Causes and Consequences of Alcohol Prohibition

1399 Words6 Pages
Prohibition and other substance bans have a long history in the United States dating back to the late 19th century. Cohen (2006) believed the root cause for drug-prohibition movement, including alcohol, derives from race. In the era of mass US immigration, Chinese, Mexicans, Black Africans, and European denominations, posed a democratic threat to White “native” Americans. White Racial fears amplified the moral problem of drug use to the Protestant Church by associating drugs with individual racial minorities. In the 1870s, the US government successfully prohibited whites from visiting opium dens in San Francisco’s China Town, isolating opium use to Asians. In the 1930s the government banned marijuana in order to criminalize Mexican farm…show more content…
Soon Drunkards and alcoholics were a concern to how they would integrate in the incrementing demands of the country. New Waves of Prohibition activist such as the Anti Saloon League used the emergence of organizational society techniques to overcome to partisan debate that had prevented previous temperance attempts. Their initiatives were grounded in the same principles surrounding the social dangers, but also revealed new arguments, criticizing the the industrious and adapting liquor industry in this progressive capitalist era (112). They also criticized the political corruption associated with alcohol. Temperance were gaining momentum and soon, small scale forms of prohibition were being experimented in different cities. By 1917, the government passed the Webb-Kenyon act banning interstate shipping of alcohol. The failed appeal of the act in 1917 had a reverse effect enhancing the case for full ban on liquor. Finally congress submitted the 18th amendment and it was enforced starting in 1920. (Pegram, 1998) However, Shrad (2007) believes that the root causes lie elsewhere than socioeconomic status, moral, and cultural division problems. The causes of the prohibition lies within process inherent within institutional structure of American policy making, especially liquor policies. Throughout US history, states have regulated alcohol consumption in many different ways such as liquor licensing, local options, excise

More about Causes and Consequences of Alcohol Prohibition

Open Document