Prohibition

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Prohibition

  1. 1. America’s failed experiment
  2. 2.    Alcohol has always been part of the American diet. Bad water, part of ethnic cultures, easily available, cheap, and of course, addicting! Temperance Movement- Started in 1830’s by women whose husbands beat them and neglected family. Cause? Alcohol!
  3. 3.  Several “dry” counties result.  1919- 18th amendment is ratified. Prohibits (outlaws) production, possession, sale, or consumption of alcohol.
  4. 4. Some make “bathtub gin.” Build stills in woods.  This alcohol was BAD, sometimes folks were poisoned or went blind.   Alcohol was smuggled from Canada on speed boats across the Great Lakes.
  5. 5.  Brand of Moonshine made in Stearns County, Minnesota ◦ Was safe ◦ Drank everywhere from New York to San Francisco
  6. 6.  In Stearns County during Prohibition ◦ 80% of people were involved in some way with bootlegging.  Bootlegging: make, sell, or distribute alcohol illegally ◦ Most knew it was going on  There would be a “liquor cloud” over the farms that were taking part ◦ Why so many?  Hard for farmers at the time  100 lb calf = $5  1 gallon of moonshine = $5  Instead of being foreclosed on, farmers could stay open
  7. 7.  Organized crime (gangsters, the Mob) see a market and move to exploit it.  Bootleg whisky is sold undercover. Best smugglers? Children!
  8. 8. Still, gangsters become heroes, and disrespect for law and police grows.  People resent government for interfering in their lives and their attempts to simply have fun. 
  9. 9.  During the depression we need the alcohol industry for jobs and taxes. And to limit the impact of organized crime.  “You cannot legislate morality.” U.S. learns a lesson about the limits of progressivism
  10. 10.  During the depression we need the alcohol industry for jobs and taxes. And to limit the impact of organized crime.  “You cannot legislate morality.” U.S. learns a lesson about the limits of progressivism

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