Failure of Prohibition in the US.

Essay by NarthilHigh School, 11th gradeA, October 2003

download word file, 1 pages 3.0

There were various reasons why the enforcing of Prohibition failed. I will talk about what lead to Prohibition, what it consisted of, and what I think the reasons it failed were.

The Anti-Saloon League (a society formed in opposition to drinking alcohol) as a result of World War I had a chance to put their ideas forward with more influence than before. They had various arguments on why there should be no drinking of alcohol, such as: Drinking alcohol is wicked and immoral, alcohol should be banned from religious grounds, alcohol is bad for people, Drunken men are more inclined to beat their wives and neglect their children, patriotic Americans should not be drinking alcohol when their young men are at the front lines in the war, alcohol makes workers less efficient and leads to absenteeism and a ban on alcohol production would bring great savings on barley and other raw materials used in making of alcoholic beverages.

The question is, why did Prohibition fail if it had so many reasons for it to be successful? I will give several reason which point out the failure of Prohibition: Prisons could not cope with the number of offenders, the number of enforcement agents was low - less than 3,000 in 1930, enforcement agents were poorly made and therefore open to bribery, many Americans did not agree with Prohibition, and were prepared to defy it, 'Bootleggers' smuggled in alcohol across the Canadian and Mexican borders, or from the West Indies and the Bahamas, the United States had around 29,000 kilometers of coastline for the enforcement agents to patrol, as well as a population of 125 million potential alcohol-drinkers to contend with, gangsters such as Al Capone thrived on the massive demand for alcoholic drink that was created by making...