Moonshiners became a part of everyday life and new national pastimes were invented, along with movies portraying all of this. To begin, the thought of Prohibition is reported to have started in the 1800's, when certain citizens attempted to convince the general population to stop drinking. Some members of society didn't want to totally eradicate alcohol; they just wanted to moderate the amount being consumed. Factions such as the Prohibition Party and the Women's Christian Temperance Union were considered leaders in "drying out" Americans. All of the interest in Prohibition almost completely died out after the Civil War began. After the war ended, there was a large resurgence of similar groups. The result of this resurgence was the passing of the 19th amendment, banning alcohol from being consumed or sold in any public place.
At first, people got around Prohibition by stockpiling any alcohol they had access to. They stored the alcohol inside their homes, because drinking alcohol inside the home wasn't against the law; it wasn't illegal because the government had no pull inside private homes, and therefore didn't bother enforcing any restrictions on home consumption. After private caches ran out, organized crime stepped in to fill the gap. This led to a soar in the national crime rate. It also led to a rise in the death rate because people who couldn't't afford to buy alcohol tried to make their own and ended up poisoning themselves.
Speakeasies, which were illegal saloons that required you to have a password to enter, became commonplace during Prohibition. Prohibition banned alcohol from being legally sold or consumed in public, so bars, or saloons, were forced to close. Many saloons chose to stay open until the Police shut them down and then reopened as Speakeasies. In New York alone, the 16,000 saloons that were shut down doubled in number to become 32,000 Speakeasies. The number grew so large because the law made alcohol a forbidden fruit. We weren't...
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