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How The Prohibition Of Alcohol Consumption Damaged The Economic And Social Aspects Of American Culture.

1171 words - 5 pages

There are many ways in which the prohibition of alcohol consumption in the United States of America, damaged the very economic and social aspects of American culture, that it was designed to heal."Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve." On 16th January 1920, one of the most common personal habits and customs of American society came to a halt. The eighteenth amendment was implemented, making all importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing of intoxicating liquors absolutelyprohibited. This law was created in the hope of achieving the reduction of alcohol consumption, which in turn would reduce: crime, poverty, death rates, and improve both the economy, and the quality of life for all Americans. These goals were far from achieved. The prohibition amendment of the 1920's was ineffective because it was unenforceable. Instead, it caused various social problems such as: the explosive growth of organized crime, increased liquor consumption, massive murder rates and corruption among city officials. Prohibition also hurt the economy because the government wasn't collecting taxes on the multi-billion dollar a year industry.One of the main reasons that prohibition failed, was because it was difficult to control the mass flow of illegal liquor from various countries, mainly Canada. "Bootleggers smuggled liquor from oversees and Canada, stole it from government warehouses, and produced theirown." The newly established Federal Prohibition Bureau had only 1,550 agents, and "with 18,700 miles of vast and virtually unpoliceable coastline, it was clearly impossible to prevent immense quantities of liquor from entering the country." Not even 5% of smuggled liquor wasever actually captured and seized from the hands of the bootleggers. Bootlegging had become a very competitive and lucrative market with the adaptation of prohibition. This illegal underground economy fell into the hands of organized gangs who over powered most of the authorities. Most of these gangsters, secured their businesses by bribing an immense number of city officials. Mainly government agents and people with high political status such as: Mayors, Judges, Police Chiefs, Senators and Governors, found their names on gangsters payroll.To some surprise, the consumption of liquor in the years before prohibition, was actually very lower then that of the years throughout prohibition. As a result of this new law, a new social problem arose. "Seldom has law been more flagrantly violated. Not only did Americans continue to manufacture, barter, and possess alcohol; they drank more of it." Americans who supported prohibition, argued that if drinking alcohol was illegal, the public would recognize and respect the law, and in turn, would give it up. During the start of prohibition, it appeared as though it was working. But, what was really going on, was that since the transportation and production was not allowed, bootleggers had to...

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