The Importance Of Prohibition

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The eighteenth amendment of the Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the United States for almost 14 years under Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. The sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol were strictly forbidden to eradicate its total consumption by the general public. The idea of the ban emerged from the temperance movement of the 19th century, which sought to control and limit the use of spirits. People believed it was the only way to terminate all criminal behavior (Frost-Knappman 3). Prohibition was adopted during the Progressive era, a time of moral reform and progress in the United States. The progressives sought to see changes in nationwide issues such as public health, labor protection, and human rights. Many Americans advocated the idea of an alcohol-free nation, but others did not. People argued that the amendment would take away their rights and described it as an “unwarranted state interference in personal decision making” and an “improper national interference with states’ rights” (Vile 8). Others argued that many legitimate businesses that thrived on the selling of intoxicating beverages would quickly fail, causing a blow to the nation’s economy. It would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. Although many called it unconstitutional, the amendment was ratified in a little over a year. Restaurants and bars could no longer profit on the selling of alcohol, but the law didn’t

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