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How Successful Was The Prohibition And Was It Necessary?

1458 words - 6 pages

During the 1920’s the United States passed an amendment which included a ban on the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol . Many problems occurred as a result of the Great Depression, which also occurred during this time, and alcohol became a scapegoat. Prohibitionists believed that alcohol lowered American morals and was considered a sin; people who sold it were the “Devil’s Servants” . However, alcohol was deeply rooted into the lives of many people. They did not view alcohol as negatively as the prohibitionists. Organizations like the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union successfully pushed for the passage of this ban however not everyone accepted the ...view middle of the document...

” Around this time, there were new inventions and forms of entertainment available. There were many things to replace alcohol when people wanted to relax and relieve boredom. Instead of spending money on alcohol, consumers spent it on radios, new fashion trends, etc. As a result people did not frequent saloons or drink as much. Prohibition may not have been necessary because people would naturally turn to the new products and new forms of entertainment of the 20’s—use of alcohol would naturally decline as well.
Contrary to Clark’s assertion that alcohol consumption had decreased, many historians claim that people were consuming alcohol even more than before the Prohibition. People were both attracted to the idea of breaking the law and opposed the idea of prohibiting alcohol. Gary Giddins stated that people were engaging in more illegal acts, both selling and buying alcohol: “they passed the most idiotic law in the history of the United States, prohibition… also, Prohibition is loosening up morals. It's doing exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do… thanks to Prohibition when everybody was drinking more than they should just to defy an absolutely unenforceable law.” Although the prohibition laws were passed with good intentions of lowering crime rates and encouraging good morals/behavior, it did not work out as planned. The effects were more damaging than beneficial to the nation. There is a possibility that if prohibition laws were not passed, people would not be so tempted to engage in illegal acts pertaining to alcohol.
According to Sinclair, the organized crime groups were able to take advantage of the situation and gain power throughout the nation . Crime rates had gone up because the alcohol business was a lucrative business. People paid a lot of money to get their hands on alcohol. To keep up with demands, there were many people who manufactured alcohol. However since the alcohol was illegal, there was no need to pay taxes to the government. The government lost about one million dollars in alcohol taxes . Manufacturers benefit more from the prohibition because more people demanded alcohol. They could earn profits without paying alcohol taxes or income taxes because no one knew about the business deals.
Thomas Robert Dewar stated that Prohibition was a big fallacy. The Legislature realized that alcohol was necessary to some extent—for medicinal, mechanical and manufacture purposes . They allowed some manufacturing of alcohol in states while still maintaining the prohibition laws. However, people could simply go to stores permitted to sell alcohol and buy the alcohol saying it was for medicinal use. These people can buy alcohol legally and it is up to them on whether they actually use the alcohol for the reasons they stated. Sometimes people do not do this and buy smuggled alcohol instead. Or they go to underground saloons called speakeasies where alcohol is served.
Rather than improving health, smuggled alcohol and alcohol...

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