Why was Prohibition such a controversial issue during the 1920’s

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Why was Prohibition such a controversial issue during the 1920’s?

Prohibition was the banning of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. The power to ban the production, export, import, transportation or sale of alcoholic beverages was given by the 18th Amendment, 1917. This was gradually adopted by state governments across America and was followed up in 1919 by the Volstead Act that defined intoxicating liquor as a drink containing 0.5% of alcohol and prescribed penalties for breaking the law. By 1920 Prohibition applied to the whole of the USA. The passing of this law was quite astounding for several reasons, partly because the legal liquor industry was the 7th biggest in the country,
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Prohibition was also favoured by many women’s groups, such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, who identified alcohol as a means by which men oppressed them. Religious groups also identified alcohol as the work of the devil, responsible for the moral downfall of America. Perhaps more significantly it also had the influential backing of several big business tycoons, most notably John D Rockafeller who gave his personal support and a large amount of money to the League, seeing drunkenness as leading to danger and inefficiency in the workplace.

Supporters of Prohibition tended to be white, middle class, overwhelmingly protestant, from small towns in the South and West and generally voted Republican. Opponents were likely to be urban, of non-northern European ethnic origin, Roman Catholic and vote Democrat.

Despite the controversy that you might expect a proposed amendment such as this to evoke, there was actually very little opposition to the measure. Two principal factors lead to an increase in popularity of Prohibition at the time. The first of these was the impact of war, which gave several impetuses to Prohibition. Grain was needed for food; so many people
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