The Eighteenth Amendment, or better known as the Prohibition Amendment, was the change to the Constitution that made the, "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purpose is hereby prohibited" (209). In other words, associating one's self with anything alcoholic, with the exception of medicinally, was illegal. This seemingly un-American amendment was ratified January 16, 1919. Certain groups of people such as the anti-saloon league petitioned the government in favor of prohibition.
The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed December 5, 1933. American Decades says that it was a "failed experiment" (). This amendment to the Constitution was a failure because everyone ignored it. Not only did was this amendment a "failed experiment" () it was a detrimental experiment which lent itself to criminal activity and fostered division within political, cultural, and social groups. Precedents of division and selective obey of the law were set during the time period when prohibition was ratified.
Good intentions to improve someone or something are not realistic when people do not see anything wrong with themselves. Initially, this amendment was intended to materialize and instill the beliefs and ideals of anti-alcoholic groups: to improve morality and decrease criminal activity. Prominent beliefs throughout the groups were that, "the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is productive or pauperism, degradation and crime; and believing it our duty to discourage that which produces more evil than good" (Lincoln-Lee Legion). The American Issue Publishing Company was started by the Anti-Saloon League in order to make printed material for prohibition available to the public at large, Lincoln-Lee Legion was a pledge group that asked abstinence from alcohol from it's members, Scientific...
Cited: Gerdes, Louise. The 1930 's. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000.
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