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Prohibition of the 1920's

By BESTIKLZ Jun 21, 2006 386 Words
Prohibition was forced from January 16th 1920 to December 5 1933 it was a time when all alcohol was completely banned and made illegal in the United States of America. Supporters of Prohibition included many women reformers who were concerned about alcohol's link to wife beating and child abuse. Advocates of prohibition argued that banning alcohol would eliminate corruption, end machine politics, and help Americanize immigrants. Even before the 18th Amendment was sanctioned, about 65% of the country had already banned alcohol. America's entry into World War I made Prohibition seem patriotic, because many breweries were owned by German Americans. In December 1917, Congress passed the 18th Amendment. A month later, President Wilson instituted partial prohibition to save grain for the war effort. Beer was limited to 2.75% alcohol content and production was held to 70% of the previous years production. National prohibition as defended as a war measure. The amendments proponents argued that grain should be made into bread for fighting men and not for liquor. The 18th Amendment banned the manufacture and sale of "intoxicating liquors" Though not the possession, consumption, or transportation. Brewers hopped that this would not apply to beer or wine, but the Volstead Act defined intoxicating beverages as anything with more than 0.5% alcohol. This included beers and wines. During prohibition smuggling and bootlegging became widespread. George Remus, a Cincinnati bootlegger, had a thousand salesmen on his payroll, many of them being police officers. In 1927, there were an estimated 30,000 illegal speakeasies, twice the number of legal bars before prohibition. Finding a doctor to sign a prescription for medicinal whiskey, sold at drugstores was relatively easy. Prohibition failed because it was unenforceable. By 1925, half a dozen states, passed laws banning police from investigating violations. An estimated 30,000 city residents sold liquor during Prohibition and another 100,000 made home brew or bathtub gin for personal use. Prohibition did briefly improve public health. The death rate from alcoholism was cut by 80% by 1921 and alcohol related crime dropped remarkably. Alcohol consumption decreased by 30-50% during this time. Deaths from cirrhosis of the liver Prohibition also called "The noble experiment" ended at 3:32pm December 5 1933. By then even some supporters admitted that the 18th amendment resulted in "evil consequences."

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