The Great Gatsby And Prohibition

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Term Paper In the past our government passed many laws; some were beneficial and some were not. In the 1920's the United States government passed a law making alcohol illegal. This period of prohibition created the formula for the growth of organized crime. This growth brought power and fame to corrupt people such as Alfonso (Scarface) Capone. These times of bootleggers and lawbreakers are depicted in the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The idea of prohibition has been around longer then known by many people. The ideas of prohibition began around 1750. Throughout history people such as Abraham Lincoln commented on the negative effects of alcohol. The real fight for prohibition began when the Anti-Saloon League was founded on December 18, 1895. There were many reasons the Anti-Saloon League was for prohibition. One of their reasons was that some people would drink themselves into the poor house; they would drink away their paycheck.

Another reason for this prohibition was to decrease the amount of alcohol that people drank on average. At one time, some people were drinking more beer than anything else. This could also be in part because at the time, beer was cheaper than coffee and tea. Eventually, the Anti-Saloon League got the government involved. The league got the government to enforce prohibition on January 16, 1920 when Andrew Volstead presented the 18th amendment to congress. Congress then passed this amendment, which caused saloons across the United States to be closed down.

Prohibition had some effects that benefited society, but for every one of those beneficial qualities there were about handful of things that harmed our society in the 1920's. One of the good things about prohibition is that the fines and penalties of violating the Prohibition Act was enough in itself to make some...