The Negative Effects Of Prohibition

1486 Words6 Pages
“Alcohol was seen as the devil’s advocate and banning the substance would help improve the quality of American lives. It caused an explosive growth in crime with more than double the amount of illegal bars and saloons operating than before prohibition.” (Nash, “Organized”). The Eighteenth Amendment was passed with the goal of prohibiting the sale, consumption, and use of alcohol. The Volstead Act was passed to further enhance this Amendment, yet it led to numerous amount of problems such as an increase in organized crime, rise of speakeasies, and health problems. Despite prohibition being formed with good intentions, there were more negative effects than positive. Prohibition led to an increase in organized crime. During the Prohibition era,…show more content…
Many defendants in prohibition cases waited over a year to be brought to trial. As the backlog of cases increased, the judicial system turned to the "plea bargain" to clear hundreds of cases at a time, making a it common practice in American jurisprudence for the first time." (Lerner, “Unintended”). This shows that there were so many crimes taking place during this period of time that the court system just couldn 't keep up with each case. Many such cases had to be dismissed or cleared due to many Americans turning into "criminals". "The government set up the "Federal Prohibition Bureau" to police prohibition, this did not deter people and organized crime continued to be the main supplier of booze. With a large coastline it was almost impossible to police with only five percent of alcohol ever being confiscated." (Nash, “Organized”). "Large quantities of alcohol were smuggled in from Canada, overland and via the Great Lakes." (Nation, "1920s”.) People went to great extent in order to smuggle alcohol, even crossing the border to Canada through the Great Lakes in order to reach their destination. People would clearly do anything for alcohol. With crime increasing, the law failed to make a stand against prohibition. As gangs began to form due to the Prohibition Act crime rate increased. Government policies against alcohol in the era of 1920 's had great goals, but these goals never materialised due to poor enforcement and corruption which not only led to organized crime, but later on caused the emergence of speakeasies. Prohibition led to the emergence of speakeasies. “In the 1700s the nature of the tavern began to change as rum became plentiful and cheap. The number of drinking establishments multiplied, less respected operators came on the scene, and competition became more
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