Alcoholism In America

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If a foreigner were to come into America one of the most startling facts they would would be our liberal attitude towards alcohol. Alcohol is literally everywhere in America and we are not shameful of our love of it. Our televisions are filled with ads for alcohol beverages portraying happiness, our sport teams and stadiums are sponsored by alcohol companies and not only that but alcohol in America is cheaper and better than ever with thousands of options and varieties. A prime example of our affinity to alcohol would be the Super bowl which had over a 111 million viewers in 2016 and averages over a 100 million viewers every year (Pallotta and Stelter). If one were to tune into the super bowl and view the ads, it is not hard to notice that …show more content…

The American Temperance Society (ATS), formed in 1826, was at the forefront of promoting temperance in the United States. With its massive support base of mostly women who argued that alcohol was a evil potion crippling America and destroying families the movement gained enormous clout with mass rallies and speeches. Not only that but the movement functioned as a template for numerous other temperance movements that spanned thereafter. The popularity of the temperance movement did not go unnoticed, politicians jumped on the bandwagon as well in hopes of gaining votes in conservative districts. By January 29, 1919, when the 18th Amendment was ratified prohibition had become such a popular issue that at least 33 states had already enacted their own prohibition legislation on alcohol (Foner). The passage of a national ban on alcohol was met by massive acclaim all around the country. Many proponents saw the passage of the 18th amendment as the start of a utopian society free of …show more content…

Instead of the utopian society they had hoped for prohibition led to a massive increase in crime due to the profitable bootlegging business that had been spawned as the result of the amendment. The passage of the 18th Amendment did not stop citizens from seeking the liquid. Instead they turned to illegal bootleggers and speakeasies in order to quench their craving. If there is a demand, someone will supply it. This became the case in the prohibition era when gangs ran rampant. Gang Leaders such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugs Moran, and Frank Nitti among many more became household names in America. Fueled by the profitable business of bootlegging which made many of the leaders millionaires they waged war against each for customers and territory. One of the most notable of these struggles is the Valentine's Day Massacre on February 14 1929 when seven men of the North Side Irish gang were murdered by the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone. The assailants ruthlessly picked off each of the seven rival gang members with Thompson submachine guns spraying them with bullets until they were left mutilated and dead. Although, horrifying struggles like these became commonplace during the era. However, gang members were not the only ones caught in the crossfire. Innocent civilians and police officers obligated to fight crime were harmed as

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