Great Gatsby Essay

Topics: Prohibition in the United States, Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1320 words) Published: May 2, 2012
Keith Gavia Gavia 1
Ms. King
American Literature
21 March 2012
The Biographical and Historical Approach to The Great Gatsby Throughout the book, Fitzgerald shows a lot of aspects of the 1920's including prohibition and the illegal selling and moving of alcohol. Prohibition was a big part of the 20's and the crime it produced because of the alcohol that was not to be had. Prohibition started in the U.S. with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment. This prohibited the sale, use, possession, and manufacturing of alcohol any where in the U.S.. Then on January 17, 1920 congress passed the Volstead Act which enforced the Amendment. Some people said that the passage of the Amendment was due to the fact of the absence of young men that were in the war. The law represented the gathering of decades of activism by temperance advocates. They said that alcoholism hurt worker productivity, domestic violence, family disruption, and was responsible for health problems(“1920's Prohibition”). Instead of eliminating alcohol from America it stimulated an economy that provided illegal "hooch","bathtub gin", and "moonshine" to customers. Approximately 5,000 people died from drinking poisonous home made alcohol. To avoid poisoning from alcohol they sought to buy good "hooch" and delivered it from overseas mainly over Canadian borders and alcohol became Detroit’s second leading industry behind auto manufacturing. Millions of Americans broke the Volstead act and also went to speakeasies which were secretive bars. In big cities gangsters tried to control the alcohol market by committing fierce and violent crimes to control there turf which was called "turf wars"(“1920's Prohibition”). Gavia 2

By 1929 it was apparent that enforcement of prohibition was not working. President Hoover, in response to public demand appointed a commission to study the problems of law enforcement. Hoover designated former attorney General George  Wickersham as head of the national commission on Law...
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