History Coursework: Why Did Prohibition End?

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History Coursework: Why Did Prohibition End?

In 1919 the Eighteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, banned the 'manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors’ This happened in a hope to keep America prosperous through the 'boom' of the 1920's, to keep a sober workforce amongst the country, and to set up an example to the rest of the world, that they had high moral standards and were superior.

Then why was the Eighteenth Amendment withdrawn from the constitution in 1933?

I am going to discuss the reasons why Prohibition ended.

Although he law of Prohibition stopped the act of selling, transporting or making of alcohol, this did not stop anyone from doing exactly that. People took the law as a joke, and disrespected it greatly, a reason for the laws downfall.

‘Bootleggers’ made and distributed alcohol across America.

 ‘Rum Runners’ smuggled alcohol into the US, but it was not always certain where it was from and what it was. These people claimed that the alcohol was from places like Canada or Scotland, when instead the substances were things like Jamaica Ginger, Jackass Brandy or Yack Yack Bourbon, which were all dangerous.

Illegal Bars were set up, or as they were known in the states as ‘speakeasies’ –called this because people had to be quiet in them to avoid discovery.

 Overall, Prohibition had not stopped anyone from getting alcohol at all. Prohibition Agents were appointed by Washington, whose job was to seize alcohol, destroy it were found, and to try and stop illegal acts like bootlegging from happening. Any liquor they did retrieve was only a fraction of the real total throughout the country.

Prohibition Agents had a difficult occupation; trying to enforce a law that no one took seriously. The job was so hard that if it couldn’t be enforced then how would it work? The law was extremely unpopular in most urban states, and with all the criminal activity going on, like the speakeasies and the bootleggers, it was impossible to police.  The agents had 29,000 kilometres of coastline to patrol and a population of 125 million to regulate.

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The Prohibition Agents were appointed because they though to have ‘the expert technical knowledge and the diligence to supervise.. To outwit the craftiest devices of smugglers..Resist corruption’ Of course, they didn’t as one American writer said, that if anyone believed that one person could do all this work to stop Prohibition then those people ‘would be ready to believe also in Santa Claus, perpetual motion and pixies’

It was also very difficult to convict people and deal effectively with criminals. This was because of the little co-operation amongst the different state police departments, as the law was that after a ...

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