Prohibition Essay 3
One of the most significant and an underlying causes of the introduction of Prohibition was the desire to eliminate the social problems caused by alcohol. Prior to the volstead act, there was a lot of concerns regarding the negative social impacts that alcohol had in american society.
The short term cause of the passage of the 18th ammendment was the impact of world war one and the transformation of moral arugements into a patriotic duty.
The short term and immediate consequences of Prohibition challenged the reasons for its introduction, including the impacts on crime, the economy and people’s wellbeing.
American society underwent major social and political changes as long term consequences of the 18th Amendment.
Alcohol was a major part of American culture in the 18th century to the early 20th Century, so much so Americans drunk from sunrise to late at night. Americans drunk for any and every reason. By 1830 the average American over 15 years of age drank the equivalent of 88 bottles of whiskey every year which is three times as much as their 21st descendants drink. Americans spent more money on alcohol each year than the total expenditures of the federal government. The United States of America was becoming a nation of drunkards.
To solve this problem, the Federal Government implemented the 18th Amendment.
The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on January 16, 1919, and came into effect the following year banning the manufacture, transport and sale of alcohol. The 18th Amendment became known as “The Noble Experiment”. In theory, the United States of America had become ‘dry’ but this is further from the truth. The two main causes for prohibition were the desire to eliminate social problems as a result of alcohol heavily campaigned by the WCTU and ASL and the impact WWI had on American society in regards to drinking alcohol. The immediate consequence of prohibition was the uprising of organised crime which deeply impacts American society and a whole with the uprising of speakeasies, moonshine which financed other illegal activities such as prostitution. Another consequence was the economic impact upon the Amercian economy, American Government and of course the American people. The quote “The cause is hidden; the effect is visible to all” is very evident with the prohibition of alcohol as the causes of prohibition is not as clear as the effects. Everyone remembers the consequences but not necessarily the causes of prohibition.
One cause of prohibition are the morals and religion which were heavily influenced by the Anti Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. These advocate organizations of prohibition saw alcohol as the antichrist? (Can I say this?). These organizations and advocates of prohibition saw alcohol as a moral threat and would undermine American society as a whole. Alcohol was considered to be ‘America’s National Curse’. The Anti Saloon league was a relig...