Prohibition: Prohibition in the United States and American History Essay

Submitted By rvzoo93
Words: 743
Pages: 3

Prohibition in the 1920s was a period in American history that saw a legal ban on the manufacturing, sale and transportation of liquors. Prohibition was a period in America from 1920 to 1933, where America was introduced to a great number of issues. Crime rates at an all time high, along with deaths, and alcoholism, which lead to a massive increase in illegal saloons. Illegal manufacturing of alcohol was very popular, people who manufactured illegal alcohol were also known as bootleggers. Selling alcohol was not so difficult; all you had to know was where to locate a speakeasy. Speakeasies were known to be a place where alcoholic would be sold. Why did Prohibition start? Was it a good idea? And how exactly did it affect America then and now? In colonial America during the early 1800s, alcoholic beverages were an important part of the American diet. Alcohol became to be seen as "the root of all evil" and the cause of the major problems of the young nation, such as crime, poverty, immorality, and insanity. Many organized groups in the 1800s spoke out against drinking. The American Temperance Society, founded in Boston in 1826, was the first temperance organization. (Temperance meaning moderation) The group believed that Americans should moderate their ways of drinking, but most of the reformers pressed for no consumption of alcohol at all. The group began to call constant drunkenness a disease. The temperance movement finally concluded in 1920.
Prohibition had a major downfall, not only did crimes increase, crime became organized. Criminal groups grew because of the enormous amount of money that would be made. Since liquor was no longer legally available, the public turned to gangsters who readily took on the bootlegging industry and supplied them with liquor. Criminal organizations had an immense benefit due to these alcohol seekers so much that they would do anything to defend their sales, territories, brand names, and labor contracts. As a result this lead to more and more gangs which lead to rivalries between gangs, and the profit motive was enough for these gang members to organize crime against each other.
The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale, transport, import, or export of alcoholic beverages. Upon ratification of the amendment by the states, Congress voted its approval back in October 1919, and was ratified January 16th 1920.
Prohibition had two sides, either you were strongly supportive or you were vigorously against it. Elizabeth Cady Stanton born in 1815 played a main role in the women’s rights movement. Susan B Antony born 1820 was a prominent American civil rights and women's suffrage leader. Both Anthony and Stanton worked together. They were the beginners of women’s voice which led to the temperance movement. There were many supporters and some that just did the complete opposite. For example Alphonse Capone and George Reus; Capone was born in 1899,