Prohibition – 18 th Amendment Objective: Examine the reasons for the passage of the 18th amendment
Prohibition 18 th Amendment: the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol was prohibited in the U.S. Prohibitionists overlooked the strong U.S. traditions for alcohol and exposed the fact that laws must be based on moral consensus. Problems with enforcement : 1. After sacrifices made during WWI, many Americans were unwilling to make more sacrifices such as giving up alcohol. 2. There were widespread reports that Congressmen were still consuming alcohol. 3. Soldiers returning from war disapproved.
Prohibition 4. Lower class citizens became angry that they lost their ability to drink beer while the upper classes could afford to buy illicit alcohol. 5. The challenge to break the law became popular itself. 6. Law enforcement was understaffed, susceptible to bribery, and often used violent tactics.
Prohibition Other Impacts: Hard Liquor gained in popularity because it was easier to smuggle. Diplomatic relations were strained with Canada as U.S. border agents were often overzealous. Profits from illegal alcohol led to rise of criminal gangs who competed for alcohol market: used violence and bribery of police. Gang wars of Chicago in 1920s saw over 500 murders with very few arrests or convictions. By 1930, Organized Crime was making $12 to $18 billion/year, several times more a year than the federal government!
Goal: was to reduce crime and poverty and improve the quality of life by making it impossible for people to get their hands on alcohol.
This "Noble Experiment" was a failure.
Midnight, January 16th, 1920, US went dry.
The 18th Amendment , known as the Volstead Act, prohibited the manufacture, sale and possession of alcohol in America. Prohibition lasted for thirteen years.
So was born the industry of bootlegging, speakeasies and Bathtub Gin .
People drank more than ever during Prohibition, and there were more deaths related to alcohol.
No other law in America has been violated so flagrantly by so many " decent law-abiding " people.
Overnight, many became criminals .
Mobsters controlled liquor created a booming black market economy.
Gangsters owned speakeasies and by 1925 there were over 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone.
PROHIBITION Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a hidden underground brewery during the prohibition era. Agent with the U.S. Treasury Department's Prohibition Bureau during a time when bootlegging was rampant throughout the nation. Chicago gangster during Prohibition who controlled the “bootlegging” industry. Al Capone Elliot Ness, part of the Untouchables
PROHIBITION The "Noble" Experiement
“ Prohibition is an awful flop. We like it. It can't stop what it's meant to stop. We like it. It's left a trail of graft and slime, It's filled our land with vice and crime, It can't prohibit worth a dime, Nevertheless we're for it.” Franklin Pierce Adams, New York World “It is impossible to stop liquor trickling through a dotted line” A Prohibition agent PROHIBITION The "Noble" Experiement
Prohibition 18 th Amendment Volstead Act Gangsters untouchables Al Capone
PROHIBITION - on manuf. and sale of alcohol
adopted in 1919 - 18th AMENDMENT
an outgrowth of the longtime temperance movement
in WWI, temperance became a patriotic mvmt. - drunkenness caused low productivity & inefficiency, and alcohol needed to treat the wounded
a difficult law to enforce... organized crime, speakeasies, bootleggers were on the rise
Al Capone virtually controlled Chicago in this period - capitalism at its zenith…
Prohibition finally ended in 1933 w/ the 21st Amendment
forced organized crime to pursue other interests…
Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages.
The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took away license to do business from the brewers, distillers, vintners, and the wholesale and retail sellers of alcoholic beverages.
The leaders of the prohibition movement were alarmed at the drinking behavior of Americans, and they were concerned that there was a culture of drink among some sectors of the population that, with continuing immigration from Europe, was spreading. Anti Saloon League, Scientific Temperance Federation, World League Against Alcoholism, and Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Speakeasies were actually illegal "nightclubs." They were created during the 20's when prohibition was lurking about and alcohol was ruled illegal.
They were usually opened late at night and served a playing field for the rebels that wanted to dance the night away and drink alcohol.
They would usually have code words for people to get into and would be run by the local cop on the street.
The Cotton Club in Harlem, New York was the most famous of these speakeasies.
They were a place where the prosperous could party, local cops could make a little extra cash.
In the speakeasies, discrimination was a problem.
Prohibition - Problems Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became "organized"; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant. No measurable gains were made in productivity or reduced absenteeism. Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. It led many drinkers to switch to opium, marijuana, patent medicines, cocaine, and other dangerous substances that they would have been unlikely to encounter in the absence of Prohibition. St. Valentines Day Massacre Eliot Ness
What was Prohibition and how did it effect the nation?
Recall- What did the 18 th Amendment and the Volstead Act do?
Summarize- What were the main arguments in favor of Prohibition?
Make Judgments- Do you think that the government should regulate what people are allowed to eat and drink?
Recall- How did American’s obtain alcohol during Prohibition
Identify Cause and Effect- How did the passage of the 18 th Amendment and the Volstead Act lead to the rise of organized crime.
Make Judgments- Why do you think law enforcement officials were unsuccessful in enforcing the Volstead Act?