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Why was the law of prohibition passed?

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Introduction

Why was the law of prohibition passed? There were many reasons for the law of prohibition being passed. Prohibition originally started in the strictly religious states and spread nation wide. Several sectors and regions of society had various reasons for supporting prohibition. In this essay I will evaluate these reasons with the intention of establishing why the law of prohibition was passed. World War One caused more support and fuelled propaganda in support of prohibition. Drinking was generally not practical during the First World War. People involved in the production, selling and transporting of alcohol could be either farming to feed soldiers and those left behind or producing weapons and war related goods. Germans were often associated with the brewing industry and obviously throughout this time, anything German was seen as the enemy. Propaganda at this time promoted the idea that drinking was 'Pro-German' and 'Un-American.' All of this motivated people to be not want to be related to alcohol. Women's role had changed during the war as they had taken over jobs previously monopolised by men. ...read more.

Middle

Although the southern and mid-west states tended to be more religious than the rest of America, the whole of America was much more conservative and religious than it is now. Therefore propaganda used by religious people would have scared some, and made others ashamed to stand up against prohibition. Protestant businessman also supported prohibition. They set up the Anti-Saloon League in 1893 intent on destroying the liquor trade. This group was made up of professional people, and later included Henry Ford. The motivation of members' being that drunken employees negatively affected productivity, and also if workers spent less money on alcohol theoretically they would spend more on products produced. The Anti-Saloon League used propaganda by stating drinking as the cause of 'German brutality and cruelty'. As German's were seen as the enemy because of World War I this was an affective method to weaken the glamorous image of drinking to one of brutality and drunkards. In addition to this they suggested that alcohol was connected with murder, epilepsy, cholera and fevers'. The Anti-Saloon League also suggested that prohibition would make America more hardworking and moral. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore this encouraged politicians to act like they supported prohibition. When these politicians got into office they had to be seen to actively work to impose the law of prohibition, because when campaigning they had previously promised to do so. I conclude that the reason the law of prohibition was passed is because of propaganda at that time. People who would ordinarily have spoke out against prohibition did not so because of the connections made to alcohol by propaganda. World War One, religious people, The Women's Temperance Union, and The Anti-Saloon League all supported prohibition. However, with only these people supporting prohibition I do not think the law would have been passed because I know that the majority of people were against prohibition. But, the propaganda used by pro-prohibition supporters caused people who would previously have spoke out against the law to stay silent. If politicians had had open support from the other people in society, they would not have had to rely on 'dry tickets' to get them into office. I know that many of them did not really support prohibition and given the choice would not have introduced it. ...read more.

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