There once was a time when a person couldn't sit down after a hard day's work,
and have a comforting Martini. This was a time in our history in which our government
felt as if the root of all evil was alcohol, it was their belief that if alcohol were no longer
here, then there would be no more problems. They had a good idea, but because of lack
of being able to enforce the laws brought forth under the Eighteenth amendment, it did
not make a difference whether drinking was illegal or legal.
"Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was
intended to solve." (Thorton, 15). On January 16, 1920, a part of nearly every American's
daily routine suddenly became illegal. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into effect
and all importing, exporting, transporting, and selling of alcohol products came to a
Soon after this amendment came the National Prohibition Act, better known
as the Volstead Act. The Volstead act made any alcoholic product that had an alcohol
content over .5% illegal, unless it was intended for medical or religious uses. This act
also set up guidelines for enforcement (Bowen, 154). Prohibition was meant to stop the
consumption of alcohol, thereby reducing crime, poverty, death rates, and improve the
economy and the quality of life. "National prohibition of alcohol-the "noble
experiment"-was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems,
reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve the health of
Americans" (Thorton, 1).
After the Volstead Act was put into place to determine methods of enforcement,
the Federal Prohibition Bureau was formulated in order to see that the Volstead Act was
enforced; nevertheless, these laws were violated by most anyone who wanted to drink.
Bootleggers smuggled liquor from...