Prohibition In The 1920's Essay

2087 words - 8 pages

The Prohibition Era played a major role in the development of the United States as a whole. It changed the law system. The Eighteenth Amendment, which was prohibition, made innocent civilians seem like criminals all because they made, sold, or bought alcohol. This also increased the need of police service, and even then it was still hard to catch every single person who broke the law. There were many, though, who supported this amendment. For example, an organization known as the WCTU, or Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, believed in never having an alcoholic beverage even before Prohibition was enacted. There were others that believed in what the WCTU stood for, but did not like the organization (tn.gov). They believed women should not speak in public. Those who believed in prohibition were known as “drys” and those who opposed were called “wets” (Lapsansky-Werner page 229). The Eighteenth Amendment affected today’s culture and played a major, yet controversial role in American history.
There were many causes for the Prohibition Amendment to be enacted. Around this time, many people believed that alcohol should be illegal. Many countries also believed that the banning of alcohol was important to their development. “Historians have shown, however, that National Prohibition was no fluke, but rather the fruit of a century-long series of temperance movements springing from deep roots in the American reform tradition” (ncbi.gov). Countries such as Iceland, Finland, Norway, Czarist Russia, Soviet Russia, Canadian Proveniences, and Canada’s Federal Government all had a law similar to, or the same as the United States’ Prohibition Amendment. Also, New Zealand approved this law twice, but it never passed (ncbi.gov). In the United States, the purpose of Prohibition was to mend the lives of Americans. Americans believed it to be unpatriotic to drink superfluous beverages made of corn, wheat, and barley while the soldiers went without bread made from the same ingredients as the unnecessary beverage (Lapsansky-Werner). Alcohol can have devastating effects on families (edsitement.gov). Alcoholism can ruin families through abuse, lack of support, and lack of participation in family activities, which, at the time was of great importance. The authors of United States History: Modern America, agree that “…alcohol was at the root of many social ills, from child abuse to lost productivity on the job. Sadly, the attempt to ban alcohol opened the door to a new set of social problems” (Lapsansky-Werner).
Many people believed that banning alcohol would reduce crime and other social ailments, but it is now believed to have done more harm than good. Political figure heads and other people in power were considered corrupt. The rich and wealthy citizens paid off the police and government officials so they could have parties with alcohol. Other times, people went to places known as speakeasies. These were locations in which one would whisper a secret code word or name...

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