Prohibition's Positive Effects On Society

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In his 1924 article, John Gordon Cooper claims that Prohibition had been an overall net positive force on society. According to Cooper, this force manifests itself in three ways. The first of these is the fact that many lives that would have been lost due to alcoholism and alcohol-related incidents have been saved as the cause of death was removed before it became a threat. Secondly, Cooper observes that the crime rate had gone down by 5.8 in 100,000 since Prohibition had been enacted (p. 193). He links this decrease directly to the absence of alcohol as a contributing factor to society. Finally, Cooper claims that Prohibition brought about a better economic situation for the nation as a whole. Cooper hypothesizes that since a significantly…show more content…
Stayton argues that Prohibition has had the opposite of its desired effect on the morals of the nation. Stayton claims that consumption of alcoholic beverages was at a higher point in 1925 than its peak pre-Prohibition. Stayton presents several facts to support his claim, showing a rise in consumption among not just men, but women and children, combined with an increase in moneys spent on alcoholic drinks to the tune of four-fold (p. 195). Furthermore, Stayton cites that the drinks available in the time of Prohibition have a substantially greater alcohol content than those that were served pre-Prohibition. This allows alcohol to be more readily abused and caused an observable increase in public drunkenness. Finally, Stayton counters the pro-Prohibitionist’s argument that prohibition has led to an increased spending in other markets and therefore, produced a stronger economy, with a two-pronged argument. First, Stayton appeals to the fact that Prohibition was enacted not to improve the nation’s economy, but rather its morality, which Stayton has thoroughly proved was degraded throughout the time of Prohibition. Secondly, he argues that the observed increase in consumer spending is due in fact to the wide availability of items which can be purchased in installments and owes nothing to

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