Boom and Bust

Topics: Prohibition in the United States, Temperance movement, Al Capone Pages: 5 (2007 words) Published: March 15, 2005
Boom or Bust: Prohibition Coursework

Was it bound to fail?
A-: Study source A and B. How far do these two accounts agree and prohibition?

Source a is dealing with two different sources but both about the subject which is Prohibition. Many of historians have their own opinion about it, but the main question is of these two-account show much do they agree on about Prohibition.

Source A is a section of writing that was published in 1973 and was taken from a history book. They clearly state that historians disagree about what was mainly to blame for the introduction of prohibition. By 1917 twenty-three states had already had the ban instated that is stated in the source. Main possible explanations that are stated in the source are the bad influences saloons, wartime concern for preserving grain for food, feeling against the German Americans who were important in brewing and distilling and the influence of the Anti-saloon league t a time when large numbers of men were absent in the armed forces. Even though many people were against prohibition on the other hand there were many people who were for it. This is shown in the source when they state the twenty-three states had already become ‘dry'. The source also states that is was mainly men this is shown when they say that the armed forces numbers were very low. The reason that there were bad feeling between the Americans and the German Americans were because World War 1 had not taken place to long ago. The source also states that it had created the biggest criminal boom in American history and perhaps in all modern history. "No earlier law had gone against the daily customs of so many Americans." This last sentence of the source is very important because it sums everything into one line and I know that the source agreed with the key question because of that sentence.

Source B is taken from a history book as well but was published in 1979. This source explains more what happened after prohibition had come into law. The source tells us about the organisations that were supporting the ban on alcohol such as the Women's Christian Temperance union and the Anti saloon league. Both of these organisations wanted to put an end to alcholism.they did this by putting pressure on congress to ban the use of grain for either brewing or distilling. The number of supporter's increase4d because of the success of it. The source tells us that in 1919 an amendment was passed the manufacturing, selling and transporting of alcohol was banned. This proves to me that there were many people who were in favour of the ban. The Prohibition Commissioner had high hopes to and helps support the ban he appointed 1500m prohibition agents. On a negative side though the source also tells us about the rise of gangsters such as Dutch Schulz and Al Capone. They even go as far as to quote Al Capone where he says; "Prohibition is a business; all I do is supply a public demand." In my opinion he might as well have said yes I selling alcohol and Yes I am breaking the law. To sum the source up it tells us about the organisations the helped change the constitution and the gangsters that benefited from it.

Both of the sources agree on the issue of the anti-saloon league, which were that alcohol was bad on all accounts. The creation of various anti saloon leagues which ten went on to change the constitution of America is mentioned in both of the sources. This shows the there were many people in favour of prohibition but that they were still in a minority. Both sources note that it caused the greatest criminal boom in American history but it is only source B that goes into detail and goes on to mention specific gangsters such as Dutch Schulz and Al Capone. Al Capone was rumoured to have made over $100 million just by manufacturing of illegal alcohol. The main difference between the two sources are that source B only mentions the anti-saloon league and says that the success of this group led to the constitution...
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