings through posters, protests, newspaper articles and speeches. ...read more.


The prohibitionist groups promoted this idea and believed there would be a reduction in crime, as there would be less people under the influence of alcohol. When America entered World War 1 in 1917, the prohibition campaign received a boost due to hostility to Germany. Prohibition was considered a patriotic sacrifice, as grain used in the manufacture of alcohol was needed for food supplies, while beer brewing and drinking was seen as a German trait. The World War had brought the final, convincing argument for prohibition. By December 1917 a Congressional resolution proposing a Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the required two-thirds majority. This prohibited the sale, manufacture, transportation, import and export of alcohol. This Amendment was approved in 1919 and put into force under the Volstead Act on the 16th January 1920. Lucy Sparks 10A ...read more.

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