Yea so this has probably been the most structured term paper ive ever done. there were 6 or 7 parts to it and this is the final what do you think?
America and Prohibition
Prohibition is the banning of alcohol; during the 1920’s prohibition became a household word. The Twenties are often referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” because of the new freedoms people took advantage of following World War One, drinking alcohol being the major freedom. After World War One, people felt a new sense of freedom because of the ending of the war, this was a turning point where people felt they should celebrate as much as possible. However the prohibition failed because people were able to bypass the law through bootlegging and speakeasies, this made it even harder for the government to control the use of alcohol. Prohibition during the late 1920’s was a failure because it raised new problems such as organized crime and bootlegging that eventually led to it being removed as a law.
During the early 1920‘s, World War One was fought abroad in countries such as Britain and Germany, many American soldiers were called to duty to help the allied powers. After the war came a time known as the “Roaring Twenties”, this was a time of freedom, confident womanhood, new inventions and partying (Wikipedia source). The Twenties brought about a new sense of prosperity with the stock market at a high and new
buying techniques such as buying on margin and speculation and buying on credit (History
book). During the Twenties women also gained many new rights and got the chance to work new jobs they previously were not able to hold. With women gaining new rights “newly free women” or flappers arose, flappers were women who drank and wore clothes not generally accepted for women to wear (Jennifer Rosenberg, 1). Jazz music and dance party’s were other events that affected the influx of drinking during the “Roaring Twenties”.
Prohibition, by definition is the act of prohibiting or the condition of being
prohibited or a law, order, or decree that forbids something (Webster‘s Dictionary). In
other word prohibition is the outlawing of a certain substance or object. During the
current time period there is a prohibition of drugs including marijuana, cocaine and other
drugs. During a prohibition it is illegal to consume or use the substance or object. Going
against a prohibition is illegal and can get you into a lot of trouble, although it is illegal
people selling the illegal substance make substantial profits off of it.
Bootlegging and speakeasies were commonly heard phrases throughout the Twenties, these being the main ways of getting alcohol during the “dry periods”. Speakeasies were an establishment that was used for selling and drinking alcohol illegally during prohibition, it was given the name speakeasy because the owners or bartenders told their customers to “speak easy” or quietly as not to be heard by law enforcement (Wikipedia source). Bootlegging is the smuggling of alcohol into a country for illegal
sale, this was how many organized crime families made their money the most infamous gangster Al Capone made his empire on bootlegging (Wikipedia source). “Prohibitions such as the prohibition of the 1920’s can increase income generating crime, such as theft or prostitution, by raising prices consumers finance consumption of the prohibited commodity from such crime” (Jeffrey Miron, 1). This helps to make obeying the law very hard when it can be a very lucrative business, “given the low capitol needed to become a bootlegger, and capitalist traditions the sale of illegal liquor was inevitable” (Shannon, 68).
There were not many health benefits of prohibition, but one of the major health benefits of prohibition was the decrease of liver cirrhosis, this was very common in women who drink more than 4 drinks a day. Drinking deaths declined before prohibition during the first World War, and then went back to about average during prohibition, this was caused by more potent alcohol sold during prohibition (Mark Thornton, 4). Prohibition had very limited benefits health wise and cannot be said to have helped the American people be more healthy by prohibiting the use of alcohol.
Prohibition had many points of failure ranging from political corruption to enforcement issues. Prohibition was a failure because it caused more problems than it solved, such as large scale bootlegging operations that lead to organized crime, it did not have any positive effects on the health of Americans, and it lead to political corruption. When the 18th amendment was eventually repealed the amount of crime and corruption went down significantly (Mark Thornton, 5). With alcohol being legal again, many of the
organized crime families ended because they no longer had a market to sell their alcohol. With the 21st amendment the individual state could decide whether it wanted to legalize alcohol or keep it banned, in few southern states, there are still dry counties or areas where you cannot buy alcohol (Wikipedia source).
Organized crime was a major factor in large cities such as Chicago and New York
city. Al Capone, one of the most infamous gangsters in bootlegging history ran his
operation out of Chicago where he and other gangs got into many shoot outs over the sale
of alcohol (Catherine H. Poholek). These crime families ran the largest bootlegging
businesses in the United States and controlled much of the prohibition crime. By these
families running bootlegging operations they could invest small amounts of money in
illegal alcohol and easily make back double what they spent on alcohol making it a very
lucrative business (Shannon, 68).
Prohibition, the banning of alcohol in the late 1920’s was a failure because it was a non-enforceable law. It was eventually repealed because it was impossible to get a positive effect from what was proving to be a very expensive fight to ban alcohol.