top-rated free essay

Prohibition Research

By kendalljunker Jan 28, 2015 2438 Words

Prohibition Fast Facts 
● So convinced were they that alcohol was the cause of virtually all crime that, on  i 
the eve of Prohibition (1920­1933), some towns actually sold their jails. ​ ● During Prohibition, temperance activists hired a scholar to rewrite the Bible by  ii 
removing all references to alcohol beverage. ​
● The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) strongly supported Prohibition and its strict  iii 
enforcement. ​
● Because the temperance movement taught that alcohol was a poison,  supporters insisted that school books never mention the contradictory fact that  alcohol was commonly prescribed by physicians for medicinal and health  iv 

purposes. ​
● Prohibitionists often advocated strong measures against those who did not  comply with Prohibition. One suggested that the government distribute  poisoned alcohol beverages through bootleggers (sellers of illegal alcohol) and  acknowledged that several hundred thousand Americans would die as a result,  but thought the cost well worth the enforcement of Prohibition. Others  suggested that those who drank should be: 

○ hung by the tongue beneath an airplane and flown over the country  ○ exiled to concentration camps in the Aleutian Islands  ○ excluded from any and all churches 
○ forbidden to marry 
○ tortured 
○ branded 
○ whipped 
○ sterilized 
○ tattooed 
○ placed in bottle­shaped cages in public squares  ○ forced to swallow two ounces of caster oil 

○ executed, as well as their progeny to the fourth generation. ​ ● A major prohibitionist group, the Women's Christian Temperance Union  (WCTU) taught as "scientific fact" that the majority of beer drinkers die from  vi 

dropsie (edema or swelling). ​
● Prohibition agents routinely broke the law themselves. They shot innocent  people and regularly destroyed citizens' vehicles, homes, businesses, and  vii 
other valuable property. They even illegally sank a large Canadian ship. ​ ● "Bathtub gin" got its name from the fact that alcohol, glycerine and juniper juice  was mixed in bottles or jugs too tall to be filled with water from a sink tap so 

they were commonly filled under a bathtub tap. ​
The speakeasy got its name because one had to whisper a code word or name  ix 
through a slot in a locked door to gain admittance. ​ Prohibition led to widespread disrespect for law. New York City alone had  about thirty thousand (yes, 30,000) speakeasies. And even public leaders  flaunted their disregard for the law. They included the Speaker of the United  x 

States House of Representatives, who owned and operated an illegal still. ​ Some desperate and unfortunate people during Prohibition falsely believed that  the undrinkable alcohol in antifreeze could be made safe and drinkable by  filtering it through a loaf of bread. It couldn't and many were seriously injured or  xi 

killed as a result. ​
In Los Angeles, a jury that had heard a bootlegging case was itself put on trial  after it drank the evidence. The jurors argued in their defense that they had  simply been sampling the evidence to determine whether or not it contained  alcohol, which they determined it did. However, because they consumed the  xii 

evidence, the defendant charged with bootlegging had to be acquitted. ​ When the ship, Washington, was launched, a bottle of water rather than  xiii 
Champagne, was ceremoniously broken across its bow. ​ Prohibition led to a boom in the cruise industry. By taking what were advertised  as "cruises to nowhere," people could legally consume alcohol as soon as the  xiv 

ship entered international waters where they would typically cruise in circles. ​ National Prohibition not only failed to prevent the consumption of alcohol, but  led to the extensive production of dangerous unregulated and untaxed alcohol,  the development of organized crime, increased violence, and massive political  xv 

corruption. ​
The human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally on a continuous  basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, we always have alcohol  xvi 
in our bodies. ​
Prohibition clearly benefited some people. Notorious bootlegger Al Capone  made $60,000,000...that's sixty million dollars...per year (untaxed!) while the  xvii 
average industrial worker earned less than $1,000 per year. ​ But not everyone benefited. By the time Prohibition was repealed, nearly 800  gangsters in the City of Chicago alone had been killed in bootleg­related  shootings. And, of course, thousands of citizens were killed, blinded, or  xviii 

paralyzed as a result of drinking contaminated bootleg alcohol. ​ The "Father of Prohibition," Congressman Andrew J. Volstead, was defeated  xix 
shortly after Prohibition was imposed. ​
Repeal occurred at 4:31 p.m. on December 5, 1933, ending 13 years, 10 

