Prohibition - source based.

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History Assessment - Prohibition

A). Sources A and B are both about prohibition. They explain why prohibition was introduced and the consequences it produced and agree on some points to a certain extent but disagree on others. Both sources are from American history books and therefore have an American view on it.

Both sources start with the causes of prohibition and then go onto the consequences it brought. Both sources mainly agree on the consequences brought on by prohibition although source B goes into more detail. Source A explains how prohibition brought about the greatest crime boom in US history because no other law before had gone against the will of so many Americans. Source B goes further and talks about how 30,000 speakeasies opened in New York alone by 1928. 1500 prohibition agents could not enforce prohibition, and avoidance of prohibition turned into big, violent business with the involvement of gangsters such as Al-Capone and Dutch Shultz.

Each source begins by stating reasons why prohibition was introduced. This is where they begin 2 disagree, source A describes five interlinked reasons why prohibition was introduced, these are: the bad influence of saloons, wartime concern for preserving grain, the feelings against German-Americans, who were important in brewing and distilling, the influence of the anti-saloon league and the association of alcohol with communism. This is different to source B, which focuses on one main reason for prohibition, the pressure that the women's temperance and anti-saloon league put on congress. They believed that alcohol was the great evil of their time and that they were leading a crusade against it. Source B also goes on to explain how transportation, sale and manufacture were banned in 1919.

So although the two sources do not agree on everything there are strong similarities between them. They mainly agree on the areas concerning the consequences that prohibition brought around but disagree on the reasons why it was introduced.

B) Both sources C and D are supportive of prohibition. Source C is a poster campaigning against alcohol, it was published in 1910. It shows a working class man handing over his wages in exchange for alcohol. There are a number of captions in the cartoon and it is title "slaves of the Saloon". This is implying that the saloon dominates the people that go there. The first caption at the top of the cartoon says "the poor Men's Club, the most expensive in the world to belong to." It is named "The Poor Men's Club, the most" because the persons that drink in the saloon, (the members) and their families will always be kept poor because of the man of the family spends the families money on alcohol instead of food. Another caption underneath the man says, "Paying his dues". The man is handing over a whole weeks wages at once to the bartender to buy alcohol. This is symbolic to the membership fees he would pay if it were a proper club. This source is against alcohol and for prohibition because it is portraying alcohol as a cause for poverty and addiction and condoning the men that submit to it.

Source D is more poignant and emotive than Source C. It is a poster that was published in 1915. It shows a couple of children standing outside a saloon with the slogan "Daddy's in there". This makes you feel sympathetic towards the children. The source does not actually show the man either; this makes you feel more critical of him. The source is implying that the children are being neglected because of their fathers drinking problems. The children are poorly dressed also. This is accompanied by another continuing caption saying "And our shoes and stockings and food are in the saloon too, and they'll never come out." This is a metaphor meaning that the money that would be used to keep the family is being used to buy alcohol. This is emotive because it shows neglected children, which makes you feel sorry for them. This source is also for prohibition and against alcohol because like source C it portrays drink as evil and a large factor that causes poverty. It is more affective than source C because it uses emotion more.
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Both artists in sources C and D were supporting prohibition. This is shown with the emotive pictures in source D with the image of the children being neglected by their alcoholic father and the image in source C where a man is handing over a whole weeks wages in exchange for a few drinks at the bar.

C) Sources E and F are pieces written by two different people about prohibition. Source E was written by a wealthy industrialist named John D. Rockfeller. Source F was written by John F Kramer, the first prohibition commissioner in 1920, ...

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