During prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933 many people became corrupted and criminally creative about how to consume alcohol. Everyone seemed to be in on the action. Prohibition was a massive social experiment that failed because it turned regular citizens into criminals, created organized crime, and corrupted government officials; it also harmed people physically, financially, and morally.
America right before prohibition; with the exception of the World War One years, in the early 20th century approximately a million new immigrants arrived in America every year. They migrated mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe. Unlike earlier waves of immigration, these people brought with them their own values and their own religion, mainly Catholicism and Judaism (McWilliams 4). With the influx of these immigrants people’s attitudes and values in America started to change.
People from all over the world flocked in to America and it became a huge melting pot of ethnicities; the differences in culture between the immigrants and citizens in the urban areas were merging to become a more liberal culture. This new culture wasn’t as focused on religion. Attitudes about sex and gender changed and the main goal in life was no longer spiritual salvation but material wealth. Even literature in the 20’s reflected this. For example the Great Gatsby!
The landscape of America during prohibition also changed partly because of this influx of immigrants. In 1920, for the first time in American history, a majority of the people lived in cities, which started to become crowded. The population of many cities like Chicago exploded and this also had affected the impact of prohibition because when cities or urban areas are crowded, criminal activities increase. This was a shift of the vision of a Jeffersonian America. In other words, less...
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Cashman, Sean Dennis. Prohibition, The Lie of the Land. First Edition. NY: Macmillan Pub Co, 1981. 68. Print.
Florien, Daniel. "12 Bad Effects of Prohibition You Should Know." Patheos. N.p., 11 Mar 2009. Web. 15 May 2013. .
McWilliams, Peter. Ain 't Nobod 'ys Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society. Prelude Press, 1993. 4. Print.
Nash, Tim. " Organized Crime in the 1920’s and Prohibition." The Finer Times, Excellence in Content. N.p. Web. 1 May 2013.
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