Prohibition Essay

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Prohibition The years leading into the 1920's and the prohibition movement were marked with saloons, drunkenness, and a society of increasing alcohol consumption. America's changing social habits brought on the passage of the Eighteenth amendment in 1919, placing a nation-wide ban on intoxicating liquors. This amendment was to prevent the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. As the new law was established, the problem of enforcing Americans to obey the law was a great task as bootleggers illegally continued to traffic alcohol. Throughout the temperance movement, numerous leaders came forth on both sides of the war against and for prohibition. The fight for prohibition and the reasoning behind it was not worth the…show more content…
For example, they saw John D. Rockefeller "as the representative of the greatest evil in public in life" (Blocker 18) for his actions and attitude after earning his riches in the oil business. Therefore, big business wealth that was made without morals led prohibitionists to enforce self-control (Blocker18). Some prohibitionists believed that it was morally bad to be intoxicated and drunkenness had a negative effect on the life and health of Americans (Johnsen 70). One very influential prohibitionist was Eliot Ness, who was the leader of the "Untouchables" and helped to undermine Al Capone's bootlegging scams in Chicago. Eliot Ness and his group of law enforcers believed in prohibition and sought to take down anyone who violated the law of the nation. As the United States was entering into World War I, prohibitionists felt the need to "sacrifice individual pleasure for the defense and improvement of society" (Kyvig 10). America needed to conserve resources, such as, grain for the war effort. The answer to this was temperance. Prohibitionists fought for an alcohol-free nation, but in the end alcohol remained an American beverage. As the new amendment came into effect, the liquor did not disappear, but still trickled in and out of saloons and cities. Gangsters rose to power almost overnight as their attention turned to the profitable business of bootlegging (Internet site on Al
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