Prohibition: Prohibition in the United States and New York City Essay

Submitted By Maria0780
Words: 1752
Pages: 8

The Prohibition Era The 1920’s, also known as The Roaring Twenties, was a time where drastic changes were taking place in the United States. New technology was being invented, for example, handheld hair dryers, vacuum tube hearing aids, color and sound television, and the first portable radio. Other things were invented too, such as aerosol spray, frozen food, and adhesive bandages (Band-Aids). Henry Ford’s invention of the automobile was one of the more drastic changes during that time period. Time magazine was introduced. The first American baseball game was playing at Yankee Stadium. Movies were becoming more popular. Don Juan, the first talking picture, starring John Barrymore premiered at a theater. Jazz became popular in the 1920s. Dance halls like the Savoy in New York City were filled with people dancing to jazz music that was being played by a live jazz band. Dances were being invented, like the Charleston, the cake walk, the black bottom, the flea hop. People changed the way they spoke and began to create slang terms to describe women like “a doll or a dame” (1920s History).
More migrants lived in the metropolitan areas as opposed to the suburbs or rural areas. Citizens wanted to be part of the new style living. Fashion became exciting. Men combed their hair slicked back and wore bowler hats with a suit and a long coat. Women wore skirts that showed more leg and red lipstick on their lips as opposed to women before the 1920s. Women wore brightly colored dresses and hats. Some women were known as “flappers.” Flappers had a bobbed hairstyle, wore short dresses and skirts, went to bars, drank, smoked, and were more sexual than other women, but not all women (Eig 63). Other women stayed home, took care of their family, and went to church. During the 1920s, a major change for women came about in the form of the 19th Amendment, which gave them the right to vote. Women started speaking out more than they did before. One of their first acts was voicing their dislike of alcohol. Some women started speaking out against it because they felt that alcohol made their husbands violent and was killing the men. This brought about prohibition.
Prohibition took place on January 16, 1920 and ended on December 5, 1933. On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment was approved; banning the manufactured, sale, and transportation of alcohol (Okrent 119). On October 28, 1919, the Volstead Act was passed (Burns and Novick). This act let the United States Government to put into effect the 18th Amendment. On January 16, 1920, using the Volstead Act, many taverns, bars and saloons in the United States closed. By approving the 18th Amendment, the intention was to limit violence and law breakers caused by the consumption of alcohol, but instead an increase in violence and more people breaking the laws was the result. This led to the rise of speakeasies, which were the place to be, if a person wanted to hear live music, dance, and maybe have a drink, which was against the law. Prohibition helped create well-known gangsters like Al Capone who would make millions of dollars from selling alcohol in America. Officers and government officials were being manipulated by these gangsters (Eig 24, 25). A lot of crime was being committed during this time. As stated earlier, the 1920s brought about many changes, and with change, chaos. While known as the Roaring Twenties, the Prohibition era brought about many changes to the United States, but not all of them were good.
The women in the late 1800s and the early 1900 had a big effect on the prohibition era. In 1874, Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was one of the ladies that founded WCTU. (Women’s Christian Temperance Union)
“At age forty she took control of the organization, and for the rest of her eventful life she was field general, propagandist, chief theoretician, and nearly a deity to a 250,000-mambers army undoubtedly, the nation’s most effective political action…