Why did Prohibition laws prove so difficult to enforce?

Authors Avatar
Why did Prohibition laws prove so difficult to enforce?

Name: Laura F Green Candidate number:

Centre: Nonsuch High school Centre Number: 14723

Syllabus: SEG Syllabus Examination Session: 2001

The roaring twenties made everyone forget about the nightmares of WW1, people wanted to have fun and spent vast amounts of money on enjoying themselves. Ever since the 19th century, there had been a campaign to persuade the government to ban the making, transportation and sale of alcoholic drinks. People argued that drink was a waste of grain, which could be used as food. It was after WW1 when prohibitionists lobbied the government, arguing that there was unacceptable number of people having days off due to access alcohol drinking. The USA could not afford to lose valuable working time. It was the people in the small towns and rural areas who began to form the protest groups against the "demon drink". In particular women's groups such as Women's Christian Temperance Union led campaigns encouraging Christians and women to actively discourage alcohol sales. Henry Ford also enforced their arguments as he pointed out that the majority of car accidents on the road were caused by alcohol.

Finally in 1919 these minority groups achieved their aim when the US government passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This law, known as prohibition applied to all liquor containing more then 0.5% of alcohol. However, by making drink illegal, the lawmakers encouraged the growth of a new world of crime in America.
Join now!

Although one would think that prohibition would enhance the difficulty of obtaining alcohol, liquor was actually very easy to acquire. The bootlegging business was so massive that customers could easily obtain alcohol by simply walking down almost any street. Replacing saloons, which were all shut down at the start of prohibition, were illegal speak-easies. These businesses, hidden in basements, office buildings, and anywhere that could be found, admitted only those with membership cards, and had the most modern alarm systems to avoid being shut down. Texas Guinain was female club owner who mainytained her business through the selling ...

This is a preview of the whole essay