Case Analysis on Prohibition
The 18th Amendment, better known as The Volstead Act, which was the outlawing the selling and manufacturing of alcohol in the United States, was put into law in 1920. The groups who were pushing for this amendment for years on the grounds of religious and moral reasons were The Anti Saloon League and the Woman’s Temperance Union had their own agenda, but others also for it for growing resentment of new immigrants who were calling America home at that time. The white Protestants who for years were entrenched in the power structure of the country saw the immigrants as a threat to their way of life. The Irish Catholics and their large families were considered drunks and poor. The German people were looked at suspiciously because America had just fought them in WWI could not be trusted and the Eastern Europeans who had a sizable Jewish population were all people who did not fit what they saw as Americans profile.
Alcohol whether for social or religious reasons, was something the new immigrants used in their native countries and enjoyed brought these traditions with them to enjoy in America. These new immigrants were looked down on and what
Better way to control them by forbidding something they might enjoy. So the people who made up the Temperance movement sought to ban alcohol in the United States.
Okrent pg 237
The only thing The Volstead Act did in making alcohol illegal was creating a new criminal element in towns and cities across America. Instead of decreasing alcohol consumption, alcohol consummation increased a crossed the land. Crime syndicates became powerful enterprises, which led to corruption of politicians, police, and other government officials. Not one person was immune from the problems prohibition created in his or her daily life, from the taxi driver or the local grocery store clerk. People by nature want what they cannot have and the new law forbidding them from having something they all enjoyed and wanted would just be another form of control over them.
The two groups who were at the forefront of the fight for prohibition were the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. These two groups fought at every level of society from pushing for taxes on brewers, to woman vandalizing bars in protest. These actions slowly gained steam until finally people were talking about their cause and politicians saw it as a way to get votes. With the world at war with Germany the Dry’s as they become known as, would push the bill for ratification in 1913. The reasoning for this big push to get it to congress was that German Americans owned most of the breweries and there was lots of anti Germans sentiments in America. The bill finally passed in 1917 and...