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Was Prohibition Successful In The 1920s?

608 words - 3 pages

In the late 1910s, when the catastrophic war in Europe eventually ended, the world was still rebuilding itself. New orders and Feminism arose, and among those innovations, the Prohibition in North America was debated most. Some argue that the prohibition is a success because it did half the alcohol consumption and gained status for women. However to me it was unsuccessful, because it made unscrupulous people wealthy, did not decrease alcohol abuse, and made citizens disregard the federal law.
First, the prohibition significantly encouraged gansterism in the 1920s, when the mafia raised a considerable amount of money by selling alcohol underground. They even became more wealthy and powerful then the local government and took control of city affairs. Probably the most famous, and infamous mafia was Al Capone, who was a Italian descent grew up in New York City, and later started to smuggling illegal alcohols into Chicago city in the ...view middle of the document...

Thus the prohibition was unsuccessful.
Second, the prohibition did not effectively stop or even decrease any alcohol abuse. Instead, the demand of alcohol caused more crimes. In the 1920s, there were talkeasys where people could easily get illegal alcohol and get drunk. Also according to the law, it was legal to have alcohol in private house. Therefore if people need alcohol, they could have alcohol whenever they wanted to. During the prohibition era, homicide rate increased, which indicates that the probation did not prevent any crime, but helped to increase the abuse rate. Abuse may be caused by private and illegal alcohols because smuggling and bootlegging alcohol developed remarkably. Thence, the prohibition caused more alcohol abuse and also other kind of crimes, which made the prohibition itself a failure.
Last but as important, people during the prohibition era started to disregard the federal laws. Same example can be implied, when people started to get illegal drinks from talkeasys and the crime rate increased. The federal government made little effort on controlling the chaos triggered by the demand of alcohol, and in some big cities, the prohibition was even thought as a ridiculous joke. People, especially men who absolutely obey the prohibition laws were considered idiots. Women's temperance movements also became more radical, and some leaders started to go against other federal laws in order to enforce the prohibition. They destroyed bars and liquor companies illegally, which was counterproductive. The radical temperance movements negatively impacted country's economy. As a result the prohibition was somehow out of control and it also demonstrated the great failure of the prohibition.
In conclusion, the prohibition's cons outweigh its pros, in terms of controlling crime rate and enforcing new constitutional amendments. Actually the consequences of prohibition were opposite from its main aim, despite the partly success of Feminism. It was 1933 when the United States eventually realized that the prohibition was unsuccessful and ended it with the 21st amendment. The Canadian federal government ended it earlier in the mid-twenties.

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