American Prohibition 1900-1945 Argumentative Essay: Prohibition fuelled the very thing it sought to destroy.

Essay by MabLHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2007

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On Midnight, January 16, 1920 the Prohibition or”the Noble Experiment” hit the United States. The aim of Prohibition was to reduce crime, poverty, death rates, improve the economy, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene generally in America. For the first few months Prohibition was working just as it was planned to, crime rates were down and drunken disorderly behavior were diminished, however by late 1920 it was unenforceable. The explosive growth of crime and the amount of alcohol consumption was overbearing. People were finding ways to smuggle alcohol in to the country. Certain people such as Al Capone dominated the black market with bootlegged alcohol . Before long gangster groups such as the Chicago Outfit had such power they started influencing politics, culminating in organized crime becoming an empire by the late 1920’s. From the start Prohibition fuelled the very thing it sought to destroy.

During Prohibition, people needed to find ways to avoid being caught illegally manufacturing and importing alcohol. Beer had to be transported in large quantities, which became difficult so the price of beer went up and so Americans began to drink less of it. Although this was what Prohibition aimed to do, Americans began to drink hard liquor, which was more concentrated and easier to transport and less expensive. They used the alcohol that had previously been used for medicinal purposes, prescribed by doctors. This alcohol was technically legal. There were restrictions, such as only one pint allowed per person in a ten day period, but these rules were blatantly ignored. The sales of 95 percent pure alcohol increased 400 percent between 1923 and 1931. Because of this the Americans became drunker by drinking less which created more problems. Another downfall of prohibition...