Essay on Herbert Hoover

1312 Words 6 Pages
Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover called it a "noble experiment." Organized crime found it to be the opportunity of a lifetime. Millions of Americans denounced it as an infringement of their rights. For nearly 14 years—from Jan. 29, 1920, until Dec. 5, 1933--the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States. The 18th, or Prohibition, Amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress and submitted to the states in 1917. By Jan. 29, 1919, it had been ratified. Enforcement legislation entitled the National Prohibition Act (or more popularly, the Volstead act, after Representative Andrew J. Volstead of Minnesota) was passed on Oct. 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto.

The 18th
…show more content…
Called the "15-gallon law," it prohibited the sale of alcohol in amounts of less than 15 gallons (57 liters). This limited the sale of alcohol to the wealthy. In 1846 Maine passed the first state Prohibition law. By the mid-1850s 13 states had such laws, but by 1863 all except Maine had repealed them.

Two major temperance organizations emerged in the decade after the Civil War. The National Prohibition party was founded in 1869 and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1874. Partly through their efforts six states adopted Prohibition by 1890. The strongest force behind the movement for national Prohibition, however, was the Anti-Saloon League, founded in 1893. Unlike the Prohibition party, it did not put up candidates for public office. Instead it worked for or against Democratic and Republican candidates, depending on their attitude toward drinking. The league was successful in getting 33 states to pass restrictive legislation by 1920.

Forces favoring Prohibition represented a reaction against changes that were taking place in the United States. Rural and small-town values were being challenged by rapidly industrializing cities. Millions of new immigrants—mostly Roman Catholics—from Eastern and Southern Europe were viewed as a threat by the Protestant majority. Prohibition was an attempt to reassert what were considered traditional American values and to force newer members of the
Open Document