months, 19 days, 17 hours and 32.5 minutes of Prohibition.   ● "What America needs now is a drink" declared President Franklin D. Roosevelt  xx 
at the end of Prohibition. ​
● Although Prohibition was repealed 75 years ago, there are still hundreds of dry  xxi 
counties across the United States today. ​
 Anti­Saloon League of America. ​
Anti­Saloon League of America Yearbook​
. Westerville, Ohio: American Issue 
Press, 1920, p. 8. Cited by Mulford, Harold A. ​
Alcohol and Alcoholism in Iowa​
, 1965. Iowa City, IA: University of 
Iowa, 1965, p. 9. 
The American Mix​
, 2001, 1(1), 4. 
 Moore, L.J. Historical interpretation of the 1920's Klan: the traditional view and the popular revision. ​ Journal of 
Social History​
, 1990, 24 (2), 341­358. 
 Hanson, David J. ​
Preventing Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol, Culture, and Control​  Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995, Chapter 
 Sinclair, Andrew. ​
Prohibition: The Era of Excess​
. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1962, p. 26; for other suggestions  see Tietsort, Francis J. (Ed.) ​
Temperance ­ or Prohibition?​
 New York: New York American, 1929, ch. 8. 
 Kobler, John E. ​
Ardent Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition​
. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973, 143. 
 Jeffers, H. P. ​
High Spirits​
. New York: Lyons & Burford, 1997, p. 20; "Demon Rum" PBS documentary, 1995.  viii​
 Lender, Mark E. and Martin, James K. ​
Drinking in America​
. New York: Free Press, 1982. 
 Erdoes, Richard. ​
1000 Remarkable Facts about Booze​
. New York: The Rutledge Press, 1981, p. 188. 
 Jennings, Peter. ​
World News Tonight​
. ABC­TV network, January, 29. 1999. 
 Erdoes, Richard. ​
1000 Remarkable Facts about Booze​
. New York: Routledge Press, 1981, p. 189. 
The New York Times​
, January 7, 1928. 
 Behr, E. ​
. New York: Arcade, 1996 
 Cruising Through History. In Gordon, Lesley. ​
Caribbean Cruises​
. London: Insight Guides, 2005, p. 33. 
 Engelmann, Larry. Intemperance: ​
The Lost War Against Liquor​
. New York: Free Press, 1979; Asbury, Herbert. 
The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition​ . New York: Doubleday & Co., 1950, ch. 9­14; Kobler, John.  Ardent Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition​
. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973, ch. 10­13; Sinclair, Andrew.  Prohibition: The Era of Excess​
. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1962, ch. 9­15; Nelli, Hubert S. American Syndicate  Crime: A Legacy of Prohibition. In: Kyvig, David E. (Ed.) ​ Law, Alcohol, and Order: Perspectives on National 

. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985; Grant, Marcus, and Ritson, Bruce. ​ Alcohol: The Prevention 
. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983, p. 21; Everest, Allan S. ​ Rum Across the Border​
. Syracuse, NY: 
Syracuse University Press, 1978. 
 Lindiger, W., Taucher, J., Jordan, A., and Vogel, W. Endogenous production of methanol after the consumption  of fruit. ​
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research​
, 1997, 21, 939­943; Phillips, M., Greenberg, J., and  Martinez V., Ostrovsky, Y. M. Endogenous ethanol ­­ its metabolic, behavioral and biomedical significance.  Alcohol, 1986, 3, 239­247. 
 Schlaadt, R. G. ​
Alcohol Use and Abuse​
. Guilford, CT: Dushkin, 1992, p.16; Fite, G. and Reese, J. ​ Economic 
History of the United States​
. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1959, p. 579. 
 Behr, E. ​
. New York: Arcade, 1996. 
 Andrew Volstead: The Father of Prohibition.; Kizilos, P. The man behind the act (Andrew  J. Volstead). ​
American History​
, 2001, 35(6), 50; Andrew Volstead. Spartacus Educational (Education n the Internet  & Teaching History Online),; James, C.L. Andrew J. Volstead: A Survey of  Research. St. Paul, MN: C.L.James, 1978. Demko, P. Getting to the bottom of Minnesota’s liquor laws. ​ City Pages​

2003, 21(1201),, 12­10­03. 
 Burkhart, Jeff. Something to celebrate: Repeal of Prohibition. ​ Marin Independent Journal​
, December 7, 2007. 
 Dry Counties (  i​




As Americans, we like to look back to the Roaring Twenties and the Prohibition Era with a fond feeling of nostalgia. It  was a simpler time, and a time romanticized in movies. Prohibition was the ban on the sale, manufacture, and  transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933.  It was not as successful in practice as it looked on paper. Organized crime rose, and bootleggers and speakeasies  became popular, serving up cocktails, beer, moonshine and bathtub gin.  Chicago, interestingly enough, was a major center of Prohibition, complete with notorious gangsters and  speakeasies. 

Prohibition in Chicago - Fun Facts

A few speakeasies and ​
mob hangouts​
, like John Barleycorn’s and the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, are still in  business today. 



