Prohibition In 1920 Essay, Research Paper
Prohibition in the 1920s
Thirteen Old ages That Damaged America
I have ever taken an involvement in the Roaring Twenties and that is why I decided to compose my English term paper on an event that occured in the 1920s. What follows is my term paper which concentrates on prohibition and why it was non effectual, viz. because of deficiency of enforcement, growing of offense, and the addition in the imbibing rate. I hope this may be of some aid to you.
& # 8220 ; Prohibition did non accomplish its ends. Alternatively, it added to the jobs it was intended to work out & # 8221 ; ( Thorton, 15 ) . On Midnight of January 16, 1920, one of the personal wonts and imposts of most Americans all of a sudden came to a arrest. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into consequence and all importation, exporting, transporting, merchandising, and fabrication of elating spirits was put to an terminal. Shortly following the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, the National Prohibition Act, or the Volstead Act, as it was called because of its writer, Andrew J. Volstead, was put into consequence. This determined elating spirits as anything holding an alcoholic content of anything more than 0.5 per centum, excluding intoxicant used for medicative and sacramental intents. This act besides set up guidelines for enforcement ( Bowen, 154 ) . Prohibition was meant to cut down the ingestion of intoxicant, seen by some as the Satan & # 8217 ; s advocator, and thereby cut down offense, poorness, decease rates, and better the economic system and the quality of life. & # 8220 ; National prohibition of intoxicant & # 8212 ; the & # 8216 ; baronial experiment & # 8217 ; & # 8212 ; was undertaken to cut down offense and corruptness, work out societal jobs, cut down the revenue enhancement load created by prisons and poorhouses, and better wellness and hygiene in America & # 8221 ; ( Thorton, 1 ) . This, nevertheless, was doubtless to no help. The Prohibition amendment of the 1920s was uneffective because it was unenforceable, it caused the explosive growing of offense, and it increased the sum of intoxicant ingestion.
& # 8220 ; It is impossible to state whether prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has ne’er been enforced in this state & # 8221 ; ( LaGuardia ) . After the Volstead Act was put into topographic point to find specific Torahs and methods of enforcement, the Federal Prohibition Bureau was formulated in order to see that the Volstead Act was enforced. However, these Torahs were flagrantly violated by moonshiners and common mans likewise. Bootleggers smuggled spirits from oversees and Canada, stole it from authorities warehouses, and produced their ain. Many people hid their spirits in hip flasks, false books, hollow canes, and anything else they could happen ( Bowen, 159 ) . There were besides illegal speak-easies which replaced barrooms after the start of prohibition. By 1925, there were over 100,000 speak-easies in New York City entirely ( Bowen, 160 ) . Equally good as the ideal sounded, & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; prohibition was far easier to proclaim than to implement & # 8221 ; ( Wenburn, 234 ) . With merely 1,550 federal agents and over 18,700 stat mis of ( Bowen, 166 ) & # 8220 ; huge and virtually unpoliceable coastline & # 8221 ; ( Wenburn, 234 ) , & # 8220 ; it was clearly impossible to forestall huge measures of spirits from come ining the state & # 8221 ; ( Behr, 162 ) . Barely five per centum of bootleg spirits was hindered from coming into the state in the 1920s. Furthermore, the illegal spirits concern fell under the control of organized packs, which overpowered most of the governments ( Wenburn, 234 ) . Many moonshiners secured their concern by corrupting the governments, viz. federal agents and individuals of high political position ( Bowen, 160 ) . & # 8220 ; No 1 who is intellectually honorable will deny that at that place has non yet been effectual countrywide enforcement & # 8221 ; ( Behr, 161 ) .
As a consequence of the deficiency of enforcement of the Prohibition Act and the creative activity of an illegal industry an addition in offense transpired. The Prohibitionists hoped that the Volstead Act would diminish inebriation in America and thereby diminish the offense rate, particularly in big metropoliss. Although towards the beginning of Prohibition this intent seemed to be fulfilled, the offense rate shortly skyrocketed to about twice that of the pre-prohibition period. In big metropoliss the homicide went from 5.6 ( per 100,000 population ) in the pre-prohibition period, to about 10 ( per 100,000 population ) during prohibition, about a 78 per centum addition. Serious offenses, such as homicides, assault, and battery, increased about 13 per centum, while other offenses affecting victims increased 9 per centum. Many protagonists of prohibition argued that the offense rate decreased. This is true if one is analyzing merely minor offenses, such as curse, mischievousness, and vagrancy, which did in fact lessening due to prohibition. The major offenses, nevertheless, such as homicides, and burglaries, increased 24 per centum between 1920 and 1921. In add-on, the figure of federal inmates over the class of the prohibition period increased 561 per centum. The offense rate increased because & # 8220 ; prohibition destroyed legal occupations, created black-market force, diverted resources from enforcement of other Torahs, and increased monetary values people had to pay for prohibited goods & # 8221 ; ( Thorton, 10 ) .
The lending factor to the sudden addition of felonies was the organisation of offense, particularly in big metropoliss. Because spirits was no longer lawfully available, the populace turned to mobsters who readily took on the bootlegging industry and supplied them with spirits. On history of the industry being so profitable, more mobsters became involved in the money-making concern. Crime became so organized because & # 8220 ; condemnable groups organize around the steady beginning of income provided by Torahs against victimless offenses such as devouring intoxicant & # 8221 ; ( Thorton, 13 ) . As a consequence of the money involved in the bootlegging industry, there was much challenger between packs. The net income motivation ca
used over four hundred pack related slayings a twelvemonth in Chicago entirely ( Bowen, 175 ) .
