Prohibition Movement: The Noble Experiment

Topics: Alcoholic beverage, Ethanol, Prohibition in the United States Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In 1920 congress began what was called "The Noble Experiment". This experiment began with the signing of the eighteenth amendment of the constitution into law. It was titled by society as Prohibition. Websters dictionary defines prohibition as: A prohibiting, the forbidding by law of the manufacture or sale of alcoholic liquors. Prohibition can extend to mean the foreboding of any number of substances. I define it as a social injustice to the human race as we know it.

Prohibition was designed to rid the country of businesses that manufactured, sold, and or distributed alcoholic beverages. The eighteenth amendment made it a violation of the constitution to do and of the before mentioned. This was a crime punishable up to the Supreme Court. The original idea was that Americans as a whole were unhealthy, there was too much crime and corruption, and that people were being burdened by excess taxes that poorhouses and prisons were creating. What happened? The cheap alcohol being illegally produced killed more Americans, crime and corruption went up, taxes were raised to fund the law enforcement needed to enforce prohibition, and the prisons became overcrowded.

Some would have you believe that crime decreased during prohibition. Well, it did. Crime decreased, as a whole, by 37.7% during prohibition. However violent crime and other serious crimes were up. Theft of property was up 13.2%, homicide was up m16.1%, and robbery was up 83.3%. Minor crimes had decreased though- by 50%. Crimes such as malicious mischief, public swearing, vagrancy, etc. (Dr. Fairburn pg 75-80)

The prohibition movement did have its fair share of supporters however. The most active in the movement was the Women's Christian Temperance Union. They worked hard in campaigning towards this amendment and gathered, what is now believed today, as to be biased statistics. For example one area that the WCTU attacked was the saloons and in particular the sale of distilled spirits,...

Cited: /b>

  • Mark Thornton. Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure [49] Policy Analysis No.157 July 17, 1999 Available:

  • Erich S. Prohibition Nationally and Locally Available:

  • Ohio State University. Why Prohibition [8] Available:

  • Ohio State University. The Brewing Industry at Prohibition [7] Available:
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