The Failed Prohibition In The United States

1585 words - 7 pages

Imagine a world without alcohol. For a total of thirteen years, many Americans lived in a life with no alcohol. Furthermore, throughout these thirteen years, crime rates rose dramatically and many people were killed. “Prohibition lasted twelve years, ten months, nineteen days during which crime, corruption, and cynicism led a large majority of Americans to conclude that the noble experiment had been a disastrous mistake” (National 143). Prohibition was perhaps America’s greatest failure because it altered Americans’ views on the use of alcohol.
Furthermore, the 18th Amendment was made because it was thought that is could end ignorance, poverty, violence, public gruff, and disease (National ...view middle of the document...

Nebraska was one of the big pushers that were trying to make Prohibition into a done deal (National 79). Shockingly, the vast majority of women supported the idea if the 18th Amendment (Reidy par 6). Some of the women even protested to get the 18th Amendment, during the protests, several riots became present (National 50). Astonishingly, some of the women even started groups to show how much that they were in favor of the 18th Amendment. One of the biggest groups was the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU was thought to be founded in 1874 (Time par 5). The WCTU was founded by Lyman Beecher (Reidy par 6). One of the most famous women to support the 18th Amendment was Carry Amelia Nation. Nation’s name grew rapidly all over the nation from the brutal tactics that she was using to destroy several saloons (Severn 76). Nation believed that it was her calling to destroy saloons with her famous hatchets (Time par 5). Many saloonkeepers thought Nation as a joke (Severn 79).
Moreover, with the production of alcohol being illegal, there was still a demand for the alcohol. With a demand for alcohol, many people started to make alcohol illegally. Many people knew that there was money in producing alcohol. Outrageously, many people watered down their alcohol to make it go farther in order to make more money. With this being said, people did not only water down their liquor but also put harmful substances in the alcohol. Many people died from drinking tainted liquor (Moore 27). Astonishingly, over one thousand Americans died from drinking tainted liquor (Lerner par 12). With the start of the 18th Amendment, many jobs were created by producing and selling alcohol (The Prohibition par 5).
That Prohibition has created a vast army of rumrunners, moonshiners, bootleggers, and corrupt public officials, there by directly breeding a condition of lawlessness unequaled in the history of the Republic, and that this era of lawlessness has been disastrous to the moral standards of Government and individual citizenship and that its evil outcroppings have been evidenced by the preponderance of desperate and violent crime now being perpetrated by the very young. (Stayton as sited by Dudley and Chalberg 96)
Jails quickly filled as the crime rates rose. With the new laws passed, millions of dollars were spent on trying to enforce the laws (The Prohibition par 5). Many people made their money by bootlegging. A bootlegger is someone who made liquor and or then smuggled it to the buyer. Bootleggers got their name from hiding liquor in their tall boots (Time par 3). Some of the bootleggers brought their alcohol to speakeasies witch is an illegal saloon (Time par 2). When a bootlegger or speakeasies were caught, some of the cops would let them go if they paid the cops money. With this being said, many of the people caught did not go to jail (Moore 27). Many of the cops annual salary was 3,000 dollars a year. After eight years of Prohibition, many of the cops had...

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