Ratification Of Prohibition

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During the 19th and early 20th century alcoholism, drug abuse, and gambling addiction were some of the issues that confounded American society. In order to preserve social morals and improve crime rates, health, and the hygiene of Americans during the early twentieth century, the U.S Senate proposed the eighteenth amendment in 1917. The ratification of this amendment soon made the production, transportation and sale of alcohol illegal. The nationwide prohibition began in the United States in January 1920. Prohibition caused alcohol companies to be shut down by the government, yet there was still a market for alcohol consumption and American street gangs were willing to meet market demands. This turned big cities such as Chicago and New York…show more content…
Subsequently congress never provided proper funding for any type of reinforcement for the extensive violations of the Volstead act. Even those who strongly supported prohibition were reluctant to produce or request additional funding, because revealing to the public how severe violations had become would compromise the cause. This weakness allowed street gangs to supply clubs, speakeasies, and private dealers who no longer had a legitimate source of liquor. In order to get those establishments to sell their liquor instead of that of rival gangs, they used violence. Gangsters’ main methods of gaining control were by instilling fear into local business; once people feared them they were able to exploit them. “By the 1920s, Americans had consumed over twenty-five million gallons of illegal liquor, and bootlegging became a one billion dollars business” As the bootlegging business blossomed, street gangs became established gangsters. With their new found wealth they were able to pay off law enforcement officials. Many law enforcement officials took the bribe, because they were underpaid and overworked. Not only did gangsters have money, they now had the power of the law which made running their operations less complicated. So, the richer the gangster became, the more power they acquired and with power came…show more content…
Although residents of the inner city had been exposed and accustom to violence and crimes, Prohibition had only further escalated the matter. Not only did the lack of reinforcement of prohibition effect America’s judiciary system, it also affected many Americans health. The most notorious bootleggers in Chicago were the Sicilian Genna brothers. “In the five years of prohibition they were Chicago’s biggest bootleggers. Despite their criminal record was a long one, they had obtained a license to make large quantities of industrial alcohol, the raw was then turned into whiskey and gin. 40,000 quarts of alcohol at about 50 cents a quart producing 120,000od bootleg whiskey and gin cost anything from $15 to $60 a bottle.” However, industrial alcohol wasn’t for consumptions usage, this caused many people to die from alcohol poisoning. Throughout 1920s there was a blurred line between gangster and political bosses, because they both utilize each other in order to obtain money, power, and respect. Although the majority of their wealth was at the expense of American citizens. The most distinguished gangsters during the prohibition era were Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. “New York’s mayor and Tammany boss James Walker enjoyed a cozy relationship with New York’s gangland. But nowhere was that collusion between
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