Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

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Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 1919?

Prohibition was introduced to America in 1919 in coordination with the Volstead act and the eighteenth amendment of the US constitution: which caused the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of  above 0.5 % to become illegal. There were several reasons why the American government introduced the prohibition at this time many of them to do with powerful social groups who were putting the government under pressure to act.

The main support for Prohibition came from moral crusaders in the South who were very anti-urbanisation like the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance in Boston and the Washington Temperance Society, whose groups grew in number between the 1820's and the 1840's. These groups campaigned against the effects of drinking liquor. Often this excessive drinking was blamed on the industrialisation of the rural areas in many counties as a result of social and economic change at this time

        Another of the main for-runner in pressuring the government to act was the anti-saloon league. It was an effective pressure group that had been set up in 1893 and from that time had been campaigning for the change in the law to ban alcohol. The support for a ban had grown steadily since they started campaigning for action and in 1908 there were already five ‘dry’ states in America the first of these was Kansas in 1879.

The prohibition leaders believed that once license to do business was removed from the breweries, the churches and reform organizations would enjoy an opportunity to persuade Americans to give up drink. This opportunity would occur unchallenged by the drink businesses in whose interests it was to urge more Americans to drink more alcohol. The blight of saloons would disappear from the landscape, and saloonkeepers would no longer be allowed to encourage people, including children, to drink beverage alcohol.

 The anti saloon league had many powerful supporters, many of which held positions in politics. They made many posters showing the affects of working men spending their money on “evil” drink and how it left their families at home poor and starving as they had nothing to buy food with, showing how they were the victims of drink.  This backed a lot of votes from the ‘drys’ that were for the ban on alcohol, and so managed to elect a lot of ‘dry’ politicians.

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The anti saloon league was also joined by the women’s temperance league (founded in 1893); both these societies were strong in religious supporters. Mainly from the southern states, the people in the pressure groups were afraid that the immigration and new way of life in the more northern industrial cities was causing a threat towards their more rural communities where they depended upon farming as their livelihood.

The woman’s temperance league were also strong campaigners on the idea that alcohol was responsibly for a growing trend of poverty sweeping through the United States. The Women's suffrage movement as well as ...

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