The Prohibition Era

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The Prohibition, an Era in American History
In the 1820s and ’30s, a wave of new extremist religious groups began to form in the United States. These perfectionist groups like the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League spent decades trying to convince the people and the government that a prohibition on alcohol would translate on less crime, strengthen families and would improve the person ‘character. These groups called alcohol ‘Americas National Curse’. By the turn of the century, temperance societies were a common fixture in communities across the United States. Women played a strong role in the temperance movement, as alcohol was seen as a destructive force in families, marriage, and gave their children an unlawful
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In general, Prohibition was enforced much more strongly in areas where the population was sympathetic to the legislation mainly rural areas and small towns and much more loosely in urban areas. The prohibition was also very difficult to enforce because the local police and commissionaires were receiving very lucrative bribes for they not to prosecute the bootleggers. Despite very early signs of success, including a decline in arrests for drunkenness and a reported 30 percent drop in alcohol consumption, those who wanted to keep drinking found ever-more inventive ways to do it. The illegal manufacturing and sale of liquor, also known as “bootlegging”, went on throughout the decade, along with the operation of “speakeasies”, nightclubs selling alcohol, the smuggling of alcohol across state lines and the informal production of liquor “moonshine” or “bathtub gin”, in private homes. This practice proved to be very dangerous because the level of alcohol was very high and that it could contain ethanol a dangerous type of alcohol that can be deadly. In addition, the Prohibition era encouraged the rise of criminal activity associated with…show more content…
Even as costs for law enforcement, jails and prisons spiraled upward. In addition, fundamentalist and nativist forces had gained more control over the temperance movement, alienating its more moderate members. The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor, the proliferation of speakeasies and the accompanying rise in gang violence and other crimes, led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. With the country mired in the Great Depression by 1932, creating jobs and revenue by legalizing the liquor industry had an undeniable appeal. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for president that year on a platform calling for Prohibition’s appeal, and easily won victory. Roosevelt victory meant the end for Prohibition, and in February 1933 Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. The amendment was submitted to the states, and by December 1933 it had the necessary votes for ratification. This would became the first and only time in history that an amendment to the constitution for the repeal of another amendment. Though a few states continued to prohibit alcohol after Prohibition’s end, all had abandoned the ban by
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