When federal prohibition was introduced in America with the 18th Amendment to the constitution in 1919 and the Volstead Act in 1920, it was often termed ‘The Nobel Experiment’. It didn’t take long for most people to recognise that the experiment had gone terribly wrong and that it was fostering what it was supposed to eradicate, crime, excess and corruption. But the question is why it was introduced in America in 1920 and to understand this issue, one has to look at the groups that campaigned against the American drinking culture, such as the Anti-Saloon League, as well as the general situation and the public opinion in America, including the fear of immigration.
One of the groups that campaigned against alcoholic drinks in America were business executives. Including names as important as Ford and Rockefeller, they believed that alcohol undermined workers’ discipline and productivity and they even invested in scientific research in order to prove the negative effects of alcohol on the body’s health. Thus, they feared that drinks impeded profits and prosperity, which even led some employers to form the American Anti-Saloon League, which actively supported prohibition. Moreover other groups, such as soda manufacturers and tea merchants, tended to support prohibition as they hoped for increased sales as a result of people not being able to obtain alcohol. Therefore the business executives contributed to the federal prohibition by campaigning against it and they were heard as they were significant in order to keep the American economy going.
Furthermore there was a great deal of political opposition to alcohol in America. The majority of supporters of the Republican Party were from rural small town America and they were traditionally anti-drink, which meant that the Republicans supported prohibition in order to keep their voters happy. But both Parties had members that saw alcohol as an obstacle to improving