Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

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Lia Camilleri History - Prohibition Coursework

. Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

In the mid-19th century Abraham Lincoln said that intoxicating liquor was 'used by everybody, repudiated by nobody' and that it came a form of society. By the 1820s people in the United States were drinking, on average, 27 litres of pure alcohol per person each year, and many religious and political leaders were beginning to see drunkenness as a national curse.

By the end of the 19th century, two powerful pressure groups, the 'Anti-Saloon league' and the 'Women's Christian Temperance Union' had been established in America. The anti-saloon league (ASL) was part of the 'Women's War'. Thousands of women marched from church meetings to saloons, where with song and prayer they demanded that saloonkeepers give up their businesses. They believed that alcohol was ungodly, evil and wasteful, and were campaigning for a total legal ban on alcoholic drink. They became a very effective and powerful pressure group, and it had considerable political influence that helped elect many 'dry' politicians to the US Congress. By the time America went to war in 1917, eighteen states had already banned alcohol.
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The war against Germany helped the Anti-Saloon League to win its fight to make all states 'dry'. Many American brewers were German immigrants, so the League claimed that people who drank beer were traitors to their country. Congress agreed with this anti-German view and in 1918 amended, or changed, the constitution to prohibit Americans from making, selling or moving alcohol.

The social side was very important as well and especially what was written in newspapers and posters. This is an extract from America in the twenties by G. Perrett, 1982, 'the pregnant woman who drank stood an ...

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