The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the agitation of nineteenth century temperance movements. The history of the brewing industry in the United States and the history of the prohibition movement were closely related. Brewing became a big business in the later part of the nineteenth century. German immigrants brought lager beer to the United States, and it became popular. Saloons grew in abundance, enticing customers with the draw of alcohol, gambling, and prostitution.
In response to the rapidly growing market for alcohol and expansion of saloons, supporters of a different kind of America formed. The Anti-Saloon League, an organization formed in 1893 by representatives of temperance societies and evangelical Protestant churches, "had the intentions of bringing business-like methods to political and reform work." 1 With prohibition as a main focus, the League used the widespread dislike of the saloon among "respectable" Americans to fuel prohibition sentiments.
The mission of the Anti-Saloon League grew in support. It did not take long for other groups, such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union ("the largest female reform society of the late nineteenth century"), to join in the opposition of liquor sales in America. 2 With increasing support, Prohibition surfaced as a political issue.
The 1920s were a time of tremendous change in America. While the temperance movement had been around since the turn of the century, it was during the 1920s that prohibition was truly popularized.
The Eighteenth Amendment took effect in January 1920, "banning the manufacture, sale, and transport of all intoxicating liquors." 3 The Volstead Act... [continues]
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