The Volstead Act

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During the 1920s and early 1930s the United States was seeing many different changes in its people and laws. One of the major happenings of the time was Prohibition. For the enforcement of Prohibition, the Volstead Act was passed. The Volstead Act was proposed by Andrew J. Volstead in 1919, passed with minor difficulties, and was to carry out the intent of the 18th amendment or Prohibition, which was greatly supported by temperance movement leaders (Harlow; Kizilos;)
With the act, the sale of alcohol for medicinal, sacramental and industrial were permitted. Any beverage that contained “more than one-half of one percent of alcohol” was outlawed, under the act. The act was also set to give state and federal government power to be able to
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The movement soon gained many followers and by the 1830s there were approximately 1.5 million members in various groups all over the the nation. The groups main focus was to promote abstinence from consuming alcoholic beverages; in other words the temperance movement. During the mid 19th century, this movement was pushed down in importance, as the Civil War became the main focus of the time. In the late 19th century however, women became prominent leaders of the movement and again the movement rose in popularity.(Stock; Thomas and Bonk)
Alcohol consumption was once again tied with increase in violence and ‘social ills’. At the beginning of the 20th century 14 states had already banned alcohol consumption and within another decade 17 states had followed, so by 1913, 31 states had outlawed alcohol consumption. Three years later, in the 1916 congressional elections, many of the candidates, that were voted into office, were supporters of the Temperance movement. Soon after in 1917, a constitutional amendment that would ban the sale of alcoholic beverages was drafted. On December 18th, 1917 it was proposed as the 18th amendment, in Congress. (Stock; Clark).
Congress had given states seven years to ratify the amendment however, it only took a little over a year for it to be ratified. “After one year from the ratification of this article…”(Batten), the amendment was passed in 1919, but was

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