The Banning Of Alcohol In The 1920's

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The eighteenth amendment was not imposed until 1920, but with early American’s infamy in heavy drinking, numerous groups had been trying to ban alcohol for decades. Since the 1800s, groups concerned about alcohol consumption began to form, including the Prohibition Party. The activists sponsored the campaign of many presidential candidates who opposed alcohol (Gale). Although men were included in prohibition activities, women, primarily represented the movement. After endless suffering women faced because of intoxicated males, they were hoping to remove that extra burden from society. Consuming alcoholic beverages, a normalcy in the country, was revoked due to the plea of religious enthusiasts. One group in specific, the Woman’s Christian…show more content…
Within the United States, the illegal manufacture and sale of liquor, known as “bootlegging” become an evident sight across the nation. The earliest known bootleggers began smuggling foreign liquor into the United States from across Canada, Mexico, and other sea borders. These illegal activities began to be controlled by the Mafia and other gangsters who transformed themselves into successful criminal enterprises. Primarily, Italian-American gangs entered the rapidly growing bootleg liquor business and became sophisticated criminals, skilled at smuggling, fraud and bribing public officials (OSU). Chicago’s Al Capone became the most notorious example, “earning an estimated $60 million annually from the bootlegging and speakeasy business” (OSU). Speakeasies were underground saloons that sold illegal booze just like the Cotton Club. Hundreds of these areas opened up because of prohibition, Chicago alone had more than 7,000 drinking parlors. The word “speakeasy” became a common term for anyone in search of alcohol, they had to remain quiet when at a bar, in order to not draw any suspicion the club was selling alcoholic beverages…show more content…
The most gruesome involvement of bootleggers took place in Chicago. Known as “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”, this crime involved Capone’s “South Side Gang” who killed seven rival gangsters. The news garnished a lot of attention in the national press. One of Capone’s rivals, the gangster George “Bugs” Moran, was also a bootlegger who ran his business on the Northern Side of Chicago. On February 14, seven members of Moran’s business were gunned down in a strategic placement. Around seventy bullets were used to shoot down the men, displaying no intent of allowing them to live. When police officers arrived, they found one gang member, Frank Gusenberg, barely alive. Even when hanging on to the last thread of life, he refused to speak about what had happened. Police could find only a few eyewitnesses, and eventually concluded that police imposter had taken down the men. Moran and others immediately blamed the massacre on Capone’s gang, but he claimed to have been at his home in Florida during the incident. No one was ever brought to trial for the murders (History.com). Another national riot broke out when two wealthy and educated men attempted to pursue the “perfect crime”. Leopold and Loeb had met in the summer of 1920 after both growing up in Kenwood, Chicago. Both men came from a wealthy family and studied together at the University of Chicago. The two teenagers had rekindled their friendship after Loeb 's

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