This is an essay on the prohibition era in the United States

Essay by alew543College, UndergraduateA, May 2002

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22 November 2001

Did Prohibition work in the United States during the 1920's?

At midnight January 16, 1920, one of the personal habits and customs of most Americans came to a halt. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into effect and all importing, exporting, transporting, selling, and manufacturing of intoxicating liquor was put to an end. Shortly following the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment, the National Prohibition Act was put into effect. This established intoxicating liquor as anything having an alcoholic content of more the 0.5 percent, omitting alcohol used for medicinal and sacramental purposes. This act also set up guidelines for enforcement. Prohibition was meant to reduce the consumption of alcohol, seen by some as the devil's advocate, and thereby reduce crime, poverty, death rates, and improve the economy and quality of life of the United States. Prohibition also known as the 'noble experiment' was also implemented with the hopes of reducing corruption, solving social problems, reducing tax burdens created by prisons and improving the health and hygiene in America.

Such attempts however, were unsuccessful. The Prohibition Amendment of the nineteen twenties was ineffective because it was unenforceable, caused explosive growth of crime, and increased the amount of alcohol consumption among American citizens.

"It is impossible to tell whether prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has never been enforced in this country." After prohibition was put into place, to determine specific laws and methods of enforcement, the Federal Prohibition Bureau was formed. Nevertheless, these laws were easily violated by bootleggers and commoners alike. Bootleggers smuggled liquor from oversees and Canada, stole it from government warehouses and even produced their own. Alcohol was hidden by many people in false books, flasks, hollow canes and anything else they could find. There were also...