The Causes of the End of Prohibition
In 1919 the Eighteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, banned
the 'manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors' This
happened in a hope to keep America prosperous through the 'boom' of
the 1920's, to keep a sober workforce amongst the country, and to set
up an example to the rest of the world, that they had high moral
standards and were superior.
Then why was the Eighteenth Amendment withdrawn from the constitution
I am going to discuss the reasons why Prohibition ended.
Although he law of Prohibition stopped the act of selling,
transporting or making of alcohol, this did not stop anyone from doing
exactly that. People took the law as a joke, and disrespected it
greatly, a reason for the laws downfall.
'Bootleggers' made and distributed alcohol across America.
'Rum Runners' smuggled alcohol into the US, but it was not always
certain where it was from and what it was. These people claimed that
the alcohol was from places like Canada or Scotland, when instead the
substances were things like Jamaica Ginger, Jackass Brandy or Yack
Yack Bourbon, which were all dangerous.
Illegal Bars were set up, or as they were known in the states as
'speakeasies' -called this because people had to be quiet in them to
Overall, Prohibition had not stopped anyone from getting alcohol at
all. Prohibition Agents were appointed by Washington, whose job was to
seize alcohol, destroy it were found, and to try and stop illegal acts
like bootlegging from happening. Any liquor they did retrieve was only
a fraction of the real total throughout the country.
Prohibition Agents had a difficult occupation; trying to enforce a law
that no one took seriously. The job was so hard that if it couldn't be
enforced then how would it work? The law was extremely unpopular in
most urban states, and with all the criminal activity going on, like
the speakeasies and the bootleggers, it was impossible to police. The
agents had 29,000 kilometres of coastline to patrol and a population
of 125 million to regulate.
The Prohibition Agents were appointed because they though to have 'the
expert technical knowledge and the diligence to supervise.. To outwit
the craftiest devices of smugglers..Resist corruption' Of course, they
didn't as one American writer said, that if anyone believed that one
person could do all this work to stop Prohibition then those people
'would be ready to believe also in Santa Claus, perpetual motion and
It was also very difficult to convict people and deal effectively with
criminals. This was because of the little co-operation amongst the
different state police departments, as the law was that after a crime
had been committed, the main objective of the criminal was to travel