Prohibition was created mainly due to popular support of the public, as in years prior to the amendment, interest groups were growing in strength, which were largely supported by women, as women saw alcohol as a means for mean to oppress them; however others such as religious groups and business were in support. Religious groups, especially those who where strongly protestant and who were in support of the Republican party, thought alcohol to be the work of the devil, and fundamentally to blame for sinning. Also, drunkenness often led to inefficiency in the work place, so big business (for example the Rockefeller corporation and Heinz) were again in strong support of Prohibition. Moreover, the majority of the public had the belief that alcoholism led to social difficulties which could only be solved by banning alcohol altogether, they also believed that after the First World War, restraining themselves and not consuming alcohol was part of their brave new world. On the other hand, opposition to Prohibition was surprisingly weak, even when alcohol is so common, and to some a fundamental part of life, this is most likely due to that the actual opposition was disordered and scattered, therefore little chance of mass protests.
Despite the vast support, Prohibition could be argued that it was always doomed to fail; the main reason for this has to be the huge growth in crime from gangsterism. Gangsters of the time knew how much money could be made from making and selling alcohol, which they did in violently defended monopolies and territories. What’s more is that many public officials were being paid off by the mob, for example the Chicago Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson allowed gangsters to function without fear, and subsequently the gangsters flourished. John Torrio ran the majority of the business in Chicago up until 1925 when he retired with 30 million dollars in savings.
In addition, other factors had a major impact on Prohibitions failure, such as there were major flaws with the treasury agents employed to enforce Prohibition. These treasury agents were only paid 2500 dollars to break up an industry worth two billion dollars, and further problems with the geography of the USA made it extremely difficult to keep control, as the USA has an 18,700 mile border, and they simply were not well equipped enough to police it all, so smuggling alcohol became incredibly lucrative (the authorities guessed that only about five per cent of alcohol was intercepted).
Another problem Prohibition acquired was the view of the public quickly changed, as obviously at first the majority of individuals had been in favour, but soon they grew tired of the government interfering with their private lives. Many more people found ways to obtain and drink alcohol, and subsequently it became more difficult to police, and bootleggers grew in numbers as many people resorted to distilling alcohol in their own homes, however the main source was from those posing as if they were selling alcohol for medicinal purposes. Furthermore the Government certainly could have done a lot more to enforce Prohibition, as congress thought a clamp down could push away rich voters, but also in areas of reduced government, state government did not have enough power to properly implement this law.
Therefore, even though there was a tremendous amount of support for Prohibition when it was first put forward by that of women’s groups, religious groups and big business, Prohibition quickly lost sustain because simply people like to drink alcohol, and when something so common is taken away so suddenly, people are going to want it back, which of course led to organised crime from gangsters. Also, due to the size of America making it so difficult to police, and the unequipped officers having no support from the public (most of which distilling in their own homes), Prohibition in my opinion was always doomed to fail.