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Prohibition And The Effect On America

877 words - 4 pages

From the beginning of the 20th century multiple political organizations and the federal government have fought to control alcoholism in America. I chose to do prohibition because the fact that the action taken by the federal government in order to form a better society has led to an explosion of criminal offences in the past as well as today. The effects of prohibition consistently offer a hand in the shaping of American culture. Full-fledged black markets and organized crime groups both offset the supposed benefits of prohibition. Today, teenagers often turn to the underage consumption of alcohol to make them seem “cool,” or as a form of rebellion against parental and governmental ...view middle of the document...

Eventually the gangs learned to cooperate with each other and were able to grow illegal alcohol businesses. The gangsters were so prominent and influential during prohibition that the main character of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby, was involved in this business and was able to support a very lavish, extravagant lifestyle.
The black market created by prohibition directly influenced how far gangsters were willing to go to obtain a monopoly. By prohibiting alcohol, the government took away any say it had in regulating and monitoring the trade because it now operated underground. The fact that drinking was illegal did not prevent people from drinking or selling alcohol. Prohibition decreased the supply but the demand was still high. With a limited supply, bootleggers could make fortunes by charging tremendous prices for alcohol. With such an enticing endeavor at stake gangs were willing to kill to maintain their territory in the bootlegging industry.
Today prohibition still lingers in the form of underage drinking laws. These laws ban the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 with consequences similar to those during the era of prohibition. To add to the temptation of for already rebellious teenagers to drink, drinking is glamorized right and left in pop culture. Movies and TV Shows like 21 Jump Street, Project X, Superbad, Greek, and That 70’s Show are targeted at teenagers and underage adults, but at the same time heavily feature drinking as a popular and cool activity. Ads on television from beer companies depicts drinking as a way to have fun and depict people...

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