The Failure Of The Noble Experiment: The Prohibition. This Essay Is About The Us's Prohibitin From 1920 To 1933, How It Started, And Why It Failed.

1675 words - 7 pages

"Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economicexperiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose. It must be worked out constructively."President-elect Herbert Hoover (1928)"The Eighteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution? is herebyrepealed."Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States(1933)The Prohibition, despite its good intentions, was wholly impractical. Rather than create a "dry America", a moral environment free of liquor, the ban on alcohol led to illegal bars, or "speakeasies", where drinking became even more mod, a new fad for the emerging youth with their looser morals, as well as promoted gangs, who saw the new demand as an avenue of income and entrepreneurialship. At one point at his height, before being arrested in 1931 for tax evasion, Chicago gangster Al Capone was reputed to make more than 100$ million a year. From the Prohibition Party, to the making of the Eighteenth Amendment, right to the lifting of the amendment in 1933, the Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve.Up to the Middle of the 19th century there'd been two kinds of temperance groups- those who favoured total abstinence from alcohol, who thought the right way, the only safe way, was to sign the pledge and never drink again. Others felt it was enough to be temperate in the generic use of the word- that is, moderate, not drinking in excess. Gradually, temperance came to be in common usage, synonymous with total abstinence. Throughout the churches, particularly the Baptist and the Methodist, it was taken for granted that they stood for total abstinence. But then they found that a man might sign the dry pledge, and his friends would urge him to take a drink and he would weaken and yield to temptation and start in again. So the idea grew that it wasn't enough to get individuals to take the total abstinence pledge. Instead, one must remove the source of temptation, to get rid of liquor itself. Out of that attitude grew the Prohibition Party and the WCTU, The first two key players in the political fight against alcohol. Although the Prohibition Party never received a large percentage of the national vote, its influence on public policy far outweighed its electoral strength.The Midwest was the heartland of prohibition. Both the WCTU and the Prohibition Party, as well as scores of other lesser organizations originated there. It was here that Reverend Russell emerged with his Anti-Saloon Party in 1893. Wayne Bidwell Wheeler, who first heard Russell preach in his third year of university, devoted his life to the cause, rather than pursue his original career path in business. Wheeler became extremely astute at politics. He became a lawyer, graduating from Cleveland's Western Reserve University in 1898, and in 1916 became general counsel of the national league."[Wheeler] controlled six congresses, dictated to two Presidents [ of the U.S.], directed legislation for the...

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