Cause And Failure Of Prohibition

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The Cause and Failure of The Prohibition A brief introduction of the causes and failure of prohibition. Alcohol ranks among the most popular recreational drugs known to man. Throughout history, cultures have used it as a social lubricant, a cap at the end of a long day, and as the focus of the celebration. As popular as alcohol is, it is not without its negative impacts. These negative effects of alcohol have throughout our country’s history given rise to groups who would attempt to limit and even stop completely the consumption of this popular drink. This paper will analyze a time in our country’s history where anti-alcohol sentiment lead to the federal government attempting to wipe out any and all ways for its citizens to consume the substance…show more content…
Proponents of alcohol prohibition were made up of those affected by others use of alcohol, religious groups who saw the consumption of alcohol as sinful and others. The face of prohibition, however was the anti-saloon league, an organization responsible for leading the fight against alcohol by attempting to limit its use through legislation. The article “Going Dry” by Michael A. Lerner gives an explanation as to how the anti-saloon league increased political momentum for prohibition by intentionally or not allying itself with a number of other causes important to voters during the era. “Calls to curb the abuse of alcohol by closing the saloon overlapped with Progressive efforts to improve public health and welfare. Demands for ‘good government’ and municipal reform went with dry efforts to purge the influence of saloon owners in urban politics. Campaigns to regulate the location and business hours of saloons meshed with efforts to use zoning to regulate the chaos of the growing American city. Efforts to curb the power of the distilling and brewing industries, dominated by a few large monopolies, went hand in hand with efforts to regulate other monopolies like oil and meat. It is no coincidence that the Anti-Saloon League referred to its proposals as ‘distinctly progressive’ legislation.” (Lerner). The overlapping of different causes aligning with the goals of the anti-saloon league, along with the league's ability to organize votes and the effects that bred the desire for prohibition discussed in the previous paragraph all contributed to solidifying the power of the anti-saloon league thus giving rise to the prohibition era in American
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