Prohibition in the USA-1920

Essay by heapsapeopleHigh School, 12th gradeB, November 2008

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 16 times


In January 1920 the USA introduced Prohibition, which band the making, selling and transportation of any kind of alcoholic drink. This was made part of the American Constitution the 18th Amendment. A separate law, the Volstead Act, defined an alcoholic drink that contained more than 0.5% of Alcohol which banned wine, beer and whiskey.

Even before the 18th Amendment was approved, by 1916 roughly 65% of the country had already banned alcohol that is about 19 states.

The prohibition act took affect in 1920, it put in place a series of laws in the states which restricted the consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Why was Prohibition introduced?

Existing prohibition. The anti-saloon League was formed in 1893 and in time became a powerful political force in passing a national ban on alcoholic beverages

Other reasons for Prohibition:

Medically. People realised that alcohol damaged their health which would affect them later in life. (Euphoria, Lethargy, Confusion, Stupor, Coma and Death)

Economically. Factory owners realised that drunken labourers could not perform to their best standards, which results in injury or possibly death. This would also mean absence from work causing the company's productivity to slow down.

Socially. Women wanted their husband's home instead of spending their family's earnings in the bars.

Progressive reformers supported Prohibition in their quest to improve society.

In America after the introduction of the 18th Amendment in 1920, prohibition laws fuelled gang warfare's and increased the crime rate in America. The demand for alcohol was so high that the number of speakeasies out numbered the legal bars. Organizations with illegal access to alcohol started to make big profits smuggling supplies of alcohol across the state borders. These Organized gangs took control of illegal liquor businesses and overpowered most of the authorities, they even threatened or...