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Prohibition Of 1920s Essay

1605 words - 6 pages

The temperance movement founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1874 was organized to encourage modernized consumption of liquor or its complete prohibition. The movement consisted mostly of women with their children who couldn't or didn't want to deal anymore with drinking habits of their spouses and fathers. In America the temperance movement crested in the year of 1920 when the officials decided to put an end to drinking by passing the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibited any consumption and production of alcohol. The Prohibition of 1920-1933 was started to improve health of the population of the country, reduce the tax burden created by prisons, and solve some social problems. The idea behind this "noble experiment," was indeed noble, but not one goal of this plan ever came to reality. The government could not control the will of the people; everyone still drank, no matter who they were or how much they had to pay for it. The gangs became more powerful as they got a new source of income; police became powerless in this mayhem, Detroit became the bootlegger's dream town since it was close to Canada and liquor could easily transported to this city. Also government lost one of its major sources of income, as the alcohol became prohibited they could not tax it, and therefore did not have enough money for the enforcement of this law. The Prohibition of 1920-1933 failed because government simply could not enforce it.The main goal of Prohibition was to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by the people living in the country. The improved health of population, solved social problems, and reduced tax burden would follow if the main goal was achieved. The Prohibition could not succeed in any way if the consumption of alcohol was not reduced. The Eighteenth Amendment had failed to achieve its goal. The consumption of alcohol did indeed decrease in the beginning of the Prohibition. But when alcohol became prohibited it didn't mean that it became impossible to obtain it, but the prices on it rose and the consumption during the first year of Prohibition fell. But after twelve months, though, the old habits came back, and the consumption rose from 0.2 gallon per person in 1921 to 0.8 gallon in 1922 and to 1.3 gallons in 1923 (Source: Columbia University Press, 1932). Basically it went up to the point it was before the prohibition, but now it was worse. Before the Prohibition people could afford to buy liquor products of better quality than in the years of prohibition. People began to switch from beer and whiskey to medical substances and homemade booze. Before the Prohibition people drank good quality beer in bars once or twice a week just to feel good and relaxed, but once The Eighteenth Amendment was passed they started drinking to get drunk, less often and buying stronger and poorer quality drinks which was not a healthy movement.Everyone could obtain liquor just by walking on the street. The problem during prohibition was not how to get the alcohol, but how to...

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