Events Of The Roaring Twenties Essay

1302 words - 5 pages

The Roaring Twenties were a time of new behaviors, attitudes, and freedoms which were all presented during the Prohibition. The Roaring Twenties were an era of social, political, and dramatic change. During this age, freedoms were expanded yet, in some cases, they were diminished. Prohibition was an enormous part of this era. Prohibition was ratified as the 18th Amendment in 1919, banning the manufacture and sale of alcohol. The three main contributions from Prohibition were: bootlegging, organized crime, and the failure of Prohibition. Prohibition very much contributed to the atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties in a detrimental way to society by creating a period of time in which even the average citizen broke the law.
A huge part of the Prohibition’s detrimental contribution was bootlegging. Bootlegging was the illegal trafficking of alcohol in violation of the 18th Amendment. Bootlegging became very popular in this time period. Throughout the novel of The Great Gatsby, there is much illegal activity and bootlegging. After talking with Meyer Wolfsheim, Tom says, “I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him…” (Fitzgerald, 141). This shows that right of the bat, Wolfsheim was questionable and obviously into some illegal activity. Even though it was illegal, it was very easy to purchase alcohol. It only took seconds to minutes in order to receive alcohol when wanted (Boardman, 11). Because the illegal activity was so effortless, it occurred often. During this time period there was so much illegal activity that a vast illegal empire was created. Throughout this illegal empire, many bootleggers bribed law enforcement agents to “look the other way” in order to allow for their illegal activity to continue (Batchelor, 2). This illegal empire created a lot of money illegally. At least $1,000,000,000 of public official’s money a year, went to bootleggers due to illegal liquor trafficking. This means that money, originally supposed to go to public officials, was lost to bootleggers doing illegal activity. This was very detrimental to society because a lot of money was stolen from the government which caused the economy to suffer. Bootleggers almost ruined the economy by illegally obtaining millions of dollars that was originally supposed to go to the government (Batchelor, 2). All of the illegal activity throughout bootlegging created an imbalance of supply and demand, where gangsters saw profit, which created organized crime.
Gangsters took notice and used the amazingly high demand for alcohol within society for their benefit. There was a boom of illegal activity during the Roaring Twenties which was very detrimental to society. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby would do anything to become wealthy so he can be with Daisy (Fitzgerald, 141). Gatsby was involved in suspicious activity such as bootlegging and/or organized crime to acquire money. Prohibition started an era of rebellion where almost everyone broke the law. Breaking the law became...

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