The Prohibition Of Alcohol During The 1920s

1318 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 6 Pages
Following the First World War, Canadian provincial governments caved to decades of pressure from moralistic activist groups like the Temperance Movement and completely eradicated the alcohol industry: the manufacturing, distribution, and selling of liquor was now illegal. This so-called prohibition, which occurred alongside similar events in the U.S., was supposed to greatly improve society by eliminating the source of all of its evils – drunkenness – but instead was one of the greatest political blunders in North American history. Canada’s prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was a catastrophic failure, giving rise to organized crime and a lasting mindset of subversiveness in the public without even achieving its intended purpose. Although the “Noble Experiment” (Hoover, Herbert, 1928) was effected in Canada by popular vote in the early 1910s, the rapidly-ensuing plebiscites repealing the law serve as the first empirical proof that the experiment was unsuccessful. This essay will discuss that testament to prohibition’s failure, along with the explosion in violent organized crime that occurred under it and the lingering distaste for government substance control it left on Canadian citizens. There is undeniable evidence in Canada’s past that Prohibition failed. Namely, the fact that Prohibition was repealed with greater speed and fervour from the public than that with which it was enacted. The law, which the Temperance Movement’s leaders assumed would be a permanent change…
Open Document