Prohibition in the 1920's

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OUTLINE

Thesis: National Prohibition in the United States was doomed to fail from the beginning.

I.Introduction:
Prohibition in the United States was doomed to fail from the beginning. There are many reasons why Prohibition was a failure and in the following pages I would like to explore those reasons. Although the intentions were “noble”, not only did Prohibition not achieve its goals it subsequently added to many of the problems that it intended to solve. II.Reasons behind Prohibition:

a.In 1673, Increase Mather, a Puritan leader, stated, “Wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the devil” (Hill, 7). b.In 1836, The American Temperance Union was established. Originally temperance concentrated on getting people to drink in moderation. c.The Civil War put temperance and Prohibition on the back burner. III.Enforcement of Prohibition:

a.Enforcement of Prohibition proved to be extremely overwhelming. b.Even the law itself was elusive.
c.It didn’t occur to anyone that a Constitutional Mandate would be ignored. d.This was the biggest endeavor ever attempted to alter the social habits of the American people. IV.Crime and Corruption:

a.Organizing organized crime took a giant step forward when Johnny Torrio took over “Big Jim Colosimon’s” gang. b.Organized crime peaked during the Prohibition era.
c.In New York, Charles “Lucky” Luciano was making a name for himself. V.The Demise of Prohibition:
a.As prohibition helped organized crime flourish, organized crime helped with the demise of Prohibition. b.The obstacles and complications of the Eighteenth Amendment and the National Prohibition Enforcement Act became quite obvious in a short period of time. c.When Hoover took over office he established the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. d.When Roosevelt took office “Resolutions supporting repeal were introduced in the House and Senate” (Hintz, 79).

VI.Conclusion:
National Prohibition of alcohol in the United States was doomed to fail from the beginning. By 1931 most people realized that Prohibition had been a mistake. There are many reasons why the “Noble Experiment” failed. But the number one reason was because Americans still wanted to drink. Whenever something is in high demand, there will always be someone willing to supply it. Many people thought that Prohibition would be good for mankind and end corruption. Unfortunately Prohibition became a major source of crime and corruption. Although I can certainly understand the reasons behind the movement and commend society for trying to improve their circumstances, passing laws to regulate habits of society is not an easy undertaking. “Prohibition proved conclusively that it takes more than legislation to bring about a fundamental change in the way Americans live” (Hill, 95).

PROHIBITION IN THE 1920’S

Prohibition in the United States was doomed to fail from the beginning. There are many reasons why Prohibition was a failure and in the following pages I would like to explore those reasons. Although the intentions were “noble”, not only did Prohibition not achieve its goals it subsequently added to many of the problems that it intended to solve.

To understand why Prohibition failed you need first to understand why and how it began. The reasons leading up to Prohibition began long before National Prohibition took effect in 1920. Many drinking laws were put into place in the colonial days. In the late 1600’s most of these laws limited but did not outlaw drinking altogether. The laws were mostly put into place to ensure that excessive drinking did not interfere with working and other daily activities. However, it wasn’t long before religious leaders were preaching temperance and more laws limiting drinking were put into effect such as saloons and other drinking establishments being closed on Sundays in order to worship the Bible. However, drinking was widely accepted as a part of every day life...
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