By the way, big metropoliss were the chief location for organized packs. Although there were over a half twelve powerful packs in New York, Chicago was the capital of racketeers, including Johnny Torrio, & # 8220 ; Bugs Moran & # 8221 ; , the Gennas, and the O & # 8217 ; Banions ( Behr, 192 ) . The most powerful and ill-famed moonshiner nevertheless, was Al Capone, runing out of Chicago. One of the most ghastly and remembered mobster shoot-outs of all clip occurred on Valentine & # 8217 ; s Day, 1929. Because of concern differences, Capone had his confederate, & # 8220 ; Machine Gun & # 8221 ; Jack McGurn plot the slaying of the O & # 8217 ; Banions, led by Bugs Moran. McGurn staged a bringing of intoxicant to Moran at a warehouse and had his pack members impersonate police officers and feign to bust the dealing. With a expanse of machine gun fire, McGurn killed all that were indoors. Capone had a solid alibi, being in Miami at the clip, and no strong beliefs were of all time made. This event is an illustration of how prohibition fueled pack warfare and increased the offense rate in America ( Bowen, 175 ) .
& # 8220 ; Seldom has jurisprudence been more flagrantly violated. Not merely did Americans go on to fabricate, swap, and possess intoxicant ; they drank more of it & # 8221 ; ( Bowen, 154 ) . The Americans that supported the jurisprudence of prohibition argued that if imbibing was non allowed, so Americans would imbibe less. Although the ingestion of intoxicant fell instantly after the beginning of prohibition, there was a subsequent addition after less than a twelvemonth ( see appendix I ) . After the start of prohibition, because fabrication and importing intoxicant were illegal, people needed to happen ways to avoid being caught. Because beer had to be transported in big measures, which became hard, the monetary value of beer went up and therefore Americans began to imbibe less of it. Alternatively, they began to imbibe more difficult spirits, which was more concentrated and easier to transport and therefore less expensive. Because of prohibition, Americans began to imbibe more powerful drinks and so became more rummy by imbibing less. Another ruin of prohibition was that the illicitly made merchandises had no criterions. Deaths from poisoned spirits rose from 1,064 in 1920 to 4,154 in 1925.
Although one would believe that prohibition would heighten the trouble of obtaining intoxicant, spirits was really really easy to get. The bootlegging concern was so huge that clients could easy obtain intoxicant by merely walking down about any street. Replacing barrooms, which were all shut down at the start of prohibition, were illegal speak-easies. These concerns, hidden in cellars, office edifices, and anyplace that could be found, admitted merely those with rank cards, and had the most modern dismay systems to avoid being shut down. & # 8220 ; There were twice every bit many speak-easies in Rochester, New York, as barrooms closed by Prohibition & # 8221 ; ( Thorton, 6 ) . Bootleggers, holding really profitable concerns ( one moonshiner was worth more than five million dollars ) , either illicitly imported spirits, stole it from authorities warehouses, or made their ain, doing it readily available to clients ( Bowen 170 ) . Many place merchandises were sold to those clients who wanted little measures of intoxicant. Vine-Glo, a type of grape juice, turned into vino ( 15 per centum intoxicant ) after 60 yearss of agitation. Wort, or near beer, was lawfully produced because it had less than 0.5 per centum intoxicant. When added to yeast, this merchandise rapidly turned into beer. Alcohol used for medicative intents, prescribed by a physician, was besides technically legal. There were limitations, such as merely one pint was allowed per individual in a 10 twenty-four hours period, but these regulations were blatantly ignored ( Bowen, 164 ) . The gross revenues of medicative intoxicant, which was 95 percent pure intoxicant, increased 400 per centum between 1923 and 1931. Another factor that proves the addition of intoxicant ingestion is the addition in deceases and inebriation. The bead in intoxicant related deceases before prohibition rapidly rose during prohibition. Apprehensions for inebriation and disorderly behavior increased 41 per centum, while apprehensions for intoxicated drive increased 81 per centum during prohibition ( Thorton, 7 ) .
& # 8220 ; The consequences of the experiment [ prohibition ] are clear: & # 8230 ; organized offense grew into an imperium ; & # 8230 ; discourtesy for the jurisprudence grew ; and the per capita ingestion of the prohibited substance & # 8212 ; alcohol & # 8212 ; increased dramatically & # 8221 ; ( McWilliams ) . It is obvious that this & # 8220 ; baronial experiment & # 8221 ; was non so baronial but instead a suffering failure on all histories. Reasonable steps were non taken to implement the Torahs and so they were practically ignored. Peoples flagrantly violated the jurisprudence, imbibing more of the substance that was originally prohibited. The jobs prohibition intended to work out, such as offense, grew worse and they ne’er returned to their pre-prohibition degrees. Not merely was prohibition uneffective, it was besides damaging to the people and society it was meant to assist. Prohibition should non hold gone on for the 13 old ages it was allowed to damage society.
May 6, 1998
1. Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Old ages That Changed America. New York: Arcade Publication, 1996.
2. Bowen, Ezra, ed. This Fabulous Century. 6 vols. New York: Time Life Books, 1969.
3. LaGuardia, Fiorella H. & # 8220 ; American Prohibition in the 1920s. & # 8221 ; 1926. Online. Netscape. 23 April 1998.
4. McWilliams, Peter. & # 8220 ; Prohibition: A Lesson in the Futility ( and Danger ) of Prohibiting. & # 8221 ; Online. Netscape. 23 April 1998.
5. Thorton, Mark. & # 8220 ; Policy Analysis: Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure. & # 8221 ; July 17, 1991. Online. Netscape. 23 April 1998.
6. Wenburn, Neil. The USA: A Chronicle of Pictures. New York: Smithmark Publishers Inc. , 1991.