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The Negative Effects Of Prohibition

Decent Essays
The 18th amendment introduced governmental restrictions on the manufacture and sale of alcohol in 1920’s America (Constitution). With this amendment, government overstepped the boundaries set in place by the founders and by the ideologies of Locke; rather than a government whose sole purpose was to protect the rights of people, government became an institution that could also regulate morals. Though created with good intentions, Prohibition rather had an adverse effect and led to both economic and moral disaster. Due to governmental expansion and growth into spheres not intended in its original design, government harmed America socially and economically, and expanded the facets into which government could have power. Prohibition was…show more content…
The weakness in the legislation of the 18th amendment was rooted in the unique and individual nature of morals. There is a fine line in legislating morals and rights. Government’s purpose is to legislate and protect rights, however when it comes to morals government had to grow to encompass this responsibility. Morals are a standard of beliefs and behaviors, rights are a legal entitlement guaranteed to all men. Morals are amorphous, rights are concrete. The case of Prohibition failed because it split Americans into factions based upon their beliefs. Those who were “wet” and “dry” differed greatly in their morals, and when these morals became legislated through the 18th amendment, disaster struck in many forms, all due to this spread of government power. In order to address the aftermath of the 18th amendment, the enforcement of it must also be addressed. The National Prohibition Act, or more commonly known as the Volstead Act, is described as “An act to prohibit intoxicating beverages, and to regulate the manufacture, production, use, and sale of high-proof spirits for other than beverage purposes, and to insure an ample supply of alcohol and promote its use in scientific research and in the development of fuel, dye, and other lawful industries” (Volstead Act). This act was over 25
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