In the early 20th century there were a variety of changes throughout American society. These changes were brought about by the election of the Republican Party and the conservative policies that they implemented throughout the 1920’s. Changes and reforms occurred throughout society but mainly in the areas of, prohibition and crime, immigration restrictions, religious fundamentalism, racial conflict, anti communism and anti unionism. The changes in these areas moved American society towards “normalcy” and conservatism, it was also a period of allusion, conflict and corruption.
In October of 1919 the Volstead act passed over Wilsons veto and declared that after new year’s day of 1920 all traffic in beverages that contained more than one half of one per cent of alcohol by volume was illegal. Prohibition had been brought about by the movement towards conservatism and ‘normalcy’. As a result of prohibition a new class of criminal came about, usually an everyday citizen trying to make their fortune in ‘bootlegging’. Bootleggers were people who evaded the law and brewed their own alcohol, to sell to people on the street or to supply the ‘speakeasy’s’, which were essentially clubs where people could go to buy drinks and socialise. There was another business that sprung up as a result of prohibition, this was the rum trade, rum would be brewed in the Caribbean loaded onto ships that would be brought to America by people known as ‘rum runners’. Prohibition was almost impossible to police and enforce, while there would be small seizes of alcohol the majority of it would slip through the net. This was mainly because the local and federal police were being paid by the wealthy to turn a blind eye to ‘bootlegging’. One twelfth of the members of the prohibition bureau were dismissed for corruption and how many went undetected and remained in service will never be known. Prohibition on... [continues]
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