It was estimated that ​
Al Capone​
, Chicago’s most famous gangster, bootlegger and crime boss, raked in $60  million alone on alcohol sales in 1927. 



227 gangsters were killed in the space of four years in the 1920s in Chicago. 



During the famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where members of Capone’s crime outfit gunned down  rival gang members associated with Bugs Moran, Capone’s men dressed as police officers and pretended to  arrest Moran’s men. 



Chicago had hundreds of bars that remained open in the 1920s, with blank storefronts and secret side  entrances. 



Speakeasies in Chicago not only had liquor, but also food service, live bands and shows. 



While speakeasies were regarded as higher class, with food and entertainment, the term “blind pig” was  used for dive bars, where customers would pay to see an animal and receive a complementary drink. 



Beer was easier to produce, because it could be brewed and ready to drink after only a few days. Since hard  liquors required aging, gangsters and bootleggers would have to acquire it from outside the country – from  Canada, through Detroit. 



After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, many Chicago gangs turned their attention to labor racketeering and  gambling. Interestingly, the ​
Berghoff Restaurant​
 in Chicago has the first liquor license issued in Chicago  after Prohibition ended and it's on display in the restaurant's bar.­guide/4340­fun­facts­about­prohibition­in­1920s­c hicago.html 

What Was Prohibition?

Prohibition was a period of nearly fourteen
years of U.S. history in which the
manufacture, sale, and transportation of
liquor was made illegal. It led to the first
and only time an Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution was repealed.


1920 -- 1933

Also Known As:

Noble Experiment

Overview of Prohibition

Prohibition was the period in United States
history in which the manufacture, sale, and
transportation of intoxicating liquors was

outlawed. It was a time characterized by
speakeasies, glamor, and gangsters and a
period of time in which even the average
citizen broke the law.

Temperance Movements

After the American Revolution, drinking was
on the rise. To combat this, a number of
societies were organized as part of a new
Temperance movement which attempted to
dissuade people from becoming intoxicated.
At first, these organizations pushed
moderation, but after several decades, the
movement's focus changed to complete
prohibition of alcohol consumption.

The Temperance movement blamed alcohol
for many of society's ills, especially crime
and murder. Saloons, a social haven for
men who lived in the still untamed West,
were viewed by many, especially women,
as a place of debauchery and evil.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Prohibition

    ...Name: Elise Mason Canadian History – First Research Notes: PART 2 (10 marks) Essay Research Topic: Prohibition in Canada Article from an Online Database Proper documentation for Article from Online Database: "Prohibition." Gale Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Donna Batten. 3rd ed. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 155-156. Gale Op...

    Read More
  • Prohibition longer needed the liquor tax. This set the stage for the movement that eventually led to the ratification of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition. Prohibition of alcohol consumption in America damaged the very economic and social aspects of American culture in many ways. Prohibition turned out to be unsuccessful, and did notreach the projected goa...

    Read More
  • Prohibition

    ...Volstead, a Republican representative from Minnesota. The Volstead Act, also known as the "National Prohibition Act", determined intoxicating liquor as anything having an alcoholic content of more than 0.5 percent, excluding alcohol used for medicinal and sacramental purposes. The act also set up guidelines for enforcement. Prohibition was meant...

    Read More
  • Prohibition

    ...Was prohibition a failure? In 1919, the Volstead Act outlawed alcoholic beverages with an alcoholic content over 0.5 percent. This topic is debated in the book, Taking Sides; there are two opposing sides to the question, “was prohibition a failure?” David E. Kyvig argues that the Volstead act did not specifically prohibit the use or consum...

    Read More
  • Prohibition in Usa 1900-1930

    ...Prohibition in USA in the 1900’s The prohibition was brought on by the strong temperance movement happening in America in the early 1900’s. These groups were devout Christians who vowed to be sober as they saw the affect alcohol had on families. But the members of this movement campaigned for everyone to give up alcohol. The arguments of t...

    Read More
  • Was Prohibition a Failure?

    ...United States History 10 April 2014 Was Prohibition a Failure? Due to the progressive and forward-thinking society the 1920s had become, it was hard for Americans to set limits on what they and their American society could achieve. However, some barriers were impeding their attainment of a society free of the burdens it had just previously de...

    Read More
  • Prohibition of the 1920's

    ...The 1920s was a time of major social change in the United States. The social changes during this period were reflected in the laws and regulations that were brought into play at this time. One of the most prominent examples of this was prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Volsted Act, which got its name from its...

    Read More
  • Unintended Consequences of Prohibition

    ...system. When a simple system tries to regulate a complex system you often get unintended consequences.” (1) Before the prohibition of alcohol existed in the United States people freely drank alcohol, mainly beer, some responsibly and some irresponsibly. The government was able to collect quite a substantial amount of tax revenue for the manu...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.